Tea time

My second-to-youngest little sister celebrated her 26th birthday Saturday.

She and her husband went camping (I laugh every time I write that as Alex is NOT an outdoorsy person) the week before her birthday, so I was tasked with apartment-and-cat-sitting. Every day I’d swing by to grab the mail, feed the cat and clean something. If you give me a key and free reign of your living space, I’m going to clean it. It’s what I do.

I think they were OK with me maybe overstepping my bounds a little. After all, I also left a bottle of wine, two wine glasses filled with Alex’s favorite chocolates on their kitchen counter, and a dozen green tea and lemon cupcakes in their refrigerator. What’s a better birthday present than treats and a clean apartment?


  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 green tea bags
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Reserved 1 to 2 tsp brewed strong green tea

In a 1-cup glass measuring cup, measure boiling water; add tea bags. Steep for five minutes. Squeeze liquid from tea bags into measuring cup. Let tea stand until room temperature, about one hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cups on each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat 1 cup butter with an electric mixture on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat two minutes longer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in two tablespoons lemon peel and 1 teaspoon vanilla. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture and tea, beating until just blended. Reserve remaining tea for frosting.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, remove from pans, and cool and additional 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, two teaspoons lemon peel and the vanilla with an electric mixture on low speed until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until smooth. Beat in 1 to 2 teaspoons of the reserved tea until smooth and spreadable.

Frost cupcakes however you prefer (piping bag, knife, etc.) I dipped mine into the frosting bowl, which worked well because this is a rich frosting. A little goes a long way.

Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker Best Desserts 2011


One response

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s