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Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

Rebecca Lindamood
These lightly Earl Grey flavoured, super-moist cupcakes are topped with a fluffy lemony buttercream. Serve these for afternoon tea or as an elegant dessert. If you want to amp up the Earl Grey presence a little more, you can use some of the chilled, infused milk in the buttercream in place of the heavy cream.


Ingredients for Earl Grey Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Lemon Buttercream:

  • 1 stick 8 tablespoons or 4 ounces by weight butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups 1 pound, by weight powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream or chilled infused Earl Grey whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract


To Make the Cupcakes:

  • Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Scald the milk (heat until it is steaming and many tiny bubbles have formed in the milk around the edge of the pan. Add the tea bags, remove the pan from the heat and put the lid in place. Let the milk cool to room temperature like this. When the milk is cool, squeeze the excess liquid from the tea bags and discard them. Measure one cup plus 2 tablespoons of the cooled infused milk and reserve the rest.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a mixing bowl with an electric hand-held mixer) beat together the butter and sugar until lighter in colour and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat well.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter/egg/sugar. Beat on low just until combined. Add about 1/3 of the infused milk that you measured. Again, beat just until combined, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and repeat -flour, milk, flour, milk- until both flour and milk are completely incorporated.
  • Line 24 muffin/cupcake wells with cupcake liners and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Fill the liners about 2/3 full of cupcake batter.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until they spring back when pressed lightly or a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

To Make the Lemon Buttercream:

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer) beat the butter on high until it is light and fluffy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar until incorporated. Then, with the mixer on high, whisk in the cream or infused milk and the lemon extract until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Use an offset spatula to smear the buttercream on the cupcakes or load it into a pastry bag with a big tip to pipe on the frosting.

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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