I have been looking forward to today’s post because it was inspired by and requested from a reader/friend! During my Jane Austen seminar class in college, one of our “tasks” (which was really more like the best assignment I could possibly imagine) was to view film adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels. The purpose was to see how modern audiences interpreted Austen’s novels. Some of the interpretations were pretty hilarious, including, a Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice, “Bride and Prejudice.” The film is absolutely terrible but I would actually recommend it if only to get a good laugh at the Bollywood interpretation of Mr. Collins–he is, in any culture, completely ridiculous.
To get us through some of the more pathetic interpretations of Jane’s work, one group meeting I made Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes. I had actually forgotten about them so when Jordan mentioned I should post about the treats I jumped at the chance!
I’m actually not the biggest tea fan. I like the occasional cup but my main squeeze in the caffeine category is definitely coffee. I absolutely adore these little cakes though so regardless of whether you give a nose-crinkle at the mention of Earl Grey, give these a try!
Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes
- 1/2 cup 2% milk at room temp.
- 4 Earl Grey teabags
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp.
- 1 cup plus 2 tbls granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tbls self-rising flour
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 16 oz. heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
There are two ways to approach a tea-infused batter. One way, is to actually pour the ground tea straight into the batter. The other way is to steep the tea-bags in some hot-milk and then add the liquid to the batter. I’ve tried both ways and the liquid gave me a stronger flavor but nothing overpowering. If you want something quicker though, just tossing in the tea works as well.
If you want to try steeping the tea, heat 1/2 cup milk until just boiling and then turn off the heat and add the teabags. The recipe said to leave them in for about 30 minutes. I only let them sit for about 15 minutes though and the batter was still very flavorful.
- Cream the butter and sugar together for about 3-5 min. on an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time and mix after each addition:
- Sift the two flours together and then alternate between pouring the flour mixture and the infused milk into the sugar, butter, and egg mixture. (confession: I like seeing the little tea-bits in the batter so even though I used infused milk, I also added about half a tea-bag of the actual ground tea)
- Spoon the batter into a lined muffin pan and fill each cup about two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for anywhere from 22-25 minutes until golden brown and you’re done!
For the icing, the recipe called for a vanilla buttercream but I chose just to do a simpler, homemade whip-cream topping. Just pour the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla together and put the electric mixer on high until it gets stiff. I added a little blue and red food coloring to get a lavender color. If you don’t like whip-cream, you could do a cream cheese frosting too and it would be delicious. Of course, when I was all finished I had to make a cup of tea to go with them:
I got my recipe from Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas’s book Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery. I tweaked a few things like the icing, throwing in the ground tea, and leaving out some almond extract. I thoroughly enjoyed my version. It’s a very unusual flavor I’m sure you’ll love even if you aren’t a tea-lover. Jordan loved it and remembered it over a year later! I’m so happy I made them last night because today is a cloudy Thursday and has the perfect conditions for a little tea in the cupcake form.
– <3 A.