Earl Grey Cupcakes with Bergamot Frosting

Earl Grey Cupcakes with Bergamot Frosting
With the delicate flavors of orange, lemon, vanilla, and essence of bergamot, these Earl Grey cupcakes will leave your taste buds dancing over the flavor combination that results in a blissful dessert.
To create this Earl Grey cupcake that is fit for a queen, I felt it foolish to use anything other than our Queen's Blend Green Tea. Ready to dive in? First, let us treat ourselves to a fine bit of Earl Grey history!

For the Love of Bergamot

Earl Grey tea was reportedly named after Charles Grey, who was the British Prime Minister from 1830-1834. Although we would think Earl Grey tea originates from England, as it is a quintessentially English tea, it was created in China.
This tea contains the citrusy and flavorful essence of the bergamot orange, which hails from Italy. To be precise, the rind of the orange is used in the creation of all Earl Grey teas. It began as an addition to a variety of black teas, but nowadays it can be added to just about any tea. The outcome? Lovely!
This Earl Grey cupcake recipe truly encompasses all the elements Earl Grey tea is known for.

Essential Oils and Extracts in Baking

I would like to start by letting you know that using essential oils in baking is a realm that has yet to be fully investigated, and that improper use of essential oils internally can cause damage to the liver and mucous membranes. Some of you may feel very comfortable using essential oils, and others may prefer to use extracts. From one tea lover to the next, please do your research first and choose which you are most comfortable with.
Using essential oils or extracts in your baking and cooking endeavors can lead to some amazing outcomes. Before you dive into the world of using these flavorful ingredients in the kitchen, I thought we’d go over a few useful tips.
The biggest tip for baking with essential oils is to ensure you’re using food grade oils, not therapeutic grade. Therapeutic grade essential oils are not safe for consumption. Oils that claim to be safe for consumption will usually state so, but as previously advised, check out the many resources available on the web and in books before purchase and use.
The second tip is to make sure you store your essential oils and extracts in dark glass (for oils) or plastic (for extracts) and away from light. There is a reason they come in dark packaging and that is to inhibit light from filtering in and damaging them, making them unsafe to consume. Essential oils will absorb into plastic, so when mixing and even baking, keep this in mind when choosing the tools you’re using.
Thirdly, less is more. Essential oils and extracts are very potent, so be sure you closely monitor how much you’re adding as the flavor profile can quickly change with each drop, and too many drops of essential oil can cause potential harm.
Lastly, to create a smooth and even flavor throughout, it helps to add the oils or extracts to some sort of liquid or semi solid prior to mixing with the rest of your ingredients. By adding them to, for example, some form of fat or liquid first, it allows the flavors to more evenly disperse in the recipe.

Tea and Cupcakes

I couldn’t think of two more perfect teas to pair with this delicate and not-too-sweet cupcake than our Royal Wedding Black Tea and our Be Well Blend Tea. Both truly draw out the distinctive essences found within this Earl Grey cupcake.
Royal Wedding Black Tea couldn’t have a more fitting name to accompany our Queens Blend Green Tea-infused cupcake. With lemon, elderflower, vanilla, and a hint of sweet almond, this tea will leave you feeling like you’re dining with royalty.
Be Well Blend is true to its name. This tea is a comforting blend of classic orange tea and the lovely elderberry which is sure to soothe the soul as cupcakes soothe the belly.
Which will you choose? I say try them both!

Earl Grey Cupcakes

Yields 12 cupcakes

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons loose Queen’s Blend Green Tea
  • 1 and 1/3 cups flour*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Juice from one small orange
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Set eggs out to bring to room temperature.
On low heat in a small pan, while stirring consistently, bring coconut milk and the Queens Blend Green Tea to a simmer. Just before the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and let steep until it cools down, at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Once cool, run the coconut milk and tea mixture through a sieve and use a wooden spoon to squeeze out all the yummy juices. Once you’ve strained the entire amount, you should be left with 1/2 cup coconut and tea mixture, which is what you need for the cupcakes. If you are a little short, feel free to add a little extra coconut milk to reach 1/2 cup.
Sift the flour, sugar salt, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl, and whisk together.
Separate the eggs. I love to use the extra yolks to make crème brulee!
In another bowl, whisk together the oil, butter, egg whites, vanilla extract, orange juice, and sour cream until combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix with your electric mixer until combined.
Distribute the batter evenly into cupcake papers, filling each paper about 2/3 the way up.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until centers are springy to the touch. Let cool and remove from the pan.
*Use gluten free if you like – I did for this recipe, to share with friends!

Bergamot Frosting

  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1 and 1/3 cups vegetable shortening
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon bergamot extract or 3 drops bergamot oil

Combine Bergamot extract (or essential oil) and vegetable shortening in a glass bowl and mix thoroughly.
Once combined, add mixture to all other ingredients in an electric stand mixer and whip for five minutes.
Have fun choosing a tip for your piping bag and go to town frosting your cupcakes. Feel free to top with a slice of orange rind or even lemon peel to add a bit of pizzazz!
Frosting stores well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

McKenna Marek

McKenna is from midwestern Wisconsin and is the creative owner of Sweet Rose Desserts. She treasures time with her three children, savoring every moment, and the peacefulness of their home in the country. She enjoys baking, photography, and of course—time with friends over a shared pot of tea.
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