Earl Grey Cupcakes

This morning I decided to bake cupcakes again. This time, Earl Grey. I wasn’t looking for something challenging but something different. I liked the smell of Earl Grey Tea and wondered what it would be like in a cupcake. I didn’t think it would go as bad as Lavender-flavoured ones. Unfortunately the only Earl Grey tea available in my house was my mother’s decaffeinated, light flavoured ones so I used them. The results turned out to be surprising.

As you may see from pictures below, I used different baking cups this time round. I had purchased these free-standing cups yesterday and was eager to try them out. No muffin trays were needed and they looked so neat and pretty. On the other hand, a major pain to eat. How does one eat using these? Seriously. I found myself using my fingers halfway through to gorge out the content. So crude and untidy. Plus I too bought an ice-cream scoop at the same time. Martha Stewart uses them. 🙂 And the cupcakes were more evenly sized so I was extremely pleased.

On to the flavour. At first bite I could not taste the Earl Grey but it came subtly. As I chewed my first bite, I could taste faintly the Earl Grey and I liked it. I liked that the flavour wasn’t overpowering and that the flavour came out so slowly. My sister and mum said I could do with a stronger Earl Grey taste. Next time. 🙂

I also decided to top the cupcakes off with Vanilla Buttercream. I was determined to master a frosting and my buttercream turned out to be so light and delicious. I almost could not stop myself from licking up all of them in the mixing bowl. Although it was too powering for the subtle-flavoured cupcakes.

For now, enjoy the recipe after the jump.

Earl Grey Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. Earl Grey tea (I used 1 bag and didn’t measure. I might add more next time.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, making sure they are thoroughly combined before adding the next one.
  4. Mix together the dry ingredients, including the tea.
  5. Beat in half of the dry mixture with the wet, then add the milk and the rest of the dry mixture, stirring until just combined.
  6. Line the cupcake pan with 12 cups and fill them about two-thirds full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool thoroughly before frosting.

Classic Buttercream Frosting
Makes enough to frost a 9″ cake or approximately 24 cupcakes

1 cup confectioner’s sugar (or granulated sugar, or a combination of the two)
6 egg yolks, room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tablespoon pieces, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon flavorings, like vanilla, almond extract, or liqueurs

  1. Beat the sugar and eggs on medium-high speed until they turn a lemon-yellow color and you get a very thick ribbon.
  2. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition.
  3. When all the butter has been incorporated, add the flavorings.
  4. Buttercream is easier to work with when it’s room temperature. If you’re making it ahead of time, store it in the fridge and allow time for it to come up to room temperature before proceeding with frosting. If the buttercream is very stiff, even at room temperature, try beating in a few tablespoons of whole milk or heavy cream.
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