This was another recipe I made for my new paid gig! It was really fun to come up with this recipe, I had a lot of inspiration from my friend Tara who made very involved Cup O’ Tea Cupcakes (Earl Grey cupcake with Lavender Buttercream (it also had homemade fresh coconut, lemon-rind, and blueberry ice cream, and white chocolate topping, as well as crystallized lavender blossoms. She’s amazing!)), and so I wanted to make my own Earl Grey cupcakes. Here’s my take on the Cup O’ Tea Cupcake!
I made an Earl Grey cupcake, adapting my favorite basic cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World…Simply, I steeped Earl Grey tea bags in my almond milk before using in the recipe, and threw in some ground tea leaves as well as lemon and orange rind into the batter (then you get pretty dark dots of black tea and yellow and orange zest sparkles in the cupcake!). Since lemon and tea go together so well, I decided on a Lemon Buttercream frosting, and piped that on the top in a pretty design. From above, the frosting resembled chrysanthemum flowers, so that’s how the cupcakes got their name…I also added a chocolate topper, which was melted chocolate that I drizzled onto parchment paper and refridgerated until it was hardened, then I broke up the drizzles into pretty shapes and placed them on top of the frosting for an elegant (but easy!) look.
Here’s my recipe:
Cupcake Batter Ingredients:
1 cup almond milk
5 Earl Grey tea bags
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Pour almond milk into a small saucepan. Heat on the stove until nearly boiling, then place 4 of the tea bags in the milk, and remove pot from heat. Cover and let tea steep for 10 minutes. When fully steeped, whisk in the vinegar, and set aside for a few minutes to get good and curdled.
Beat together the almond milk mixture, oil, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Open the remaining tea bag, and in a spice grinder, grind the tea leaves till they resemble a fine powder. Add 1 1/4 teaspoons of this Earl Grey powder to your dry mix. In two batches, add the dry mix to the wet, and mix until no large lumps remain. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, till a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes sit in the pan for 5 minutes to settle before transferring to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before frosting.
Lemon Buttercream Ingredients:
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegan shortening
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/8-1/4 cup almond milk
For the frosting, cream together the shortening and margarine until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the lemon juice, and zest, and continue creaming. Slowly add the almond milk until the frosting reaches your desired consistency, and beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy. Spread or pipe onto the tops of your cupcakes in whatever design you choose.