Pipe Dream #143: To Not Wear It Out – Earl Grey Cupcakes

Earl Grey tea is such a treat. I don’t even let myself buy it, because I’m afraid I’ll wear it out and not appreciate it. Once, when I was like, 10, I was telling my grandpa how much I loved Cool Whip. I said something ridiculously gluttonous and over dramatic like, “I just want to eat the whole bowl!”

And he said, “If you ate the whole bowl, you would be sick of Cool Whip. You wouldn’t even like it anymore.” Which instilled some fear in me. Heaven knows I’ve gotta like Cool Whip for the rest of my life. Actually, I was just thinking that I haven’t had Cool Whip in a really long time. This is probably just fine. There are better things in life, like whipped cream. I didn’t know that at 10, I guess. I should make something with Cool Whip in it sometime. Hm.

Anyway, I saw this recipe in The Great British Bakeoff (book just won’t quit), and I knew it was meant for me. I allowed myself a few tea bags and set to work.

Just because this recipe was meant for me does not mean that it was the best recipe ever. I thought the cakes were a tad dry, and they lacked a serious Earl Grey flavor. I even increased the amount of tea bags called for in the original recipe. The simple lemon buttercream was a bit sharp, too, so you might want to adjust to your taste. That being said, they weren’t bad, and they actually were a perfect complement to a real cup of Earl Grey tea, which is how this afternoon turned into a tea party.

I piped all of these with a medium Wilton rose petal tip, but I forgot which one I used. Any one will do really. And go crazy! You can make up a whole garden!

Fondly,

L

Earl Grey Cupcakes

From The Great British Bakeoff

For the cupcakes:
200ml semi-skimmed milk
3 Earl Grey tea bags
115g unsalted butter, softened
225g sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the icing:
75g unsalted butter, softened
grated zest & juice of two lemons
375g icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 180C. Heat the milk in a pan until it is steaming hot. Remove from heat, add the tea bags and leave to infuse for 2 minutes. Squeeze the bags gently, then remove them. Measure 150ml milk and leave to cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add in one-third of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again. Repeat until all the flour and milk have been added.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the cup cases, dividing evenly so they are about two-thirds full. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove for the oven and leave the cakes in the tray for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing, beat the butter with 5 tablespoons of the lemon juice and half the icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar, beating well until smooth and creamy. Taste and add a little more juice if needed. Pipe or spread swirls of the icing onto the cupcakes and decorate with the lemon zest.

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2 Responses to “Pipe Dream #143: To Not Wear It Out – Earl Grey Cupcakes”


  1. 1 trialsinfood October 15, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Beautiful cupcakes! Too bad the flavours didn’t turn out. And your grandfather sounds very wise.

  2. 2 funflowerfacts October 15, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Gorgeous cupcakes! Great piping job! :)


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