My friend, known by many as English Ed, had his birthday yesterday, and we had the luck of having him on the continent so that we could all celebrate together. He’s returned to Canada to tour with The Electric Candles, a local band who will be playing shows in Ontario and Quebec locations during June and July. It’s his first trip back in five years, and we got to throw him a birthday at Vinyl Drip, the local all request vinyl night. It’s a great place for a Monday night get together, especially when the birthday boy is musically inclined.
I told him I would bake him a cake for his birthday, but we quickly decided on cupcakes. Being the avid baker I am, I asked him, “What kind of cupcakes are your favorite?” My mind already thinking of cool ideas, maybe I could do something with pomegranate molasses… or I could make the grape cupcakes I made for my birthday last year… what would be truly excellent?
Ed said he wanted “Normal cupcakes.” Just plain vanilla, nothing weird cupcakes. I agreed to this at first but then I heard stories of Ed’s very standard English consumption of tea. Lots and lots of tea. So, I made him Earl Grey cupcakes instead of his requested normal, vanilla cupcakes to bring a little bit of extra tea flavor for his birthday.
They were quite well received! All I did was take my standard recipe for white cupcakes, but steeped the required milk (after bringing it to a boil) with two tea bags of Earl Grey, and let it cool back to room temperature. The Earl Grey flavor was quite subtle, so maybe next time I will use another tea bag in the steeping. If you have someone request normal, white, nothing too crazy cupcakes, you can use this recipe as written, skipping the boiling of the milk and the steeping process.
Happy Birthday Ed!
Earl Grey CupcakesIngredients
3/4 C milk
2 tea bags of Earl Grey tea
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp saltDirections
- Bring milk to a boil in a saucepan, removing from heat once simmering and adding in the bags of tea. Allow to steep until the milk returns to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy.
- Beat in eggs one at a time, add vanilla to mixture.
- In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- Alternating in two batches, stir dry ingredients and steeped milk to the mixture. Try to mix minimally, just until the batter is uniform.
- Divide the batter between 12-16 cupcake cups (depending on the size of cup you are using).
- Bake until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted to the center of the cupcake comes out clean (~18 minutes).
- Allow to cool completely and then ice as desired.
I iced Ed’s birthday cupcakes with a plain, normal vanilla buttercream icing, so that he at least got halfway what he wanted out of the cupcakes. I think he appreciated the tea, though.