Fragrant tea-infused cupcakes with a zingy lemon curd center. 251: Raspberry Tea & Lemon Curd Cupcakes
Lemon trees definitely have personalities. Some are artsy and spend the whole season crafting 2 or 3 perfect lemons. Others are competitive as hell and try to make as many lemons as possible without breaking their branches from the weight. Thanks to one of the latter, I’m working my way through a veritable mountain of meyer lemons. Bring on the lemon curd!
Felt like the right time to break out the little glass dome we found on the give-away table in our building. It’s giving me very Beauty and the Beast vibes, but less cursed and more happy and filled with desserts!
I did the photoshoot at dusk and the camera refused to fully focus. Le sigh. I’m definitely the kind of person who tries giving pep talks to my electronics, but I can’t say that it gets results.
These lil guys have double the raspberry. The cupcake batter itself is infused with raspberry black tea, and the buttercream has blitzed freeze-dried raspberries. It’s almost the color of my favorite magnolia blossoms!
My neighborhood walks take way longer now that I have to stop every few houses to take flower pictures!
It’s a pretty simple cupcake recipe, which makes it all the more fun to play around with flavors and fillings. I got the idea and batter proportions from Ruby Tandoh’s chamomile vanilla cupcakes in her book, Crumb.
Fun fact: did you know that caffeine doesn’t cook out when baked? It apparently has a crystalline structure, so when heated it acts like salt or sugar crystals would – blending in to the batter. I’m not sure if anyone has ever reported feeling a caffeine kick from a tea or coffee-infused dessert, but that’s probably because instead of drinking the whole amount in a concentrated cup of tea, it’s spread throughout a batch of cupcakes. So unless you’re planning to eat the entire batch of cupcakes in one sitting, they’re a safe midnight snack choice!
Always trying to embrace the whimsy of mini bakes. I cut the recipe by 2/3 and ended up using all of my three tea strainers to find one that actually worked in the tiny amount of liquid. Oops!
The upside is that it’s made my baking life more evenly balanced between whipping batters by hand, hand mixer and stand mixer. I love all three methods, but mixing by hand is just perfect for a four-cupcake amount of batter. Feeling a bit like Goldilocks over here.
We need a word for the specific joy of batter about to go in the oven.
Post sauna treatment.
What’s up cannoli mold? Nice to see you again! I see your side hustle is hollowing out the centers of cupcakes.
Fruit curds are just another delicious way to eat custard. Same velvety texture thanks to gently cooked egg, sugar and liquid, but tarter, since the liquid is acidic juice instead of milk. The classic is lemon curd, part of that essential tea time trio with scones and clotted cream. Ten outta ten would also recommend mango curd and passion fruit curd if you have the ingredients. They’re tied for best fruit curd I’ve ever had!
Don’t forget to save a little sliver of that center cake cylinder to act as a hat for the filling. It makes frosting the tops a lot easier!
I added a little lemon curd to my frosting as well. Shhh it’s a secret.
Coming soon to a tea time near you.
Recipe inspired by: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/feb/08/bake-with-tea-ruby-tandoh