Go Back

Star Anise Christmas Cupcake

An authentic vanilla cupcake infused with a hint of spicy licorice, black tea and orange zest.

Cook Time 18 minutes


  • 3/4 cup full cream milk
  • 1 packet star anise (or up to 12 stars)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla pod, scraped, with seeds in milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon black tea leaves

For the cupcakes

  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 tub sour cream (or 125g)
  • 1 vanilla pod scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 cup infused milk, strained Leave 1/4 cup for frosting
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • zest of one large orange, rubbed into sugar


For the Infused milk

  1. Place all ingredients except tea in small saucepan. Heat on low until simmering. Stir in tea leaves and turn off heat. Leave to cool while you make the cupcake mixture, or ideally, overnight in fridge. 

For the cupcake

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C

    Line one muffin tray with cupcake papers

  2. In a medium bowl, using a hand whisk, mix together egg, oil, sour cream and vanilla.

  3. Add 1/2 cup infused milk, strained. Reserve 1/4 cup for frosting.

  4. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and bicarb soda.

  5. Rub orange zest into castor sugar until fragrant. Add to flour mixture. Stir until all combined.

  6. Slowly add wet mix into the dry mixture. Hand whisk until well combined.

  7. Scoop mixture into cupcake papers. 

  8. Bake in moderate oven for 18 - 20 min or until lightly brown or firm to touch.

  9. Put on a wire rack to cool.

  10. Frost with Swiss meringue buttercream

  11. Makes 8 - 12 cupcakes