White Eternal Spring Cupcakes with Adagio Teas*

26 Feb 2018

A little-known fact about me is that I love loose leaf tea. In fact, I prefer it to bagged tea! If you venture into my kitchen, you'll see that the windowsill behind my kettle is piled high with tins and bags of all varieties of loose leaf tea. You can never have enough right? If I've had a particularly tough day or it's ridiculously gloomy, there's nothing better than filling up my strainer with tea leaves and making a piping mug of tea. So when I found out that the wonderful people over at Adagio Teas wanted to get some bloggers involved with their company, I couldn't resist! Of course, I had to feature one of their products in the best way I knew how - baking.

I have never ever baked with tea before, so I literally had no idea how to go about doing it. I know about tea loaves which would have been very interesting to do, given the amount of variety in flavours that Adagio have, but the way that gets into tea loaves is by being soaked into raisins and sultanas. I can't stand raisins or sultanas, so I wouldn't be sticking to my personality by posting something like that on here, so I got to thinking about cupcakes. The staple recipe that I've used for a whole bunch of my cupcakes includes milk, so by flavouring the milk with the tea leaves, I could get a delicious and unique flavour. So that's exactly what I did!
Like I said, Adagio's range of teas is utterly gigantic. I could spend ages looking through all of the different pages on their site, finding out about all the different flavours and pairings. Feeling anxious? Try the chamomile. Want a tea that pairs well with a salad? Give the Dragonwell a go. Looking for something decaffeinated and delicious? The decaf vanilla is the one for you. There's just so much variety, but for this recipe, I wanted something spring-y. The sun is starting to finally peek out, so I wanted something fruity, fresh and a little bit punchy. Of course, the name white eternal spring from the orchard white teas set* grabbed me straight away and once I gave it a sniff, I knew it was the one! It's packed full of pineapple and mango pieces, blueberries, rose hips and cranberries amongst much more. It smells exactly how you'd imagine spring to smell - sweet, slightly floral and downright delicious. I'll admit, the scent is a bit strong, but it becomes much more diluted in the milk and results in a subtly fruity flavour. Adagio's hand-picked teas are sourced directly from origin, so they are also brimming with nutrients with no added sugar and all-natural flavours, as well as being vegan-friendly and gluten free, so they're ideal for baking for specific diets. You can also enjoy them with boiling water in a cup instead of baked into a cake!

I could have taken that white eternal spring flavour all the way and top each cupcakes off with buttercream that had also been flavoured with the tea, but instead, I chose to make a simple vanilla buttercream to complement them. I wasn't going to stop there though, so with the leftover tea-milk, I made some toffee sauce (tentatively name "tea-ffee" - I kinda like it, but J thinks it's a bit weird) and drizzled it over the top. Then for the ultimate spring look, I topped each off with a sugar daisy. They're definitely not as over the top as some of my other cakes, but they're scrumptious and very dainty.

For the cupcakes, you will need:
150ml whole milk
2 tablespoons white eternal spring tea*
190g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Half teaspoon salt
115g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the decoration and icing, you will need:
300g unsalted butter
50g light brown soft sugar
300g icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Sugar daisies

  1. Preheat your oven to 180c and line a cupcake tin with 10 cases.
  2. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add in the loose tea. Bring it close to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes, being sure to stir continuously to avoid any burning. Once flavoured, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then strain through a sieve into a jug. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the plain flour, baking powder and salt. Set to one side.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the unsalted butter with the caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract, and beat the mixture until well combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom to get everything mixed in!
  5. Gradually add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and beat gently after each addition until the mixture becomes thick. Stir in 120ml of the milk until just combined, being sure to reserve at least 2 tablespoons for the toffee sauce.
  6. Spoon the cake batter into the cases, filling them until they're just over half full and bake for around 20-22 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Whilst the cooling, make the toffee sauce. Melt 50g of butter with the light brown soft sugar, stirring continuously to combine them, then add 2 tablespoons of the remaining tea-milk and stir until a glossy sauce is formed. You can always add more milk if the sauce is still a bit too thick. Set to one side to cool.
  8. To make the buttercream, beat the remaining 250g of butter with the icing sugar and the vanilla extract until smooth. If the mixture is too firm, you can always add a splash of milk to loosen it or more icing sugar to thicken it.
  9. Once your cakes have fully cooled, use a piping bag and a nozzle to swirl some icing on top. Then drizzle the toffee sauce over and finish with a sugar daisy.
These super fun, floral cakes would be ideal for a birthday party, a spring-themed afternoon tea or even a wedding. On the outside, they look like a simple vanilla sponge, but in each bite, you get a subtle fruity flavour with just a hint of tea. Of course, you can use tea bags if you'd like to try this out - use two tea bags in place of the two tablespoons of tea - but if you would like to try out the loose leaf version, take a look at the Adagio Teas website! There are a whole host of yummy teas that would work perfectly in this recipe! In fact, I've got a couple more posts coming up to showcase some more of their teas and other products they offer, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Thank you to Adagio for sending this tea to me and giving me the chance to do a bit of an unusual bake!

All items that are marked with a * have been sent to me or gifted by a PR company for review purposes.

Whould you like to comment?

  1. These cupcakes look stunning!! I need to try one immediately :) xx

    Yasmina | The July Journal

  2. These look and sound amazing, I need to get back in to baking at some point DX

    - Katie // homeatnumber3.blogspot.co.uk/