A Cake Fit for the Masters
Get Christina Tosi's recipe for Arnold Palmer cake
Momofuku Milk Bar might seem light years away from the Masters, but the Manhattan bakery pays tasty homage to one of golf’s greatest. Arnold Palmer’s eponymous drink (half lemonade, half sweet tea) is the inspiration for pastry chef Christina Tosi’s hugely popular Arnold Palmer cake. “I became obsessed with the Arnold Palmer while experimenting with lemon and tea as a palate cleanser,” says the Virginia native, who applied the ingredients to everything from sorbet to jelly before creating the cake.
The ultimate centerpiece dessert for Sunday’s final round, it’s composed of three layers of sweet-tea cake (Lipton tea leaves are folded straight into the batter!) separated by lemony mascarpone cream, plus a bit of almond-tea-crunch for texture. “Everything you love about the Arnold Palmer as a drink translates just as well to this dessert,” Tosi says. “Only instead of gulping it, you get to eat it by the slice.”
Note: This recipe is time intensive, but we think the end result is worth the effort.
Arnold Palmer Cake
Makes a 6" Cake, Serves 6 to 8
1 Lemon Tea Cake
1/4 cup Bitter Tea Soak
1 cup Tea Jelly
1 3/4 cups Lemon Mascarpone
2/3 cup Almond-Tea-Crunch
LEMON TEA CAKE INGREDIENTS
8 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
9 bags Lipton black tea leaves
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
LEMON TEA CAKE PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream the butter and granulated sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. After 2 or 3 minutes on medium-high, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and egg yolks one by one until they disappear into the butter and sugar.
Scrape down the sides again and turn the mixer to low speed. Stream in the oil, buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Mix on medium until everything is homogenous and fluffy—about 5 minutes.
Combine the flour, tea leaves, baking powder, and salt in a separate mixing bowl. With the mixer running on low, incorporate the dry ingredients into your main bowl. You don't want to overmix the cake; just mix until the dry ingredients disappear (45 seconds or so).
Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat. Spread the cake batter on the pan and give it a little jiggle to even things out. Bake for about 30 minutes, then give it a gentle poke. You're looking for it to bounce back and for the cake to have pulled back from the edges a bit.
BITTER TEA SOAK AND TEA JELLY INGREDIENTS
(makes a little more than you need)
2 1/4 cups water
8 bags Lipton black tea
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup instant Lipton unsweetened iced-tea powder
1/2 tsp. pectin NH
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
BITTER TEA SOAK AND TEA JELLY PREPARATION
Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove it from the heat and add the tea bags. Let the bags steep for 5 minutes, or until the tea is very bitter. Discard the tea bags and store the bitter tea soak in an airtight container.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar, pectin, and tea powder until thoroughly combined. Over high heat, slowly whisk in 3 cups of bitter tea soak and the lemon juice, and bring to a full rolling boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 2 minutes. This activates the pectin and will turn the tea and lemon into a beautiful jelly. Transfer the jelly to an appropriate container and refrigerate. Once set, the jelly will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.