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Black Tea, Honey & Thyme Cupcakes

A delicate combination of subtle flavours make this cupcake perfect for a light afternoon tea. Organic black tea and a dash of honey is infused into the cupcake which is topped with honey and thyme swiss meringue buttercream.

Servings 18 cupcakes


  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup boiled water infused with 3 teaspoons of black tea leaves or 3 tea bags. Leave to cool for ten minutes. Strain. Discard tea leaves.
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tblsp honey
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups castor sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp black tea leaves ground in mortar & pestle
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups castor sugar
  • 300 g butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 180C

  2. Line two muffin trays with 18 cupcake liners

  3. In a medium bowl, using a hand whisk, combine eggs, oil, sour cream.

  4. Add cooled tea. Whisk. Add vanilla bean paste.

  5. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, sugar, bicarb soda and baking powder.

  6. Add tea leaves and thyme. Whisk together until combined.

  7. Carefully pour wet mix into dry mixture. Hand whisk until well combined.

  8. Using a cookie scoop, fill cupcake liners until each is 3/4 full.

  9. Bake in moderate oven for 18 minutes or until slightly brown and firm to touch. Cool on wire rack. Pipe buttercream on top.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Put egg whites and castor sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer. Hand whisk until well combined. Place bowl onto a small saucepan with a couple of cm of simmering water, similar to a double boiler. Whisk and check every few minutes until sugar is dissolved. Rub the mix between your fingers. When you cannot feel the sugar grains it is ready.

  2. Put bowl onto electric mixer. Turn on high and whip until stiff peaks form, like meringue.

  3. Turn mixer onto low and slowly add butter, one cube at a time. This step takes about ten minutes, so be patient. The mixture will look soupy at first, then look like scrambled eggs, but will eventually turn into silky smooth buttercream.

  4. Add vanilla bean paste, honey and chopped thyme leaves.

  5. Pipe onto cupcakes with a large open star tip. Drizzle honey over the top and add a chunk of honeycomb. Enjoy!