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.
- 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