April 13, 2020

Blog-Sleeping Beauty Tea Party

by Mandy Halasi

Sleeping Beauty Tea Party! ☕🍰🍪

Thinking of things to keep us entertained during our ‘stay-at-home to lower the curve’ time means getting creative especially with kids. Who doesn’t love a tea party and all the scrumptious and beautiful sweets that go with it?! ☕ So we dressed up our table with our vintage tea cups and set to work making Tea Cakes and Cookies to pair with our tea for pinky’s up time.

🍰 Sleeping Beauty Tea Cake 🍰

Between Briar Rose’s name and her iconic pink dress, this tea cake was inspired by the classic Disney princess, Sleeping Beauty.  The cake and buttercream are straight forward, and the optional extras really take it up a notch. Note: the recipes included are enough for a full size cake.  I reduced the portions to suit my needs, I have been stress eating enough during the Covid isolation without piles of extra cake hanging around!
Cake Sponge

Let’s make cake!

Recipe from: Mastering the Basics: Baking from Murdoch Books Ingredients:
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 220g white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 300g All purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 325F, grease and line your baking pan.  Measure your flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
  2. Cream together butter , sugar, and vanilla in an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gently fold in milk and dry ingredients until well combined.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes (ovens may vary) until starting to turn golden and bounces back slightly to the touch.
  5. Leave in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.  Cool completely before cutting or icing.
Rose Buttercream
Somewhere between a Swiss Buttercream and American Buttercream, I find that the American buttercream can be a bit dense and often too sweet, but the Swiss buttercream can be just too buttery for my taste, I think this variation married the best of both worlds and the rose water can easily be swapped for vanilla or other flavours. Note: I eyeballed this while making it so some measurements are a guess. Ingredients:


  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½  tsp rosewater
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 ½ cup icing/powdered/confectioner’s sugar
  1. Place white sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer, then place the bowl over a double boiler.  Stir constantly until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are warm to touch.
  2. Place bowl onto stand mixer with balloon whisk attachment and whip on high until stiff peaks form and bowl is no longer hot to touch. (if you don’t have a stand mixer available a hand mixer will work just as well)
  3. Add rose water and then butter (in pieces the size of golf balls) until all incorporated. Your mix will look lumpy/curdled, that’s ok, turn the mixer off and add the icing sugar, then turn back on at low speed. Once it no longer looks as if powder is sitting on top, increase speed to high and whip until fluffy.
Tea Cake Assembly

Ice the cakes

Petite square cakes

  1. Trim off dome from the top of cake with a long serrated knife to even it out and then slice layers horizontally.  Standard cake should be cut into even layers, tea cakes can be cut into any shape you imagine. I cut mine into squares with 2 layers. *Baker’s Tip* cool your cake in the fridge or freezer over night; the cake will firm up considerably making it easier to cut into even layers with minimal smooshing and crumbs.
  2. Ice and stack your cakes giving them an even crumb coat and set icing in fridge. At this point you can add a second layer of buttercream for a classic cake, or you can be unnecessarily extra and complicate your life with Mirror glaze, like I did.
White Chocolate Mirror Glaze
This optional extra was included because most of us have more time on our hands these days, and I was feeling extra. 🎉

🍪 Alice’s Tea Cookies 🍪

Russian Tea Cookies

Russian Tea Cookies are seriously my favourite cookie that you can find at an afternoon tea, even more than the fan favourite French Macaron. Very similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies, these icing sugar coated cookies almost melt in your mouth and are crazy easy to make with only 5 ingredients.  You can even get a little crazy and make them more of a Mad Hatter treat by swapping the vanilla extract with lime oil, coconut extract, almond extract, dried lavender, or whatever your heart desires.
Russian Tea Cookies
Yields: about 24 cookies

Dusting cookies after baking.

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 cups flour (pastry flour or all-purpose)
  • 1 cup ground nuts (I used almonds)
  • ¼ cup extra icing sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla
  3. Mix in ground nuts and flour until well combined; do not overmix.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon and wet finger, portion dough into rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake 10-12 minutes until starting to brown around the edges.  Allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before tossing gently in icing sugar and transfer to wire rack to cool.  Some sugar will absorb into the warm cookie, once fully cooled, either roll in icing sugar again or dust with icing sugar using a mesh sieve.

Pinky’s up! ☕🍰🍪

Now that all the baking is done it’s time to pair with your favourite tea, ours is Sloane’s Heavenly Cream black tea or our favourite no-caffeine flavour is Sloane’s Rouge Provence. Both go amazing with afternoon treats which is why we love serving them at the Dessert Cafe (Bonus: Sloane Tea is also a Toronto-based business). We can’t wait to get back there to visit with you all again soon. Until then… May the fork be with you, always! -The Grand Order of Divine Sweets

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