Scottish Breakfast Tea Cupcakes

Your darling writer, displaying her usual hairstyle next to Loch Ness.

Your darling writer, displaying her usual hairstyle next to Loch Ness.

Welcome Readers!
For my first foray into the strange and bewildering world of food blogging, I thought I would post a recipe that won me second place in my university’s first Cupcake War. My partner and I made Scottish Breakfast Tea Cupcakes.
They were inspired by my time at the Caledonian Backpackers Hostel in Edinburgh, Scotland in April 2012.


One of the many murals in the hostel. This one pointed to the common area. I think it’s a pretty good summation of my trip.

If by chance you’ve stayed at that particular hostel, you know that they serve breakfast until noon. NOON! As if some travelers actually enjoy sleeping – what a concept, right?

Anyways, my travelling partner had had a rough time upon reaching Scotland. Her cards had been mysteriously canceled, and she had forgotten to book our tickets to England, leading to a huge price jump. After a 1:00 AM bus ride across Ireland to catch the flight to Edinburgh, getting sick in the airport, and hearing about our missing tickets, I was to say –

Edinburgh, viewed from the battlements of Edinburgh Castle. The sun was out for maybe ten minutes that day. Lucky shot.

Edinburgh, viewed from the battlements of Edinburgh Castle.
The sun was out for maybe ten minutes that day. Lucky shot.

However, waiting for me was the most GLORIOUS breakfast spread I could have imagined.

Good Scottish bread with raspberry jam, apricot preserves, and lemon curd (and blackcurrant jam, but ew. No way am I going to eat that sickly sweet spread), and wonderful smoky Scottish Breakfast Tea. I was in heaven.

elephant and castle

Your dear writer, enjoying tea at the Elephant and Castle later that day. Mmm, tea.

Now to the cupcakes.

I had made tea cupcakes before with Earl Grey, but was never very happy with it. Maybe it’s because I find Earl Grey to be a weak tea. Who knows? I had been having daydreams about going back to Scotland and spending more time there, so when our professor announced the Cupcake Wars challenge, the idea for theses cupcakes immediately struck me. I wanted to make a cupcake that contained all the wonderful memories of my time in Scotland – From Lochness to the Elephant and Castle, to the airport bus and the Jenga playing Australians in the hostel bar, and the wonderful hospitality of the Starbucks employees that let Melissa use their phone to call her bank – I wanted something to remember that. Why not use cupcakes?

So here they are:

Scottish Breakfast Tea Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
1. 1/3 c Milk
2. 4 Black tea bags (Scottish breakfast blend) – I used Taylors of Harrowgate
3. ¾ c + 2 Tbsp Cake Flour
4. ¾ tsp Baking Powder
5. ¼ tsp Baking Soda
6. ¼ tsp Cardamom
7. ¼ tsp Salt
8. 6 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
9. 2 Tbsp Butter. Room temperature
10. 1 large Egg, Room Temperature
11. ½ of 1/3 c Sour Cream
12. 2 Tbsp Canola Oil
13. 1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
14. Raspberry Jam or Preserves

1. Warm the milk in the microwave over low heat. Remove from heat and steep teabags for 30 minutes. Remove tea bags and squeeze out excess liquid.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. In a bowl, mix cake flour, baking soda, powder, cardamom, and salt. Set aside. If you’d like, you can also add in the contents of another tea bag.
4. Cream together butter and sugar, then add it to the flour mixture.
5. In another bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, oil, and sour cream together until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in tea.
6. To fill cupcakes, fill lined cupcake pan ¼ of the way full. Add in a spoonful of jam, then fill halfway.
7. Bake for fifteen minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
8. Frost with Lemon Curd Frosting when cool. Garnish with fresh raspberries and enjoy!

Lemon Curd Frosting
Makes enough for 12 cupcakes with a little left over.

1. 1 block Neufchatel cheese
2. ¾ c Lemon Curd
3. Powdered Sugar
4. Milk

1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat Neufchatel cheese and lemon curd together until smooth.
2. Add in enough powdered sugar to achieve your desired consistency. If needed, add in milk to thin it out.

By the way – lemon curd, apricot preserves, and raspberry jam make an excellent sandwich. I made myself four for the ten hour or so (twelve when the bus broke down outside of Glasgow) trip to Stratford upon Avon, and had eaten three four hours in. Whoops. : )



Tea! Look at that glorious color.

Recipes modified from:


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