Why just drink your tea when you can eat it too? This recipe for Earl Grey cupcakes with honey buttercream frosting lets you do just that!
We own 3 different kinds of coffee maker in this house (stovetop espresso, French press, and pour over), so you’d think both the Godfather and I are coffee people. Not so. He’s the resident coffee-lover, and I am resident tea hoarder. I do enjoy coffee, but tea has so much variety and is so versatile! You can drink it or bake with it! In fact, the idea for these earl grey cupcakes with honey buttercream frosting came to me over an afternoon cup, and I’m rather proud of them. The tea flavor is subtle, balances nicely with the frosting, and they’re just so cute in mini form!
I actually prefer these cupcakes as minis and would recommend baking them that way because the honey frosting is pretty sweet. If you really like sweet frosting, this probably won’t be an issue for you, but as someone who prefers a more tempered sweetness to dessert, bite size is best unless you just spread on the frosting. The swirl of frosting is just so pretty on a cupcake!
To achieve the earl grey flavor, I just used the tea blend I had on hand. If you have single serve bags, you’ll get about 2 teaspoons of tea per bag. Loose leaf tends to run a bit larger depending on brand, so if your tea leaves are on the big side, crush them or pulse them a few times in a food processor to break them down a bit.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! It’s perfect for gatherings or just warming up a dreary afternoon. 😉
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 c neutral-flavored oil
- 2 whole eggs
- 3 bags Earl Grey tea, about 4 tsp loose tea
- 2 cups whole milk
Honey Lemon Frosting
- 1 lb butter, softened
- 5-6 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- zest from 1 lemon
- Warm the milk to just under a simmer in a small saucepan or in the microwave and steep 2 of the tea bags for 5 minutes before removing. Set the milk aside (or in the refrigerator) to cool a bit.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F, line 5 dozen mini cupcake wells with paper liners
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients in a smaller mixing bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Use a small cookie scoop or tablespoon measuring spoon to portion the batter into the prepared cupcake pans. Bake for 14 minutes until the cupcakes centers just spring back when lightly touched. If you are baking full sized cupcakes, bake for 20-22 minutes.
- Move the cupcakes to a wire cooling rack to cool.
- Make the frosting by beating the softened butter and lemon zest on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add 5 cups of the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Stir in the honey and lemon juice, then add the additional cup of sugar, 2 tbsp at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and enjoy!