Thursday, 30 June 2011

Time for Tea Cupcakes

As a lover of flavoured teas I've always tried to come up with inventive ways to incorporate them in my baking somehow and after many (and some disastrous!) attempts I came up with these delicious cupcakes. Using flavoured tea in this recipe is similar to adding traditional vanilla extract, but they add a delicate fragrance, sweetness and hint of what the French call je n'ai sais quoi that you won't find in traditional flavourings.

Another great thing about using flavoured teas is the array of almost limitless possibilities. Here I made four different varieties; Earl Grey, Strawberry and Raspberry, White Tea with Vanilla and Green Tea with Manuka Honey, but you can use whatever you fancy! The flavour is aromatic and subtle rather than empowering and you can use the same tea flavour and some food colouring to make a scrumptious frosting; they really do make for a tasty, slightly unusual, but absolutely tantalising treat.

Time for Tea Cupcakes


100g self-raising flour
100g golden caster sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
100g unsalted butter, melted
1 tea bag, flavour of your choice
100ml boiling water

For the frosting

175g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter, softened
4tsp tea, from 100ml above

Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3 and line a 6 hole muffin tin with paper cases. Take your tea bag and place in a mug, pour over the boiling water and leave to one side to cool.

In a large bowl sift in the flour, add the sugar and salt and mix. In a smaller bowl beat the eggs together, make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the eggs and butter. Add 4-5 teaspoons of the cold tea and mix everything together until smooth.

Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases and place on the top shelf of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and test with a skewer which should come out clean, don’t worry if they look a bit pale. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile to make the frosting sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the butter and mix slowly until it begins to come together then beat until smooth. Add 4 teaspoons of the tea from what you have leftover and mix, now is the time to add a few drops of food colouring if you like.

When the cupcakes are completely cold use a palette knife to top each cake with frosting and serve.

Belle's Top Tip
Don't be afraid to experiment with different flavoured teas and coloured frostings. Clipper and Twinings do some great ranges so how about Cherry & Cinnamon with red frosting or Blackcurrant & Acai Berry with a purple as subtle or as daring as you like!