1970s Tea Cake

The recipe for “Constant Comment” spice tea cake and the tea was popular in Kansas during the 1970s. You could have said it was the preferred beverage of the local hippies and yuppies. A pot of the heavenly tea, threads of incense and cigarette smoke curling to the ceiling and long talks between good friends about politics, books, and life in general. It was another age.

The Bigelow Tea Company introduced “Constant Comment” orange spice tea in 1945 and it was an instant success. It is a delightful tea that is good served hot or cold. The black tea contains dried orange rind and sweet spices. One of the selling points when first introduced was that it took only a scant ½ teaspoon of the tea to brew three cups. I don’t know when the cake recipe was first published.

The recipe will make one 9 inch round cake.

“Constant Comment” Spice Tea Cake


  • ½ cup of milk
  • 5 Bigelow “Constant Comment” tea bags
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • Powdered sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour a 9 inch round cake pan.

Put the milk and tea bags in a small pan. Heat over medium low heat until bubbles form around the edge, stir once in a while. Do not boil. Remove from heat and cool. Remove the tea bags squeezing out the liquid into the pan. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk to blend. Add the cooled milk/tea mixture and whisk until well blended. Mix in the flour and baking powder until you have a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake about 35 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly touched. Cool the cake before removing from the pan. When completely cooled dust the top with powdered sugar.


Raisins are good added to the batter.

Herbal fruit blends of “tea” can be used but the best is the orange spice with real tea.

The batter could be baked in a loaf pan or a muffin pan by adjusting the oven temperature and baking times.

If you are out of powdered sugar you can sprinkle regular sugar on top before baking. It will have a crunchy top.

In my opinion whole wheat flour isn’t good in this recipe.

I have made the cake with only three tea bags, not as good but still eatable.

If you use unsalted butter add at least ½ teaspoon of salt.


About dwittopinions

A great grandmother living in the middle of the United States. My interests include art, needlework, reading, history, politics, and cooking.
This entry was posted in Baking, Cakes, Desserts, Food, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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