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Rooibos Chocolate Layer Cake

February 12, 2014
Rooibos Chocolate Caramel Cake

Rooibos Chocolate Caramel Cake

Are you looking for a special dessert for your valentine? Let me suggest a treat I made this Christmas, the Rooibos Chocloate Layer Cake. It looked fantastic and tasted wonderful.  I must admit it had been awhile since I had made a chocolate cake from scratch and the thought of using rooibos, a nutrient rich tisane, was appealing.  The rooibos added a “mild nutty” presence to the dessert. Almond Rooibos would also been excellent. Here is the recipe from our website along with a bit of my personal discoveries  during the experience.

1 TBS Rooibos 
1 cup boiling water
½  cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup Canola oil
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 ½ cups sugar
1 2/3 cups plain flour
1 TBS baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 TBS Rooibos  (choco-caramel or        au caramel work well)
1 cups boiling water
1 cup sugar
3TBS butter
3 TBS cocoa powder
2 tsp cornstarch
1½ tps vanilla extract
1 can caramel (i used 1/2 cup)

~ Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.


~ Steep 1 TBS Rooibos (I used chocolate caramel safari) in a cup with infuser, @ 208ºF (just under boiling) water for at least 15 minutes, until the tea is quite strong. This will be used in the cake batter. In another infuser steep 1 TBS Rooibos  for the icing again at least for 15 minutes.  Then remove the infuser and set aside until later.

~ In a large bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and vegetable oil until smooth.

~ In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until they are thick and creamy.

~ Add the egg-and-sugar mixture to the cocoa mixture, and mix well. Add the strong tea (for the cake) to this batter and stir.

~Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, add it to the batter & beat well. I did not sift the flour though, and the texture of the cake was still fantastic!

~Whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks, and fold them into the batter.  This was fun and definitely gave the cake a lighter fluffier texture.


~Pour the batter into two round, 9-inch cake tins. I actually used three round 8 inch tins because I like the height of a 3 layer cake, as well as a little extra frosting.

~Bake 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Again since I had 3 tins it took about 25 minutes.

~While the cake is baking, prepare the icing. In a small saucepan, heat together the sugar and butter until the sugar has dissolved.

~In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and corn starch with a bit of the strong tea you have set aside and stir until it makes a paste. Add the remainder of the tea and stir well.

~Pour the cocoa-tea mixture into the saucepan and stir. Heat the icing until it thickens.  The thickness is always hard to describe, ” thick honey-like” thickness is how I would describe the thickness.

~Stir in the vanilla extract, and bring the icing to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat, and let the icing cool.

~Place the icing in the fridge to cool completely. Before serving, mix the caramel or dulce con leche into the icing. I used only 1/2 can of caramel which added plenty extra sweetness.

~ Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Then, remove the cakes from their tins and cool them completely on a wire rack.

~Divide your icing between your cake layers and the top of the cake. The icing is quite soft, so some will drip down the sides. I found the dripping distinctive creating an artistic look.

~Decorate with cherries, chocolate curls or fresh mint leaves, or berries.

IMG_2293Enjoy! We did and we felt the rooibos flavor came through, something I look for when baking or cooking with teas or tisanes.


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