Make & Do: Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes

hummingbird-earl-grey-cupcake-heroJust in time for Easter weekend spreads, the lovely team at Hummingbird Bakery in London has loaned us their Earl Grey Tea Cupcake recipe.

Earl Grey tea has a lovely bergamot flavour that gives these cupcakes a subtle edge. Variations can be made using herbal and fruit teas….

Makes 12-16 cupcakes

For the sponge:

3 Earl Grey teabags

3 tbsp just-boiled water

3 oz unsalted butter, softened

10 oz caster sugar

8 ½ oz plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

7 oz whole milk

2 large eggs

For the frosting:

1 ¾ oz whole milk

1lb 2oz icing sugar

5 ½ oz unsalted butter, softened

One or two 12-hole deep muffin tins

Peppermint tea cupcakes: Make as above but use 3 peppermint teabags instead of Earl Grey.

Fruit tea cupcakes: Make as above, but with 3 fruit teabags of your choice, such as summer fruits, mixed berry, strawberry or raspberry, and top the frosted cupcakes with fruit to match, such as summer berries or slices of fresh strawberry.


  • Place the teabags in a bowl and add the just-boiled water, then leave to brew for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°, and line a muffin tin with muffin cases. Use a hand-held electric whisk or freestanding electric mixer with paddle attachment to mix the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt on a low speed until the texture of fine breadcrumbs.
  • Pour the milk into a jug, add the eggs and whisk by hand. Add the brewed tea, squeezing every last drop from the teabags into the milk mixture, then set the teabags aside for the frosting.
  • Pour three-quarters of the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix on a low speed to combine. Then mix on a medium speed until smooth and thick. Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the remaining milk mixture and beat until all the ingredients have come together and the batter is smooth.
  • Divide the batter between the paper cases, filling each two-thirds full. If there is batter left over, spoon it into more cases in a separate tin. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until risen and springy to the touch, then leave to cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully.
  • While the cupcakes are cooking, place the used teabags in a small bowl with the milk for the frosting and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the teabags and give them a good squeeze to extract maximum flavour.
  • Using the electric whisk or freestanding mixer with paddle attachment, whisk the icing sugar with the butter on a low speed until no large lumps of butter remain and the mixture is still powdery. Pour in the tea-infused milk while mixing slowly, then increase the speed to high and whisk until soft and fluffy.
  • Divide the frosting between the cold cupcakes, smoothing the tops and swirling with a palette knife.