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earl grey cupcakes with lemon buttercream.


not long ago i was sent a selection of teas from teapigs to try out some ice tea and cocktail recipes - for which i made a lemon and ginger mojito tea and jasmine gin fizz. there were a couple of their darjeeling earl grey teabags in the parcel too and since i've always wanted to make earl grey cupcakes i thought i'd have a go. this one is based on the hummingbird bakery recipe and makes around 16 cupcakes.

shopping list

for the cupcakes
♥ two earl grey teabags
♥ 3 tablespoons of boiled water
♥ 80g unsalted butter
♥ 300g caster sugar
♥ 240g plain flour
♥ 10g baking powder
♥ a pinch of salt
♥ 200ml whole milk
♥ 2 large eggs

for the lemon buttercream icing
♥ 100ml whole milk
♥ 500g icing sugar
♥ 250g unsalted butter, softened
♥ juice of one lemon, plus grated rind

preheat the oven to 190 degrees, gas mark 5. firstly, place the teabags in the boiled water and let them brew for 30 minutes.

next, mix together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in an eletric mixer until they resemble breadcrumbs.

pour the 200ml milk into a jug and whisk in the two eggs. then, squeeeeze every last drop of earl grey out of the teabags into the milk and egg mixture. keep the teabags and i used the leaves on top of the cupcakes as decoration. the original recipe does not have lemon topping - it actually suggests infusing the icing with the teabags so that's an option too :)

now, bring the infused earl grey milk and egg mix together with the dry ingredients bit by bit.

pour into your cupcake cases. i mainly used normal paper cases... except for these four special ones. (also - who would ever sell just four cupcake cases in a pack?)

bake for around 20 minutes looking out for a golden and springy rise to the top of the cakes.

allow to cool whilst you make the lemon buttercream. in a blender combine the softened butter with the icing sugar a little at a time (i have quite a small blender so it takes a while) using the milk to ease up the mixture. add in the juice from the lemon as well as grating in the rind. 

tip: if your buttercream doesn't seem thick enough to ice yet, put in the fridge for around 10 minutes to set a little. make sure your cakes are fully cooled or this may cause it too melt too.

decorate with a few of the tea leaves and serve with... a cup of tea of course.

have you ever baked with tea? how did it turn out? 


  1. You have to be careful with teas, I've tried with a few herbal ones and you can end up with grey cake! Tastes yum, but not very pretty ;) Unlike these beauties that you've made!

    1. Ooh interesting! I've seen recipes for peppermint cupcakes but not sure I like the idea of mint sponge. Thanks glad you like them :)

  2. I love the teacup moulds, those are so cute. Those and the moulds shaped like feet are my favourite :)
    I tried this recipe a few times from the Hummingbird Book but it never turned out the way I wanted it to. They always tasted a bit lack lustre and never quite hit the spot. These look lovely though and I like the pairing of a heavier tea flavoured sponge with a light lemon buttercream.
    Looks yum!

    1. Thanks Sam :) I think the lemon really brought out the tea flavour - let me know if you try it. Lakeland have lots of cute cupcake moulds including plant pot ones - so cute though not sure you have these in NZ :(

  3. How adorable are these teacup moulds! I've had my share of Hummingbird failures but your cupcakes look gorgeous! I've seen some recipes using the leaves in the batter, have you ever tried it?

    1. I know I love them :) No I haven't actually - do you have any links? I have seen recipes with tea in the icing too!

  4. these look amazing lemon is my fave!

    Charlie xx

    1. Aww glad you like - do let me know if you try them out :)

  5. I love Earl Grey cakes! The moulds are amazing too!