This Fruity Tea Masala Cake utilities a basic sponge method, but takes it to far more exotic heights.

This cake is perfect served hot from the oven as a warming autumnal dessert. Home-made vanilla ice-cream would be my preferred accompaniment, but it’s also gorgeous served cold with a little whipped double cream.

Who am I trying to kid? This cake is good at any time of day. A slice with your morning coffee or afternoon tea is the perfect ‘pick me up’ – even more so if that cup of tea is a milky, spice-infused chai.


I have used nectarines here, but plums or damsons would also work well (just increase the number to 6-8 for a cake of this size).


Makes 1 x 23cm cake 


For the fruit

  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4 nectarines, halved
  • 250ml water
  •  5 drops Holy Lama Tea Masala Spice Drops®

For the cake

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 2 drops Holy Lama Vanilla Spice Drops®
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1-2 tbsp full-fat milk




1) For the fruit, heat the sugar in a frying pan and allow to melt into a light caramel. Add the fruits cut-side down (be careful, it will splutter), then pour over the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for around 10 minutes.

2) Turn the fruits over and simmer for a further 5 minutes before turning them over again,then remove from the heat and allow to cool. The stones should lift out easily.

3) Set the fruits aside and reduce the syrup further if required by letting it bubble over a moderate heat – you will be drizzling it over the finished cake. Allow the syrup to cool, add the Tea Masala Spice Drops®,stir, and set aside.

4)Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas 4, and grease and line a 23cm cake tin .

5) For the cake, beat together the butter and sugar in an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs – if the mixture begins to curdle, add a little of the flour and beat well. Add the Vanilla Spice Drops® and fold in the flour. If the mixture is too thick,loosen it with a little milk.

6) Spoon the batter into the tin and place the fruits on top, cut-side down, making sure there is a gap of at least 2½ cm around the edges of the batter. The fruits will sink as the cake cooks.

7) Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the cake is golden and cooked through. Test the center with a skewer or cocktail  – if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.

8) Brush with some of the cooled syrup, and either serve hot with ice cream or allow to cool completely on a wire rack, and serve slices with whipped double cream and the remaining syrup.