Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cupcake Week 2011: Sweet Tea

When I made my official visit to the school I ended up going to graduate school for, several of the students already in the program took me out to dinner during the wine-n-dine portion of the trip. I ordered an ice tea. The first formal educational experience of my graduate school career was not at all about economics; it was that waiter and that table of students explaining the difference between iced tea as I knew it and Sweet Tea.

Growing up in Northern Wisconsin, Sweet Tea was what you got when you added a Sweet-n-Low packet to your unsweetened ice tea. Living in the South taught me otherwise. For what it is worth, I still drink unsweetened ice tea. I can eat buttercream frosting until my pants do not fit but sugary beverages give me an instant headache.

Would the beloved Sweet Tea translate to cupcake form? I decided to give the old grad school try!

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For the past two years, I have worked with mini cupcakes during Cupcake Week. Due to the sheer number of cupcakes I bake this week, I find them easier. Also, I feel less guilty about bringing in mini cupcakes to the office every day of this week. What I have learned in working with mini cupcakes though is if I am doing any sort of clever flavoring, I cannot rely on the cake portion to carry that flavor all its own. The cake is just too small to have a real impact. The flavor needs to be carried in the frosting.

For the Sweet Tea Cupcakes, I used an iced tea enhanced cupcake topped with Lemon Buttercream swirled atop a Sweet Tea Buttercream base.

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Of all the cupcakes I made this week, this flavor was by far the most difficult. And even after much experimentation, I worry that the Sweet Tea flavor is too mild. But it is there!

Sweet Tea Cupcakes

Recipe floated off of {here}


3 1/2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 sticks of unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup instant iced tea mix 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons vanilla
6 eggs
3 tablespoon canola oil
2/3 cup buttermilk


Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar and iced tea mix until fluffy. Add vanilla flavorings. Then add the eggs, one at a time. Add oil and buttermilk. Slowly add flour mixture and combine.

Fill mini cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 350. Top with a layer of iced tea frosting and swirl some lemon buttercream on top.

For the frosting, cream two sticks of room temperature butter until smooth. Add in 4 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest Whip until fluffy. Then cream two sticks of room temperature butter until smooth. Add in 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup instant iced tea mix, and 2 tablespoons milk. Whip until fluffy.

Today is double the Cupcake Week fun! To get five cupcakes into my four-day work week, it is Two Cupcake Thursday! Check out the other cupcake {here}.



  1. Girl, I can't even tell you how impressed I am by this.
    And actually I don't like sweet tea.
    But this just blows my mind!

  2. I am so surprised no one else commented about these!! So i had to go all the way to 2 different stores to buy instant iced tea mix. After all the trouble, I expected this cupcake to be amazing.... and gosh darnit it was!! These actually taste like sweet tea!! I didnt get to make the iced tea frosting because i needed butter but just with lemon buttercream it was great!! The only the thing bad was the fact of how dry they were. My oven could only handle one cupcake pan at a time, but every time they came out extremely dry. I would suggest using coconut milk instead of regular to give it some moistness. All in all thee were great and i am definately making these again!!