Last weekend, a bunch of my friends and I got together to go day drinking in celebration of my birthday and patio season! Naturally this meant that I was bringing baking of sorts. I settled on cupcakes for logistic reasons, AKA smaller container, fewer utensils, and ease of distribution among my friends. The only question was “What kind of cupcakes should I bring?”. Naturally I consulted my favourite baking blogs, and came across a recipe for Lavender Earl Grey Cupcakes on SprinkleBakes. I love early grey tea, but I did the whole lavender thing last year when I made a Strawberry & Lavender Buttermilk Cake from Sweetapolita. I really wanted to go with something based on tea, and somehow my brain came up with the brilliant idea to make cupcakes based off of a London Fog!
If you are unfamiliar with London Fogs, you are missing out. They are the combined deliciousness of vanilla and Earl Grey tea steeped in milk. They are absolutely wonderful. Go have one. Now.
Two of my absolute favourite things, tea and cupcakes 🙂
I did make a few modifications to the recipe posted on SprinkleBakes, because that recipe was actually based off of a Lavender-Honey Cupcake recipe from Better Homes & Gardens. I didn’t want to get the honey flavour, so I took it out of the cake and used a different frosting recipe. Because the cake would be tea flavoured, the frosting needed to be vanilla for these to be legitimate London Fog cupcakes. I went straight for Swiss Meringue Buttercream because it’s less sweet, and I wanted a strong vanilla flavour without too much sweetness. I got my recipe from Sweetapolita, but I’ve had it for so long that I don’t remember exactly where on her blog I got it… She has a really good post explaining the technique behind SMB, linked here, which is really helpful.
Because I made these concurrently with the Peanut Butter Chocolate Birthday Cake, I made a really big batch of SMB and used ~ half for each recipe.
Also, post 100? Say whaaaa!
London Fog Cupcakes
Earl Grey Tea Cake:
- 2/3 cup milk
- 4-5 Earl Grey tea bags (I used vanilla Earl Grey)
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- The night before, heat the milk in a small sauce pan until it is very hot without boiling. Add the tea bags and allow to steep. (You can do this step day of as well, allowing ~10-12 minutes for steeping. The tea flavour will just be less pronounced)
Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line forty-eight 1-¾-inch muffin cups or eighteen 2- ½-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and tea-milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until mixture is combined.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes for 1-¾-inch cupcakes (or 16 to 18 minutes for 2-½-inch cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 10 minutes.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- 10 large, fresh egg whites (300 g)
- 2-½ cups (500 g) sugar
- 3 cups (680 g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and cool, but not cold
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (20 ml) pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- With a paper towel, wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with lemon juice.
- Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of hot water (if you’re lazy like me, you just put all of it in a pot on the stove and heat gently). Heat, whisking constantly, until 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer, or until all the sugar is melted.
- With the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until thick and glossy, and the bowl is a neutral temperature when touched (it took a really long time for my bowl to cool, to the point where I just turned off my mixer because it was actually getting hot).
- Add cubes of butter a few at a time, beating with the paddle attachment in between additions.
- Add vanilla and salt, beating until combined (this is where I split the batch of frosting, so the next two steps are only for a half batch of this recipe).
- Add extra vanilla and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.