Earl Grey cupcakes – perfect recipe for afternoon tea


Heehee, cake in cups. How silly – JD, 5

I’m delighted with these delicious Earl Grey teacup cupcakes. They have a super light, spongy crumb, with a subtle flavour of vanilla and milky Earl Grey. 

I was actually surprised by just how well these turned out. I’d never used tea leaves in cake batter and wondered if they would be gritty or bitter, but they weren’t at all. In fact, because they’re steeped in milk first, they’re sweet, soft and just a little chewy in the baked cakes – just yummy!

You could make these cakes in normal muffin cases, but we recently splashed out on these silicone teacup cake cases from Lakeland (£4.99 for 4), which rather adds to the effect, I think. The kids and I filled the teapot with milk and had a little tea party.

Here’s the recipe – it makes 10-12…


  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 3 medium free range eggs
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1  good quality Earl Grey teabag (we used a We Are Tea Earl Grey Supreme teabag)

You’ll also need:

  • Silicone teacup cake cases, or
  • 12 muffin cases and a muffin tray


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan assisted)
  2. Heat the milk in a mug in the microwave until it’s hand hot
  3. Open the tea bag and tip into the milk, stir and set aside
  4. Cube and warm the butter, then warm in the microwave in 5-10 second blasts until it’s all very soft and just starting to melt
  5. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy
  6. Beat in the eggs, then stir in the flour and baking powder
  7. When the milk is room temp, tip it into the batter, along with all the tea leaves
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the cases (I only had 4 so cooked them in batches, filling to about 1cm from the top
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

Disclosure: we were sent a selection of We Are Tea teabags for review. The thistle motif teapot and tablecloth is from Scott Inness. No payment was received. All posts are 100% honest.

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