These Earl Grey Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream are perfect for the tea lover in your life!
I got my love for tea from my grandmother. She enjoyed a cup every morning with her breakfast. Never coffee. Always tea. Preferably with some kind of sweet bun on the side.
Of all the teas I’ve tried, my favorite has always been Earl Grey. It’s a black tea base that’s flavored with oil from the bergamot orange, which is a citrus fruit that’s somewhat of a cross in flavor and appearance between an orange, a lemon, a lime and grapefruit.
I’ve been dying to bake with it for quite a while. One of my fellow bloggers, Joanne from Olive & Mango, inspired me recently with her Brown Butter Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. (Insanely delicious and totally worth a try!)
So thanks to Joanne, today we’ll be feasting on Earl Grey Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream.
I’ve flavored these little beauties with some Earl Grey tea leaves that I finely ground, and I also infused some milk with a few Earl Grey tea bags that I added to the batter.
I tested this recipe with a few different measurements to make sure the flavor was spot on. I wanted us to taste it, yet not have it be overpowering.
I decided on four tea bags that have been steeped in milk for 20 minutes and then squeezed to get every last bit of flavor. I also added three teaspoons of Earl Grey tea leaves that I finely ground in my coffee grinder.
I topped the cupcakes with some vanilla bean buttercream, which works wonderfully. It’s smooth and creamy with flecks of vanilla seeds that you’ll have a hard time eating right from the bowl.
But you know what? When I tested the cupcakes without the buttercream, they were amazing plain too. More of an excuse to enjoy them not only for dessert, but perhaps for breakfast too.
A Few Cook’s Notes for Earl Grey Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Recipe:
I used my coffee grinder to grind the tea leaves until they were finely ground.
I made sure to squeeze every bit of liquid I could from the tea bags for extra flavor, then I used 2/3 cup of the Earl Grey infused milk for the recipe.
I used a whole vanilla bean for the vanilla bean buttercream. If you only have vanilla extract, you can substitute two teaspoons.
I hope y’all enjoy these little beauties as much as I do! I know my Gram would have loved them too! Enjoy!
And a special thank you to all my fellow amazing food bloggers out there who inspire me every day! I’ve learned so much from each and every one of you!
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp. Earl Grey tea leaves, finely ground
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk
- 4 Earl Grey tea bags
- 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, seed scraped
- 2-4 Tbsp. heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, finely ground tea leaves, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, bring milk to a simmer. Do not boil. When milk is at a simmer, add tea bags, cover and remove from heat. Let steep for 20 minutes. When done steeping, add 2/3 cup of the milk to a measuring cup.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add egg and mix until well blended. Add vanilla and beat an additional 1 minute.
With a spatula add the flour mixture until just combined, then add the 2/3 cup milk being careful not to over mix.
Spoon batter into liners about 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. After cupcakes are totally cooled, frost with vanilla bean buttercream.
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine butter and sugar. Beat on low speed until blended, about one minute. Add the vanilla bean seeds and heavy cream, starting with two tablespoons, and increase speed to medium and continue to beat for 4 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add more heavy cream if needed to get to desired spreading consistency.