Earl Grey Cupcakes

Earl Grey Cupcakes

My love of tea began in England, where everyone I knew drank Earl Grey with milk and sugar. It was presented as the solution to almost every problem. Bad day? Rough night? Feeling under the weather? Inevitably, someone would appear with a cup of milky sweet tea, filling the room with the scent of bergamot. To this day, a cup of Earl Grey fills me with comfort and thoughts of cozy afternoons in London.

So I figured the ultimate afternoon snack would be Earl Grey cupcakes! I took a vanilla cupcake and a vanilla frosting recipe and infused both with Earl Grey tea. If you’re short on time, you might just use your favorite cupcake mix and and top them with the Earl Grey frosting. Equally impressive and delicious.

Earl Grey Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Earl Grey tea bags

Frosting
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Earl Grey tea bags

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Line your cupcake pan.

2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and coconut milk on medium-high heat, being careful not to let it burn. Once steamy (about 130-degrees), remove the milk from the heat and steep with the tea bags for about 5 minutes.

3. Beat the eggs and sugar together. Add the flour, milk, oil, baking powder, and vanilla. Spoon into the cupcake pan and bake for 23-25 minutes.

4. To prepare the frosting, microwave the water for 30 seconds, then allow the tea bags to steep for about 3 minutes. Combine the sugar, water, and cream of tartar in a saucepan on medium-high heat until the sugar has melted and you’re left with a thick syrup. Whip the egg whites, vanilla, and syrup for about 7 minutes, until the frosting is glossy and holds its lovely shape.

5. Enjoy with tea party!

Earl Grey Cupcakes

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Simple Recipe: Strawberry and Chocolate Cupcakes

Strawberry Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

When I lived in Portland, there was a great cupcake truck that made an awesome strawberry frosting. It was the first time I’d ever had a frosting that tasted like fruit — it even had strawberry seeds in it!

I decided to attempt my own version of this frosting atop some chocolate cupcakes. Confession time: the cupcakes are really just a frosting delivery system so I cheated and turned to my old friend Betty (Crocker). If you want a really sinful chocolate cake that isn’t totally from a box, come back next week.

Strawberry Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Ingredients

Chocolate cake mix of your choice
1 cup strawberries, hulled
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
5 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 blocks butter (room temperature)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

Instructions
  1. Bake cake according to package instructions.
  2. Puree strawberries in a blender until smooth. In a small saucepan, heat until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until reduced halfway.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine milk and flour on medium heat, until it becomes thick and doughy. This takes roughly five to seven minutes from the moment you turn on your burner. Stir the entire time.
  4. Remove flour mixture from heat and transfer to a bowl. Stir to combine. Cool completely.
  5. Using a hand blender or stand mixer, blend butter and sugar on medium for three minutes. Add the milk and flour mixture; blend on low for one minute and on medium-high for two minutes. Slowly add strawberry puree one tablespoon at a time.
  6. Frost cupcakes. Devour!

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Frock Files | More Simple Recipes

Simple Recipe: No Bake Boston Creme Cupcakes

Frock Files | Boston Creme Ice Box Cupcakes

To end this month’s theme, home, while also kicking of May’s theme (to be revealed tomorrow!), I created a recipe for Boston creme cupcakes. These ice box cupcakes are delicious, cool, and easy. I’m also going to include a few ideas here to make it even simpler!

Frock Files | Boston Creme Ice Box Cupcakes

Ingredients

“Cake”:
Nilla wafers or other vanilla cookies

Custard:
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
(Simpler Idea: use pudding!)

Whipped Cream:
2 cups whipping cream
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
(Simpler Idea: Two words – cool whip)

Chocolate bar for shavings

Instructions

1. Before placing on the stove, whisk cornstarch, sugar, milk, eggs, cream, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth in a medium saucepan. (If using pudding and Cool Whip, cook according to package instructions prepare pudding and skip to step five.)

2. Place saucepan on stove and heat on medium until boiling, whisking constantly. Once boiling, continue whisking for two minutes before removing from heat.

3. Remove from heat and place in a cool bowl. Whisk in butter and allow to cool.

4. Combine ingredients for whipped cream in a mixing bowl. Beat until soft white peaks form.

5. Line cupcake tins, and layer each with a cookie, one tablespoon of custard, cookie, one tablespoon of whipped cream, cookie, and a teaspoon of whipped cream.

6. Place the chocolate in the microwave on 50% power for 20 seconds. Use your vegetable peeler to make shavings to top each cupcake.

7. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. The cookies will soak up the whipped cream and custard to get soft, cakey, and oh-so-scrumptious.

Frock Files | Boston Creme Ice Box Cupcakes

These last for about 48 hours and are completely crave-worthy. Have you ever tried ice box cakes before? I’m a little obsessed with them now.

Check back tomorrow to find out about May’s theme!

Somewhat Simple Recipe: Coconut Cupcakes

Frock Files | Coconut Cupcakes

Each year, my mom makes Ina Garten’s coconut cupcakes for her friends just before Easter. I should stop here to point out that my mom is gluten-free and doesn’t really eat dessert, so this is a complete act of generosity. My reasons for baking these cupcakes were slightly less benevolent: I had a crazy craving and wanted to devour them all. (I didn’t, but I wanted to.)

I used Ms. Garten’s cupcake recipe exactly as she intended, but swapped out her cream cheese frosting for the fluffy buttercream frosting I’m partial to, since it’s lighter and not as sweet. As someone who tends to default to boxed cakes, this recipe isn’t the simplest way to make cupcakes but it’s definitely the most delicious. And in the end, they only took slightly longer than the just-add-an-egg variety.

Frock Files | Coconut Cupcakes

Ingredients

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

See the frosting recipe here. I swapped out the 2 teaspoons vanilla extract for equal parts vanilla and almond extract.

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line your muffin tins (24) with cupcake liners.
  2. Cream butter and sugar on high, between five and seven minutes. Add one egg at a time, then add the almond and vanilla extracts.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add one third of the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add half of buttermilk to wet ingredients, mix until combined. Continue with remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk. Fold in coconut
  4. Bake 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from tin.
  5. Frost and sprinkle with coconut.

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Frock Files | Coconut Cupcakes

These are hands down the best cupcakes I’ve ever had, and at least 357 other people agree with me (that’s the number of five star reviews this recipe received). And because it’s always fun to watch someone do something they’re really good at, here’s Ina demonstrating the recipe.

What’s your favorite cupcake?

The Velvet Revolution

Cupcakes are my weakness — this wasn’t always so. It really wasn’t until my friend Rachel Blumenthal went on a cupcake quest for her food blog Fork It Over, Boston! that I became a true addict. We tried a whole bunch of cupcakes in the spring of 2010 (you can see the entire quest here), and the addiction followed me across the country when I moved to Portland. Here, I hit the jackpot on the first try: Cupcake Jones, home of moist, delicately flavored, filled cupcakes. Pure heaven.

My favorite is the red velvet, which happens to be on their menu daily. So as Valentine’s Day approaches, I’ve considered braving the crowd and getting some — because these cravings are vicious — but instead I’m attempting to make these red velvet whoopie pies. (I’ll hit up Cupcake Jones after the big day!) And apparently it’s not just red velvet cake that I’m in love with, because I must must must have this red velvet headband as well. Quite Blair-Waldorf-meets-Little-Women, don’t you think?

1. ThreeBirdNest Red Velvet Headband  2. Food Network Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

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