I was inspired to make these cupcakes when I saw the Daring Cooks November Challenge, to cook with tea. Well, actually, I’ve been wanting to make them for a while now, but the challenge motivated me to actually make them! I was having a hard time thinking of something to cook with tea, because of course the only things I could think of were to bake with tea.
Earl Grey tea has to be one of my all time favorite teas. And one of my favorites is a variety of Earl Grey from a shop called Teavana. They have an Earl Grey blend that I am head over heels in love with. The traditional bergamont oil is smoothed out by adding vanilla, and it also has these beautiful blue dried cornflower petals in it. It makes for a really smooth cup of tea! This cupcake did not disappoint, either. It was soft, but not overly moist, with just the right amount of earl grey to neither overpower you or be too weak. And the fresh lemon butter cream was the perfect frosting! Its a lovely bespeckled (Is that a word? I kinda like it. Bespeckled.) cupcake that I am sure you will love eating!
This recipe only makes 12 cupcakes, and I definitely wish that I had made more now! This last week has been rough, my friends! Joel started working nights - from 6:30 at night to about 8:30 in the morning. He comes home, exhausted, and goes straight to bed. Then I am left with the task of trying to keep Ladybug quiet all day while he sleeps, when really all she wants to do is run through the house screaming at the top of her lungs. Plus we are both sick, and its raining, so we can't even go out to play. Thank goodness for nap time!!
Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream (adapted from Edible Moments)
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cup flour
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
½ cup milk
3 Tbsp loose Earl Grey tea, divided, or 2 teabags (although loose leaf will give you much better flavor! But use what you have.)
Preheat your oven to 350.
Prepare 12 cupcake cups, either by greasing them or using liners.
With a mortar and pestle, or a food processor, grind your tea (take it out of the bags if you are using pre-bagged tea) until you get smaller pieces, but not quite powder. You don't want to chew your cupcake, but you do want to be able to see little speckles of the tea.
In a small saucepan, place one tea bag (or 1 tbsp loose leaf tea) into the milk and warm slightly.
Remove the saucepan from the heat before the milk simmers, and allow it to steep, and the milk to cool.
In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each one.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and tea.
Add half of the dry mixture to your batter.
Add the milk (with the tea bag removed or the loose leaf tea strained out) and then add the remaining dry ingredients.
Stir until just combined, but do not overstir!!!
Divide the batter evenly amongst the pan, so that each well is about 2/3 full.
Bake 20 minutes.
Allow to cook completely before frosting
Lemon Buttercream Frosting (Group Recipes)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp lemon zest
In a large bowl, mix together the butter, lemon zest, and vanilla until all the lumps are gone.
Add the milk and mix until incorporated.
Slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time, mix in the powdered sugar.
Once all the sugar is in, cream on high for 2 minutes (with your electric mixer, or a super powered arm muscle)
Mix in the lemon juice.