Earl Grey Cupcakes


Everyone loves a cup of tea, and those who don’t… well I simply don’t trust them.  As my fiancee delves deeper into his love of coffee I find myself drinking more exotic and exciting teas in a vain attempt to tempt him away from his espresso machine.  My cupboards are bulging with dozens of different varieties, loose leaf, bags, flowering you name it, I have it!  Even with all of these colourful and tasty teas adorning my shelves I always come back to the same two favorites, a good old cup of builders brew (you can’t beat it) and a steaming cup of Earl Grey.

I’ve made these cupcakes tonnes of times and they never disappoint.  Delicately scented they’re the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon curled up with your favorite book and a beautiful cup of their namesakes tea.

Earl Grey Cupcakes
(from Primrose Bakery)

125 ml milk
4 Earl Grey tea bags (or you could sub with your favorite variety)
110g unsalted butter
225g granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ tsp almond essence (optional)
125g self-rising flour
120g plain flour


115g unsalted butter at room temperature
60 ml semi skimmed milk
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
500g icing sugar
Few drops of lilac food colouring


Preheat oven to 180c/ gas mark 4.  Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.  

Heat milk in a saucepan over a medium heat until it begins to boil. Remove from the heat and add teabags. Cover with a lid for about 30 minutes.

Cream butter with sugar in a bowl until the mixture is pale and smooth. I found this took quite a long time because of the quantity of sugar.  Add almond extract and eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Scrape bowl with a spatula to make sure that the mixture is well combined.

Combine the flours in a separate bowl. Add a third of the flour to the butter and sugar mixture and beat well. Pour in a third of the milk/tea mixture and beat. Repeat until all the flour and milk has been added.

Carefully spoon mixture into cupcake cases, filling each one two-thirds full.  Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Test to see if they are cooked. Leave in tins for 10 minutes, then place on wire rack to cool.

To make butter cream, beat butter, milk, vanilla and half the icing sugar until smooth.

Gradually add the rest of icing sugar to produce a creamy and smooth consistency. Add a drop of colouring and beat thoroughly. When cool, ice the cupcakes with a generous swirl and sprinkle with a little extra granulated sugar.


  1. that kate
    May 6, 2011 / 3:42 pm

    They look great and those flowers in the background are so colourful! Wonderful photographs!

  2. are you dressing up or dressing down
    May 6, 2011 / 4:49 pm

    lush photos, they're too pretty to eat.Helen, Xareyoudressingupordressingdown.blogspot.com

  3. jessica january
    May 6, 2011 / 5:24 pm

    oooh lovely! i think i may try it with lady grey, i love that hint of citrus!january, x jessicajanuary.com

  4. ABowlOfMush
    May 6, 2011 / 5:32 pm

    These sound gorgeous! I love Earl Grey in desserts, I recently made Lavender Earl Grey Scones!My husband loves his coffee as well, but I will always be a tea girl ­čÖé

  5. Suelle
    May 6, 2011 / 6:36 pm

    What a pretty colour these are!

  6. C
    May 6, 2011 / 6:54 pm

    They look beautiful. I've made that recipe too, and the flavour is lovely, really subtle. Although I'm one of those people you just don't trust – I'm not much of a fan of tea but these cupcakes are great. I've made quite a lot out of the Primrose Bakery book and haven't had a failure yet!

  7. daisychain
    May 6, 2011 / 7:03 pm

    I am yet to bake with tea…gonna fix that for sure!

  8. Janice
    May 6, 2011 / 7:56 pm

    They are beautiful. The first gift my husband gave me (before we were married) was a tin of 'Gunpowder Green' Tea! However, we have rather gone over to the 'dark' side and drink more coffee now.

  9. Manderley
    May 6, 2011 / 10:11 pm

    Se ven deliciosos!Regards

  10. Rachel
    May 6, 2011 / 11:45 pm

    Earl Grey is my go to stress tea, if my fiance walks in and i'm drinking a large mug of it he knows things are a tad on the hard side. but it always makes me feel better!Rachelxoxohttp://procrastinatingrachel.blogspot.com/

  11. Fabulicious Food
    May 7, 2011 / 10:46 am

    These look SO pretty and delicate. Very sophisticated cupcakes! I found your blog through Channel 4 -what a lovely write-up! Ren x

  12. Lora
    May 7, 2011 / 5:02 pm

    Just gorgeous cupcakes. I love the Early Grey flavor.

  13. Rachel
    May 7, 2011 / 6:06 pm

    Oh my god these look absolutely incredible – you're so good at decorating!!!

  14. Helen
    May 8, 2011 / 12:32 pm

    I made early grey cupcakes just yesterday! I used the hummingbird bakery recipe though from their new book. Would be interesting to maybe do them both and do a taste test? I felt that the cake on mine wasn't really earl grey-ey enough, could have been stronger. They would be delicious with lady grey too though.

  15. Anonymous
    May 8, 2011 / 12:44 pm

    I'm not sure I could eat these, they're way too beautiful!

  16. MissCakeBaker
    May 8, 2011 / 3:24 pm

    These are so beautiful!

  17. Holly Jones
    May 8, 2011 / 6:19 pm

    Your photographs are beautiful. Very please I came across your blog :)Hollywww.hereshesat.blogspot.com

  18. Jo
    May 8, 2011 / 8:49 pm

    Goodness, you are one talented miss! I'm not much of a tea fan, but I don't think I could resist those cupcakes!xwww.lostinthehaze.com

  19. PinkBow
    May 9, 2011 / 7:05 pm

    mmm, these look too good. i've seen them quite a bit recently, i love earl grey tea so would love these i know.and don't you find the same things in charity shops? i'll buy something and then start to see it everywhere i go! this must be the case with our tea-pot ­čśë

  20. cooking contests
    May 12, 2011 / 3:27 pm

    I love teas too! Mostly herbal teas… especially if it has chamomile! I'm not sure how a chamomile tea would translate in a cupcake. Have you tried it? ~Nancy Lewis~

  21. liza
    May 14, 2011 / 1:49 am

    These look and sound amazing. They're so pretty though, I would feel terrible about ruining their loveliness when I ate them!xx

  22. Harriet
    May 14, 2011 / 9:56 am

    OMG nom! These definitely fall in to the 'almost too good to eat' category! Somehow I'd manage it though!

  23. BP
    May 14, 2011 / 7:35 pm

    These look STUNNING! ­čśÇ

  24. H. Fogarty
    May 15, 2011 / 6:54 pm

    Beautiful photographs and these sound absolutely delicious, I love the taste and smell of earl grey, I'll definitely be giving these a try! ­čśÇ

  25. Gloria
    May 16, 2011 / 2:01 am

    Katie are amazing and beauty!!! you are a master I havev to learn with you!! Im following you right now! LOL

  26. Anonymous
    May 16, 2011 / 6:50 am

    What beautiful cakes! I love the generous amount of frosting you use – absolutely a must :-)I love tea in cupcakes too and have even made eclairs with green tea filling – totally delicious.

  27. Anonymous
    May 16, 2011 / 6:50 am

    What beautiful cakes! I love the generous amount of frosting you use – absolutely a must :-)I love tea in cupcakes too and have even made eclairs with green tea filling – totally delicious.

  28. SaraG83
    May 17, 2011 / 3:57 pm

    I'd like to be so able ­čÖé

  29. tea_and_manga
    May 18, 2011 / 1:50 pm

    Wow! I'm definitely going to give these a go, although my icing skills are nowhere near as good as yours!Love the idea of using tea in a cakexx

  30. Caf├ę Fanatic
    May 19, 2011 / 3:25 pm

    Thank you for shaing this recipe-I tried it out a few days ago (they looked so gorgeous in yor pics I couldn't resist!). Was my first time making cupcakes so they weren't as good as yours, but I'll def try it again! I too am an avid tea collector-I think my husband secretly groans every time I find a new variety to buy-the cupboard is getting pretty full!

  31. Janna Renee
    May 22, 2011 / 3:38 pm

    i just heard of using tea like this! it seems so brilliant!! I just ordered some lavender extract that would go nicely with this!

  32. Stephanie Joanna
    May 23, 2011 / 2:08 am

    ooooohhh my gosh! Earl Grey cupcakes? Are you kidding? I'll be trying this recipe out this week for sure ­čÖé

  33. hannah kate stevens
    July 20, 2011 / 12:01 pm

    Just made these and they are delicious! Only problem is that I somewhat overfilled my cake cases and ran out of icing sugar when it came to ice them so the mix was a little wet. Either way .. absolutely lovely! And luckily my other half doesn't drink coffee so we will both very much enjoy these earl grey cakes!

  34. KatieNelson
    August 27, 2011 / 2:18 pm

    Made these today, but used vanilla essence instead of almond and I didn't make any icing. Got a whole tray full of massive cupcakes! They were absolutely delicious and came out just right! We had them with our afternoon tea ­čśë

  35. Haley McAdams
    October 10, 2011 / 9:43 am

    Hey katie! It's me again! This is absolutely fantastic! I have to say your baking skills is also good as your photography skills! BTW are those flower frostings?

  36. Pauline
    April 22, 2012 / 6:22 am

    Your icing skills are excellent! Great photographs! :Dchibichomps.blogspot.com

  37. Unknown
    February 13, 2016 / 5:57 pm

    Made them and love them! But do I need to keep them in the fridge because of the dairy in the frosting?

  38. Unknown
    February 13, 2016 / 5:58 pm

    Made them and love them! But do I need to keep them in the fridge because of the dairy in the frosting?

    • Katie Deacon
      February 14, 2016 / 9:35 am

      Hi there,No need to keep in the fridge, the sugar in the frosting acts as a preservative. Cakes dry out and go gross if kept in the fridge.Katie xoxo

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