These Earl Grey Cupcakes are delicious, light, and topped with heavenly purple blueberry frosting made with a homemade blueberry puree!
Cupcakes! When someone asks me what my favorite dessert is, I usually say cupcake. I've been trying to bake something with Earl Grey tea for quite a while now. It also happens to be one of my favorite teas. The tea's distinctive flavor comes from the addition of bergamot oil, which gives Earl Grey its "citrus" kick.
I also happen to be a blueberry lover for life and really wanted to try out colorful cupcake frosting without the addition of artificial colours. And what better way to do this than using the natural vibrant purple hues of blueberry incorporated into buttercream frosting for these Earl Grey Cupcakes? The flavor combination of earl grey and blueberry is one-of-a-kind! These Earl Grey Cupcakes are therefore inspired by my love for baking, cupcakes, earl grey tea, and delicious blueberry!
I tested this recipe a few times to try to achieve the perfect balanced flavors. I didn't want the earl grey taste to be overwhelming, so I steeped earl grey teabags in warm milk for around 15 minutes without adding any extra tea leaves into the cupcake batter itself. I also wanted to get as much blueberry taste as possible in the buttercream frosting and added as much blueberry puree as I could whilst ensuring the perfect piping consistency.
The recipe is broken into 3 main steps: earl grey cupcake sponge, blueberry puree, and blueberry frosting. It might look overwhelmingly complicated, but its really not, especially if you follow a few simple tips. You'll find out that these Earl Grey Cupcakes will be worth all your time once you have your first bite.
This recipe yields around 9-10 cupcakes (with a moderate amount of frosting), so feel free to double your ingredients for a larger batch, except for the blueberry puree. You'll end up with more blueberry puree than required for a small batch. Feel free to use extra blueberry in your smoothies, chia puddings, blueberry swirl muffins, or as topping!
Ingredients for Earl Grey Cupcakes
Step 1: Earl Grey Cupcake Sponge
For the sponge, you will need a few pantry ingredients and three early grey teabags.
Step 2: Blueberry Puree
This homemade blueberry puree only requires 2 ingredients: fresh blueberries and granulated sugar. You may also use frozen blueberries if fresh ones are not available. Do not thaw if using frozen blueberries.
Step 3: Blueberry Buttercream Frosting
For the frosting, you will need a batch of blueberry puree (you will not use all of this), and the usual ingredients needed for buttercream frosting.
Making Earl Grey Cupcakes (Step by Step + Tips)
Step 1: Cupcake Sponge
To make the sponge, start by sifting and mixing dry ingredients into a bowl. I always suggest you weigh your ingredients (especially when baking goods) using a kitchen scale for complete accuracy.
In the meantime, steep the tea bags into warm milk. You'll need to steep them for around 15 minutes. Steeping them for less time will not give enough earl grey flavor whilst steeping them for too long will result in an overly strong earl grey taste. After 15 minutes, squeeze and remove the teabags.
Whilst your teabags are steeping, mix the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for around 2 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat for another 2-3 minutes.
Add your dry ingredients, alternating with earl-grey milk in two additions. Mix manually, using a spatula, until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter should be soft but not runny. Spoon the batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners. Fill each liner until around ⅔ full. Do not overfill.
Bake in a preheated oven at 175°C (350F) for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cupcake sponge will be very soft, fluffy, and quite flat, which will provide the base for frosting later. Make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting. The sponge will harden slightly as it cools down.
Step 2: Blueberry Puree
Whilst your cupcakes are in the oven, you can start making the blueberry puree. Start by washing and draining fresh blueberries, then place into a small saucepan, with a tbsp. of sugar and bring to a simmer. Once the blueberries have softened, use a potato masher to gently "mash" the blueberries to form a puree.
Once the blueberries are mashed, remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh strainer into a glass bowl to remove any blueberry bits and obtain a smooth puree. Allow to cool completely before using.
Step 3: Blueberry Buttercream Frosting and Assembly
To make the cupcake frosting, place cubed and softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter on its own for 2-3 minutes until pale and fluffy.
Then, start adding sifted powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and switch to the whisk attachment. Add vanilla extract, and fresh cream, one tsp at a time and continue beating.
Finally, add the cooled blueberry puree (1 tbsp. at a time - please note, you will not need all the puree) until a desired color and consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thin, add more sugar. If frosting is too thick, add more cream or blueberry puree. Leftover blueberry puree is great for smoothies, toppings, chia puddings, or even swirled into muffins/cakes!
Once the desired consistency is reached, spoon the frosting into a piping bag fixed with your favourite frosting tip and frost away! (Make sure the cupcakes have completely cooled before doing this).
Making Ahead and Storing
These Earl Grey Cupcakes can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Blueberry puree keeps well when refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. You can also freeze leftover blueberry puree in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.
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Have you tried these Earl Grey Cupcakes with Blueberry Frosting? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and don't forget to rate the recipe! Also, don't forget to follow Baked Fig on Pinterest, and Instagram to stay updated with any new recipes!
Earl Grey Cupcakes with Blueberry Frosting
Earl Grey Cupcake Sponge
- ⅔ cup semi-skimmed milk warmed (158mL)
- 3 earl grey teabags
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200mL)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1½ cup all-purpose flour (180g)
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened (112g)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries (190g)
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 4 to 6 tbsp blueberry puree (see above)
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1½ tbsp. fresh cream
- 3 cups powdered sugar (375g)
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened (227g)
Earl Grey Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350F). Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a medium-sized bowl, sift and mix flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Place milk in saucepan or milk warmer and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add 3 earl grey teabags. Allow to steep for 15-20 minutes.
- In the meantime, place softened butter in a bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment. Add granulated sugar and beat on medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes until pale and creamy.
- Add vanilla extract and egg and beat for another 2 minutes until fluffy.
- Add dry ingredients alternating with earl-grey milk in two additions. Mix with a spatula after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Spoon batter into muffin liners, filling up to ⅔ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cupcake sponge will be fluffy and flat. Cool completely before frosting.
- Wash and drain blueberries. Transfer to a saucepan, add 1 tbsp. granulated sugar and bring to a simmer. Once blueberries have softened, mash gently using a potato masher, to form puree. Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl and allow to cool before using.
- Place softened butter in a bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment. Beat for 2-3 minutes on medium speed until fluffy.
- Add sifted powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and beat using a whisk attachment. Add vanilla extract, and fresh cream, one tsp at a time. Finally, add blueberry puree (1 tbsp. at a time - you will not need all the puree) until desired color and consistency is reached. If frosting is too thin, add more sugar. If frosting is too thick, add more cream or blueberry puree.
- Spoon frosting into piping bag fitted with your favourite tip and frost cooled cupcakes.