Cupcakes have been very popular lately. And tea is gaining momentum on the ongoing coffee craze. This is my attempt at a tea infused cupcake. Earl Grey tea and limes seemed like perfect complements. Fresh out of the oven, the cupcake had a very subtle tea flavor. By day 2, the predominant flavor was lime. I decided to fill and frost the cupcakes. But they would be just as delicious baked in a decorative mini-bundt pan and topped with confectioner's sugar.
Lime Tea Cupcakes
(Makes 18 cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp Earl Grey tea leaves
3/4 cup milk, hot
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of 2 limes
Preheat to 350F.
Add tea leaves to hot milk. Let steep for 10-15 minutes. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. Pour milk through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Press liquid from tea leaves; discard leaves.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes; stop mixer and scrap bowl occasionally. Add vanilla and lime zest to eggs. Beat lightly to mix. Add egg mixture, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
On very low speed, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk and ending with flour; blend each addition until just incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl occasionally.
Fill 18 standard muffin cups 1/2 to 3/4 full. Bake until cupcakes spring back when touched, 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely.
Citrus Curd Filling
3 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
grated zest of 1 lime
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp vanilla
In a medium stainless steel pan, whisk eggs, sugar and zests until light in color. Add juices and butter. Cook over medium heat, whisking gently, until the butter is melted. Continue whisking until the mixture is thickened and simmer gently for a few seconds. Strain and scrape the filling into a bowl and stir in vanilla. Let cool. Cover the surface of the filling with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the surface to keep the top from forming a crust. Poke 5 small slits in the wrap with the tip of a knife to allow steam to escape. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 1 week.
Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temp.
3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp.
grated zest of 1 lime
1 tsp fresh lime juice
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar, divided
Beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until well combined and mostly lump free.
Add lime zest, lime juice, and 2 cups confectioner’s sugar and beat until well combined.
Add remaining ½ cup confectioner’s sugar for a stiffer frosting.
How I assembled the cupcakes
Using a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip, dispense about 1 tbsp chilled lime curd filling into the middle of the baked cupcake. Frost cupcakes with icing spatula.