recipe: earl grey cupcakes with lavender frosting
Last week we had a company picnic, and for the second year in a row I entered the bake-off. Last year, I entered with my Pinkalicious‘ Pink Lemonade Cupcakes. This year, my entry is A Midsummer Night’s Cupcakes, inspired by the bard and with “secret ingredients” of earl grey tea and lavender! For the record, I didn’t win. However, everyone who had a cupcake really loved them. I was surprised at just how much like earl grey tea they actually tasted! I would do the lavender frosting differently next time, which I’ve outlined below.
2/3 cup whole milk
1. Heat milk in microwave for 45 seconds to a minute. Let the tea bags steep in the warmed milk for about 30 minutes.
2. Preheat over to 350. Mix the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until soft and fluffy. Add to flour mixture and stir to combine.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and vegetable oil until smooth.
5. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir until combined.
6. Add the steeped tea-milk mixture, slowly, while continuing to stir*.
7. Line your cupcake pan and then fill each until about halfway full, or slightly more than halfway.
8. Bake for 15-17 minutes. They’re done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting**.
* The batter is supposed to be that thin. Don’t panic. They’ll turn out.
** This is important, because the frosting is also on the thin side and if they’re still warm, you’ll get a runny mess.
Cupcakes recipe originally from Oh So Very Pretty. Credit where credit is due, naturally.
1/2 cup water
1. Start off by making a lavender simple syrup*. Boil the water. Once boiling, add the sugar and the lavender sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Take off the heat and let cool completely.
2. Begin with the butter and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Combine. Add one teaspoon lavender simple syrup. Keep stirring. Add 1/2 powdered sugar. Add one teaspoon lavender simple syrup. Continue alternating, pausing between to mix fully.
NOTE: Honestly, I just keep alternating and tasting and testing consistency. The consistency needs to be thick enough that you’ll be able to frost the cupcakes properly. I know this isn’t helpful in a recipe, but if you’ve made a buttercream before, you’ll know that it’s trial and error until you get the taste and consistency you want.
3. Add 2-3 drops of each the red and blue food coloring and continue stirring to get the color you desire. I wanted a light lilac, but you can go deeper purple if you wish.
4. Frost the cupcakes then sprinkle the top with more lavender sugar!
* You should do this the night before or at least with plenty of time for the simple syrup to cool. I didn’t, and the heat of the syrup made the frosting very thin, and I had to combat with way too much powdered sugar, which I feel like lost the lavender flavor.