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Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lavender Buttercream

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These Earl Grey Cupcakes are dense and flavorful! Slather on this rich and decadent lavender buttercream frosting recipe for a perfect treat for tea parties and more!

cupcake with purple frosting on small plate

This cupcake does not disappoint. Soft and delicate, but not overly moist, with just the right amount of earl grey to neither overpower you or be too weak. And the lavender buttercream is the perfect frosting that pairs so beautifully with the bergamot in the tea! 

Its a lovely bespeckled (Is that a word? I kinda like it. Bespeckled.) cupcake that I am sure you will love eating!

overhead view of wire rack with purple frosting

Love Earl Grey? Try these other Earl Grey flavored Recipes:

small plates with cupcakes with lavender buttercream and fork taking bite out
This post contains affiliate links.
Earl Grey tea (affiliate link) has to be one of my all time favorite teas. And one of my favorites is a variety of Earl Grey from a shop called Plum Deluxe. They have an Earl Grey blend that I am head over heels in love with. The traditional bergamont oil is smoothed out by adding vanilla, a touch of lavender, and it also has these beautiful blue dried cornflower petals in it. It makes for a really smooth cup of tea!
wire cooling rack with cupcakes

How to Make Earl Grey Cupcakes

These cupcakes are fun and easy to make! They get a double punch of earl grey flavor with both tea leaves in the batter and tea-brewed milk! For the full recipe, keep scrolling down!
  1. The recipe starts with great tea! You will need 3 Tablespoons of loose leaf or three tea bags. If you are using teabags, remove the tea from 2 of the bags and grind with a food processor or a mortar and pestle until they are finer pieces. You don’t want powder, but you don’ want it so chunky that you chew bits of leaf your cupcake.
  2. Place the milk in a small saucepan. Add the remaining tea, and when the milk comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and allow to cool and steep.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each.
  5. In a second bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and the loose tea.
  6. Strain out the tea leaves from the now cool milk-tea.
  7. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk tea to the butter/sugar mixture, stirring until just combined. Do not over stir or you will make your cupcakes dense and hard.
  8. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared cupcake tins, about 2/3 full.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Cool completely, and then frost with lemon buttercream (recipe below). 
This recipe only makes 12 cupcakes, and you will definitely wish that you had made more, so go ahead and make a double batch! 

Recipe Note: 

However much you want to, do not squeeze every last drop of tea steeped milk from the tea bags. I know, you want to. But its a bad idea! Tea leaves contain high levels of tannic acid, and the liquid inside the tea bag has the highest concentration of tannins. By squeezing your tea bag, you release these tannic acids into your tea, causing it to be more bitter, more sour, and more acidic. This isn’t an issue with loose leaf as you aren’t squeezing the liquid out of that, either. 

collage with steps to make cupcakes

How to make Lavender Buttercream

For this beautifully floral frosting recipe, you need special culinary lavender (affiliate link). This is special dried lavender that is a special variety of lavender with a light and floral taste that is also harvested, dried, and cleaned with eating them in mind. You can purchase it online or at speciality grocery stores.

You can use the remaining lavender to make iced lemon lavender cookies and lavender blueberry cheesecake bars.

To highlight the purple color of the lavender, I wanted to color the frosting a delicate purple, too. Instead of using food coloring, I used a special super color powder from SunCore Foods (I used the Lilac Taro Yam) (affiliate). You can use food coloring if you like, but I love these powders because they blend in so effortlessly and are so beautiful! Plus they are all natural!

  1. Using a food processor or spice grinder, grind the dried lavender into small pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add in the vanilla, lavender, and a pinch of salt.
  4. Add in the powdered sugar and mix until combined.
  5. Add in the milk, a small amount at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
  6. Frost the cupcakes as desired!
overhead view of cupcakes with fork and bite

Other great cake recipes:

cupcakes with lavendar buttercream

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Yield: 12 cupcakes

Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lavender Buttercream

earl grey cupcakes with lavender buttercream frosting

These Earl Grey Cupcakes are tender and flavorful and topped with a luscious lavender buttercream frosting. Perfect for any tea party!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Earl Grey Cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp loose Earl Grey tea, divided, or 3 teabags (although loose leaf will give you much better flavor! But use what you have.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Lavender Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons dried lavender
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk

Instructions

Earl Grey Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Prepare 12 cupcake cups, either by greasing them or using liners.
  3. With a mortar and pestle, or a food processor, grind your tea (take it out of the bags if you are using pre-bagged tea) until you get smaller pieces, but not quite powder. You don't want to chew your cupcake, but you do want to be able to see little speckles of the tea.
  4. In a small saucepan, place one tea bag (or 1 tbsp loose leaf tea) into the milk and warm slightly.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat before the milk simmers, and allow it to steep, and the milk to cool.
  6. In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each one.
  8. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and tea.
  9. Add half of the dry mixture to your batter.
  10. Add the milk (with the tea bag removed or the loose leaf tea strained out) and then add the remaining dry ingredients.
  11. Stir until just combined, but do not overstir!!!
  12. Divide the batter evenly amongst the pan, so that each well is about 2/3 full.
  13. Bake 20 minutes.
  14. Allow to cool completely before frosting

Lavender Buttercream Frosting:

    1. Using a food processor or spice grinder, grind the dried lavender into small pieces.
    2. In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
    3. Add in the vanilla, lavender, and a pinch of salt.
    4. Add in the powdered sugar and mix until combined.
    5. Add in the milk, a small amount at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
    6. Frost the cupcakes as desired!

Enjoy!

Notes

If using teabags, do not squeeze the excess liquid out of the teabags. This causes excess tannins to be released into the liquid, causing the tea to be extra bitter and sour.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 263mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 1gSugar: 48gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram, and don't forget to tag #gingeredwhisk.

 
bowl of earl grey tea
cupcake with bite taken out
two cupcakes with frosting
close up of earl grey cupcake with frosting
two cupcakes with frosting
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