Friday, February 13, 2009

Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

I haven't seen my best friend, Cherish, in quite a while. Though a drive lasting only a few good songs is the only thing that separates us, we both have completely overwhelming schedules that has dwindled our time together to mere phone tag and sometimes, if we are lucky, 10 minute conversations. This weekend, I'd thought I'd spend an early Valentine's day with my other lover! And my sister! And maybe a handful of these deliciously sweet cupcakes! A day well spent indeed.
These earl grey cupcakes were light and delicately sweet. Although I halved the recipe, I used the full amount of tea leaves in the original recipe because I wanted a full tea flavor, and I definitely got it. The earl grey was so fragrant! I don't like oozes of frosting so I layered a thin base layer to cover the tops and then a little dollop for extra sweetness. I would suggest to eat these little beauties with a nice, steaming hot cup of tea but well, it's a two for one. The lemon buttercream also paired wonderfully with the bergamot notes within the tea itself.  

Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream
Yields: 12 - 15, I halved the original recipe
Original Recipe can be found at Desert Candy

For the cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 tbsn. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2  bags of earl grey tea

For the frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups of powdered sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tbsn. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F. Fill a cupcake pan with liners. Beat the butter until creamy, then add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure that they are incorporated thoroughly. In a bowl, combine the rest of the dry ingredients, including the tea leaves. Next, add half of the dry mixture. Add the milk then the remaining flour, stir until combined. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, rotating halfway to ensure even baking. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, cream the butter until nice and smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Next, add the lemon zest and lemon juice, making sure it is well incorporated. Frost the cupcakes and enjoy!
* You can also add some loose tea leaves into the frosting for a stronger earl grey flavor. 

To frost my cupcakes, I  flattened the cupcakes by shaving off the tops. Then spread a thin, smooth layer of the frosting over the cupcake and dip them in a bowl full of clear sprinkles. Using a piping bag, fitted with any desired tip, pipe a small rosette in the center of the cupcake and you are done. Enjoy!


  1. Oh, Earl Gray, yum. These are adorable.

  2. These little cupcakes are really beautiful. Great photos!

  3. These look wonderful...I might to make them into cake balls!

  4. Those look so cute! What a great combination of flavors-very inspired! I love the clear sprinkles...

  5. can I ask how the tea leaves taste/feel? I think I want to try this, but I'm not sure about the whole eating tea leaves thing. Haha

  6. You actually can't feel the tea leaves in your mouth, and I added extra tea leaves for more flavor. So if you want just a little taste of the tea I would just put in 1 tea bag of tea leaves. It's really fragrant and not too sweet, I really like them :)

  7. These were fabulous! An early Valentine's Day well spent and I'm lucky to have such a cupcake connoisseur as a best friend.

  8. I don't know what happened, but I just tried to make these and something went horribly wrong. I'm thinking about crying, because the batter was so delicious, I was certain they were going to be amazing! Now I have to go scrape them off the oven floor.

  9. Aww I'm sorry don't lose hope, they really are delicious!

  10. thank you for the recipe! my friends and i enjoyed them very much. they are even more delicious when refrigerated first. the frosting was amazing. thank you thank you. <3

  11. i know exactly whats wrong with this says 2 tbsp. baking powder, it is suppose to be 2 tsp! when i was putting it in i thought, that's a lot of baking powder, but i put it in anyway only to find my cupcakes puff up early on and sink in! you might wanna fix that, so more people don't have a cupcake-tastrophe! anyway, whats left of my fluffy, sunk-in cupcakes are delicious...i'm just gonna eat 'um with ice cream or something.

  12. I definitely put in too much baking powder, and am so bummed about it. Please fix that error!