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Spoil Mom with her favourite cake

The best way to spoil Mom on Mother’s day, is to bake her favorite cake and enjoy it with a tasty cup of Carmién’s rooibos tea. I am very fond of my Ouma Carmen’s feather cake which brought back priceless childhood memories of growing up on a rooibos farm near Citrusdal. Nowadays I use Carmién’s popular pyramid fruit and herbal infusion teas to add extra flavor and goodness to this foolproof cake. I also sandwich the layers together with an interesting nougat filling, which was also infused with one of Carmién’s cold brew teas.

My mom used to call this cake a hot-milk cake and it was baked numerous times in our farmhouse kitchen. Actually, this was the one and only recipe my mom used to teach us the art and all the secrets of baking:

  • Sift the dry ingredients together three times.
  • Always add the liquid at the end, beating the mixture well.
  • Turn the batter into the tins and put them in the oven immediately; do not let the batter stand in the tins.
  • The batter is thinner than that of butter cake and spreads evenly in the tins.
  • The oven temperature is higher than for other cakes. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins before turning them out.
  • If you loosen the sides of the cakes and turn them out while still hot the air bubbles will break and form doughy layers.


Carmién’s Tropical Burst pyramid tea add hints of tropical flavors to the feather cake, while the nougat filling is gently seasoned with the Coco Pine Cold Brew which beautifully matches the flavours and lightness of the cake.

250 ml (1 c) milk

4 Carmién’s Tropical Burst tea bags

90 g butter

6 extra large eggs

500 ml (2 c) castor sugar

750 ml (3 c) cake flour

3 ml (generous ½ t) salt

15 ml (1 T) baking powder


125 ml (1/2 c) water

2 Carmién Coco Pine Cold Brew tea bags

15 ml (1 t) gelatin

150 g butter, at room temperature

30 ml (2 T) castor sugar

1 can condensed milk

Few drops almond essence

1 ml (1/4 t) salt

5 ml (1 t) lemon juice

5 ml (1 t) cream of tartar

125 ml (1/2 c) red glacé cherries, or dried cherry mix, chopped

125 ml (1/2 c) almonds, chopped


2 x 230 g creamed cottage cheese

45 ml (3 T) icing sugar

Rose petals or edible flowers for garnishing

Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Line and grease only the bottoms of 4 loose bottomed 20 cm cake tins. Dust with flour.

1 CAKE Heat the milk and tea bags just till the milk comes to the boil. Let cool to infuse for a few minutes, then squeeze out all the liquid from the tea bags and remove them. Add the butter and stir till the butter is melted.

2 Whisk the eggs until light. Gradually add the sugar, beating well until the sugar is dissolved.

3 Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together three times and lightly fold the mixture into the egg mixture. Add the lukewarm milk and beat well.

4 Turn the batter into the prepared tins and bake for about 20 minutes or until a testing skewer comes out clean from the cakes.

5 Leave the cakes to cool in the tins before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

6 FILLING Place the tea bags in a jug and pour over the cold water. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Squeeze out all liquid from the bag and pour the cold tea in a bowl.

7 Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold tea and leave to sponge. Heat the bowl with sponged gelatin over a saucepan with boiling water, making sure the boiling water is not touching the bowl. Stir till melted.

8 Cream the butter and sugar together, add the gelatin drop by drop while beating continuously.

9 Add the condensed milk, almond essence, salt, lemon juice and cream of tartar, beating until blended. Chill till slightly set.

10 Fold in the glacé cherries or dried cherry mix and chopped nuts and chill till set.

11 Evenly spread a thin layer of the filling on 3 of the cakes and place on top of each other, pressing down gently. Place the last cake layer on top. Leave to set completely.

12 ICING Beat the creamed cheese and icing sugar till well mixed. Spread on top and around the edges of the cake.

13 Decorate with rose petals and fresh flowers pressed onto the icing.

14 Serve with your favorite Carmién pyramid tea.