Mini Lady Grey Tea Cakes with Honey Frosting

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These Mini Lady Grey Tea Cakes with Honey Frosting are tailor made for the ladies who lunch.  They’re elegant little cakes infused with the fragrant flavors of Earl Grey tea, one of my favorites.

This recipe is adapted from Joy the Baker, her recipe uses chamomile, but since I’ve never liked chamomile tea, (I think it reminds me of being sick, which is the only time I ever drink it)  I didn’t think she would mind if I substituted Lady Grey.  Lady Grey is a more delicate variation of Earl Grey tea, it has a light floral/citrusy aroma, made with oil of bergamot, (from the rind of a sour citrus from Italy) lemon, and Seville orange.

Since I’m being honest, let me also tell you that I didn’t think I was going to like these…I just wasn’t sure how I felt about dumping the contents of a tea bag into cupcake batter.  But guess what?  I was utterly wrong!  I really like the aromatic, lingering flavor the tea gives to these cupcakes.  It blends with the vanilla really well.  And it seems to me that you could substitute whatever tea you like here with no problem, whether it’s an herbal tea, like Joy’s original, or a black or even green tea.  This represents a brave new world of flavors for me, and I’m already planning some tea infused shortbread…thank you Joy!

I like the batter for these cakes, too.  It’s very simple and non fussy, and the perfect amount for 12 flat cupcakes, which is sometimes just what you want when you are aiming for the little tea-cake look and don’t want a domed top.

I highly recommend these grown-up cupcakes.  They’re perfect for a shower or tea, or if you’re called upon to bring something to a book group, or an office party.  They’re easy to make and they are conversation pieces.  Not to mention that they taste delicious.  I garnished mine with a little lemon zest to echo the citrus in the Lady Grey, along with a dusting of the tea itself.  I think these would be fabulous with edible flowers on top, too.

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3.56 from 9 votes

Mini Lady Grey Tea Cakes with Honey Frosting

These Mini Lady Grey Tea Cakes with Honey Frosting are tailor made for the ladies who lunch.  They're elegant little cakes infused with the fragrant flavors of Earl Grey tea, one of my favorites.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 1/4 cup 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • The contents of 2 bags of Lady Grey Tea the original calls for 3 Tbsp dried chamomile, from tea bags
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 6 Tbsp heavy cream
  • pinch of salt


  • Place a rack in the upper third of the oven, and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper or foil liners and set aside. You can also grease and flour the cupcake pans and not use any liners.
  • To make the cakes: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chamomile leaves. The mixture will be slightly coarse and sandy when mixed for several minutes.
  • Whisk together milk, egg and vanilla.
  • Pour half of the milk mixture into the flour mixture with the mixer on medium-low speed. Beat until just incorporated.
  • Pour in the remaining milk mixture, and turn mixer up to medium. Beat for 1 minute, until well blended.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake cups. There isn’t a lot of batter, so you’ll only fill the liners up about halfway. You’ll also need a spatula to scrape the bowl for remaining batter.This recipe doesn’t waste a drop of cake batter.
  • Bake cupcakes for 17 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and allow cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  • To make the frosting: whisk together sifted powdered sugar, honey, cream, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Use a butter knife to generously spread the frosting a top the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with a bit of chamomile leaves and arrange on a pretty plate. Cakes will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Slightly adapted from Joy the Baker


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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Milena Andrade
    March 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Beautiful … wonderful work, congratulations!
    I love your blog, I will visit more often!
    kisses! (Brazil)

    Also visit the Sweet Kitchen.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    That last picture is so gorgeous! I love seeing all the variations on these little tea cakes. From Lady Grey to Chai tea mixes…you literally can’t go wrong.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2012 at 1:41 am

    These are so beautiful! I mean, they are absolutely perfect. Great job!

  • Reply
    February 24, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    love the idea of a tea substitution. i am allergic to chamomile, so i opted to do the biscuits….but lady grey tea sounds like an amazing compliment to the recipe. i hope you do not tire of me complimenting your food styling and photos…they are wonderful.

  • Reply
    February 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    they are goregous!! I like the change up with earl grey tea and I was suprised how much I really loved them (ate 4, lol)!!

  • Reply
    February 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

    what a neat idea! not only does the tea component sound excellent and easily varied, but the texture of the little cakes is perfect! i smell a chai version in my future!

  • Reply
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    February 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Good idea to use a tea that you like! Your photos are gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    February 23, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Oh yes Lady Grey – Chamomile makes me a little sick too. What gorgeous little cakes and love your topping variation. Just perfect.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I don’t like chamomile either so I made mine with chai! So good. I really loved that frosting. Yours are so purrty!

  • Reply
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    February 23, 2012 at 10:37 am

    What dainty little cupcakes, perfect for tea time.

  • Reply
    Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen
    February 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Perfect for a wedding reception!

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Yum! I’ve had lady grey tea flavored ice cream before, but never cupcakes – fantastic idea!

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 4:56 am

    Wow! I’ve heard of green tea and chai cupcakes but I’ve never really seen cupcakes that incorporate the whole contents of the tea bag. That’s an interesting one and I’m going to take your word for it that they’re good since I’m not a tea drinker at all 😛 But, I’m admiring your pictures a lot because they’re beautiful! Love the humble little icing on top, very pretty, Sue!

  • Reply
    February 22, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    They look so pretty. I have never baked with tea before but it sounds like fun!

  • Reply
    February 22, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    How delicate and pretty! Great photos!

  • Reply
    A Trifle Rushed
    February 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    What a super idea, I think I will be making a version of these for the teachers at my daughter’s school. Ideal for their tea break.

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    February 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I love tea and these cakes look fantastic! These would be perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day or a ladies luncheon! Love ’em!


  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    February 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    If I used chamomile I would be off to sleep after one cupcake! What a fascinating idea to add not just brewed tea, but actual tea to the recipe. I’ve never tried anything like this but I am intrigued! Beautiful photos 🙂

  • Reply
    February 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    What a great idea! I adore Lady Grey. Can’t wait to try these!

  • Reply
    A Plum By Any Other Name
    February 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I could absolutely see how you’d be skeptical about the tea dump. I am a huge fan of both genders of grey: can’t wait to give these a go!

  • Reply
    February 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Beautiful! I love that you used lady grey tea…such a wonderful variation. I would love to throw a little luncheon with a few different varieties of these “tea” cakes. Slightly varied beautifully delicate toppings. Lovely job!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      February 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      I agree, that would be a fun theme. What I realized is that tea is a perfect flavoring agent because, by its nature, it’s so pungent and aromatic. I don’t know about the chamomile version, but in mine the tea flavor really lingered in my mouth.