Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Icing

Today, my daughter Charis baked two lots of cupcakes, and I acted as her chef’s assistant, plus taking pictures. Here are the Earl Grey Tea cupcakes with a really delicious lemon buttercream icing.

125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g sugar
2 large eggs
300g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
125ml milk
½ tsp. Almond extract (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
4 Earl Grey teabags (Next Time: 2 -3 Tbs loose leaves of Earl Grey tea – it’s best to use a good quality loose leaf tea for these cakes. If you don’t have loose leaf tea on hand, you can open two teabags and use the tea inside.) If you choose to have a stronger 'Earl Grey' flavour, add 1 drop of Bergamot essential oil. Also, I find the Earl Grey tea made by 'Fortnum & Mason' much stronger and more aromatic.


Preheat the oven to 175˚C (350˚F/gas mark 4 and line a whole 12-hole muffin tray with the appropriate size cupcake cases.

Earl Grey teabags infusing in hot milk

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat, but do not boil, add the vanilla and the tea leaves. Take the milk off the heat to cool.

Cover with cling film and leave to infuse for about 30 minutes, then discard the teabags (next time add tea leaves directly into the milk and allow them to steep).

eggs sugar butter mix

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 minutes using an electric hand mixer. Add the almond extract, if using, and the eggs, one at the time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.

Sift dry ingredients together. Fold half of the dry mixture into the wet; add the milk (with the tea leaves) and the remainder of the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined and do not over mix. The mixture will be soft and light, and will be flecked with little black tea leaves.

Cake mix in the little cupcake cases

Fill a twelve-cup muffin pan with the mixture and bake for 25 minutes. The top should be slightly raised and golden brown. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer in the centre of one of the cakes – it should come out clean. Allow to cool completely.

Lemon Buttercream Icing
110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-3 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons (you need at least 2 tsp)
500g icing sugar, sifted.
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and half the icing sugar until smooth – this can take several minutes with an electric hand mixer. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy.

Earl Grey Cupcake


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