I am not a big fan of earl grey tea and I am not much of a cupcake kind of girl. However, having recently tried the cream of earl grey tea I could see that the fragrance would work extremely well into a plain cupcake – after all there’s more to a cupcake than just the butter-cream frosting and I believe that people would enjoy the ‘cake’ of the cupcake a lot more this way!
I have attempted to make cupcakes using vegetable oil-based recipes instead of butter-based in the past but they did not taste right. In my opinion, the non-butter recipes works for muffins due to its construction. There is no butter-cream frosting on muffins thus making the cake itself taking all of the spotlight. Muffins usually have other ingredients being mixed into the batter such as carrots and apples, their flavours usually takes over the majority of the muffin. Whereas cupcakes are not so forgiving. It is also weird to add complex consistencies into a cupcake as the butter-cream frosting is usually the spotlight of the dessert. Therefore, cupcakes should always be butter based and adding solid components to the cake portion should be avoided.
Verdict: I like how fragrant the cupcakes turned out to be and how spongy they were. In my opinion, I would opt out the butter cream because I personally find it too rich. I used it this time because it holds up better and looks better in pictures. Next time I plan to do a variation and make earl grey whipped cream to go on top of the cupcakes. This will be a lighter option yet still tasty option.
Yield: 14 cupcakes
125g unsalted butter
120g all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2 tbsp earl grey creme leaves (this is enough for the cupcake and buttercream)
75g salted butter (room temp)
75g unsalted butter (room temp)
325g icing sugar
4 tbsp earl grey milk
Heat the milk on medium heat. When it starts boiling, add the tea leaves in and let it boil for 1 minute. Then turn the heat to low, and allow it to simmer for another 3 minutes. Then strain the tea leaves and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Whisk the eggs with 3.5 tbsp of earl grey milk. Then add it to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the butter mixture and beat until combined.
Divide the batter evenly into a lined cupcake pan.
Bake for approximately 12-13 minutes or when a toothpick is inserted, it comes out clean.
Beat the butter with an electric mixer for a few minutes until pale.
Sift in half of the icing sugar and mix until combined.
Then add in the other half of the icing sugar and continue mixing.
Add 4tbsp of earl grey milk and mix until combined.
Pipe the buttercream using a Wilson 2D or 1M pipe on top of cooled cupcakes.
Recipe adapted from Cupcake Jemma.
*Note: The tea leaves are from Teavana. You can substitute by using 3 teabags.