Glazed Irish Tea Cake



  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried currants (or dates)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk


  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F with rack in center of oven. Generously grease a 9-inch (7-cup capacity) loaf pan. Dust with flour; tap pan over sink to discard excess flour. Cut piece of parchment paper or wax paper to fit bottom of pan. Set aside.
  2. Cake: Use mixer to cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating each until fluffy. Add cream cheese. Mix until well combined.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Put currants (or dates) in small bowl. Add 1/4 cup of flour mixture to currant and stir until well coated. Add remaining flour to batter, alternating with buttermilk. Mix until smooth. Use wooden spoon to stir in currants and all of the flour. Stir until well combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Smooth surface with spatula.
  4. Bake until well-browned and wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 25 minutes (time will vary with individual ovens). Cake will crack on top.
  5. Let cake rest in pan for 10 minutes.
  6. Use flexible metal spatula to separate cake from sides of pan. Carefully remove cake from pan to cooling rack. Spread glaze on warm cake. Let cake cool completely.
  7. Glaze: Combine sugar and lemon juice in small bowl. Stir until smooth.

Cake can be stored 3 days at room temperature in foil. Cake can also be frozen up to 3 months, wrapped airtight.