Earl Grey Tea Muffins


One more muffin recipe in this unplanned muffin mini-marathon. These are a bit sweeter than the other muffins I’ve posted, so are more suitable as in-between-meal snacks perhaps, or even at home for teatime. They are still not overly sweet though, and are featherly light and fragrant. Flecked throughout with fine tea leaves, they sort of taste like an Earl Grey milk tea in muffin form. You can see the tea when you split one open.


Since each mini-muffin is only 60 calories (120 for regular sized ones), consider carrying these along instead of succumbing to a donut or pastry.

Recipe: Earl Grey Tea Muffins

The dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups minus 3 Tbs (230g) all purpose or cake flour (with cake flour they will be lighter, but AP flour works too)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 Tbs. Sucanat (see notes) or light brown sugar or raw cane sugar or regular sugar
  • Pinch of salt

The wet ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbs canola oil or light olive oil (or other flavorless vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/3 regular low-fat milk + 1 Tbs. vinegar)


  • 1 tsp. or 1 teabag fine Earl Grey tea leaves. If your tea leaves are on the coarse side, grind them up a bit in a mortar and pestle, or just crumble them up by rubbing the leaves between your fingers.

Again, the procedure is almost identical to the corn muffins! Muffins are so easy.

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F. Grease or spray non-stick spray onto your muffin tins if needed.

Mix or sift together the dry ingredients.

Beat together the wet ingredients until blended.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, using a spatula. Don’t overmix. Add the tea leaves.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes for mini-muffins, 25-30 for regular size muffins, until the tops are browned and a skewer stuck through a middle muffin comes out clean. Note: these muffins will puff up quite a bit.

Take out of the muffin tins and cool on a rack - that is, if you can resist eating them hot, since these smell so good!

If freezing, put them in the freezer well wrapped as soon as they are at room temperature.


Sucanat is a fine grain raw cane sugar. You can find it at health food stores. It’s expensive, but I find I need less of it than regular sugar since it has a lot of flavor. If you can’t get it, use one of the suggested substitutions. (Repeated from the corn muffins page).

Try using different kinds of tea leaves. So far, I’ve tried some Bitter Orange from Fortnum and Mason, and Apple from Fauchon, as well as Mariage Frères Darjeeling (I’m a bit of a tea-nut). I have to say that Earl Grey is still my favorite - the bergamot really comes through quite strongly. I’ve gotten the best results using a sort of generic brand tea bag I got in England the last time I was there with very fine leaves. A pairing of tea brewed with the same tea leaves you used for the muffins is nice.

These match very nicely with jam.

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Thank you

Thank you for the muffin recipes this week - they are fantastic!

Muffin Balls!

I'm living in Japan right now as an English instructor, and as I'm sure you remember ovens are a rarity in Japanese apartments. But when I read this recipe, I had to try it, so I whipped out my takoyaki maker and had a go with it. They turned out wonderfully! And so much fun to make, too. I didn't use any filling, but instead tilted each ball onto their side for a few seconds to get a rounder shape before flipping in completely. The baking powder takes care of the rest of that. One batch fills up the takoyaki maker twice, but the process is far neater and easier to keep track of if you do it in third or even quarter batches.

I really miss my oven, though T_T.


Do you find that these muffins pack a heavy hit of caffeine? For a while I frequently put some earl grey leaves in my oatmeal in the morning - delicious! But would leave me rather jittery - much more than a cup of tea would! I assume that when you steep the leaves, not all the caffeine is transferred to the water, so eating the leaves is more potent. Have you noticed anything like this?

Of course, there’s always decaf!

I don’t react too much to

I don’t react too much to caffeine (low blood pressure), but there is only 1 teaspoon for 24 mini-muffins, and I rarely.. i mean, never ^_^ eat 24 at a time! From eating 2-3, I haven’t noticed any adverse effects. But YMMV of course.

Tea is awesome!

My fiance and I love Revolution Earl Grey Lavender tea. Bet that would make an interesting variation with these muffins. Sounds like playtime in the kitchen for me!

Eggs - how many small ones?

Hi Maki!

I don’t have “large” eggs… So how many “small” eggs should I use for 2 “large” ones?

Thanks! :)

1 ‘large’ egg (the

1 ‘large’ egg (the insides only) is 50 grams, so 2 would be 100 grams… so I think probably 2 1/2 small eggs. Or…just increase the buttermilk amount a tad and it should be ok.

Wonderful muffin recipes

I am so grateful that you are posting these muffin recipes. I have to bake for a dog rescue fundraiser. While I am going to have several traditional cookies, brownies and cupcakes, I did want to expand to include new and different baked goods. I look forward to trying this recipe out not only for the fundraiser but also for my own love of Earl Grey tea. Thanks again.

I think I need to try these.

I think I need to try these. I recently made a batch of mini peanut butter and jelly muffins (my mom used to make them for us when we were kids) so I need to finish those, then on to the tea muffins.

I Can’t resist this recipe

I Can’t resist this recipe and just turned my oven on… This is a healthier choice than croissants!

Thank you for your delicious

Thank you for your delicious recipe. I love your site! I used Earl Gray-Green tea from Upton Tea in which green tea is mixed with the classic bergamot flavor. It infused the muffins with a delicate fragrance, like that of a spring rain.

What did I do wrong? :(

I was so excited to try this recipe but for some reason, my mini-muffins came out rather dense and spongey rather than “feathery light”. I used all ingredients as listed above (cake flour as recommended, light brown sugar instead of Sucanat, veg oil instead of canola) except I used green tea leaves and my eggs were extra large, not large. Could the eggs have been the problem?? They still taste good, only the texture leaves something to be desired. sigh I am just not a baker…

Over-mixing may be the culprit...?

I’m no expert, but you may have over-mixed the batter.

From joyofbaking.com/muffins: “The important step here is not to overmix the batter. However, there is a tendency to over mix because the ratio of liquid to flour is quite high. But mixing too much overdevelops the gluten in the flour which will cause a tough muffin with tunnels and a compact texture. Only 10 to 15 strokes are needed to moisten the ingredients and the batter should be still lumpy and you may still see a few traces of flour. Don’t worry about these lumps as the batter continues to blend as it bakes and any lumps will disappear.”

Following this advice (also proffered by the lovely Alton Brown) has fixed most of my own muffin issues… Hope that helps. ^_^


I think perhaps that WAS the problem! I tried to mix them as little as possible but those lumps of flour you mentioned were bothering me and I was compelled to whisk it VERY QUICKLY just to get rid of the lumps. Whoops! Now I know better, thanks to you! I shall have to try it again when I have Earl Grey - the green tea flavor is a little too subtle.

As zyzyyva said, overmixing

As zyzyyva said, overmixing could have been the problem. Some other things: Extra-large eggs are around 65g as opposed to 50g from large eggs, so if you use extra-large, reduce the amount of buttermilk or soured milk by a couple of tablespoons. Since light-brown sugar is a bit moister than Sucanat too, your batter could have just been a bit too wet.

Type of vinegar?

What type of vinegar is best to use? Mine turned out great with rice vinegar since that’s all I had on hand—is there a better type?

Rice vinegar is fine :) Any

Rice vinegar is fine :) Any kind of vinegar or even lemon juice would do, though I guess you wouldn’t want to use a dark vinegar like balsamic!


Hi! I tried this muffin recipe yesterday and followed exactly (even referred to the corn muffins section). I must have no understood the sugar amount/type because my muffins weren’t really sweet and I don’t particularly have a sweet tooth! I used 4 tbsp of soft brown sugar coz I didn’t have anything else… Do you think you can explain the sugar bit gain please?

Well, these muffins aren’t

Well, these muffins aren’t that sweet. But everyone’s tastebuds are a bit different. Next time you can try packing the sugar tightly into the spoon when measuring, or adding 1 extra tablespoon or so, or both. Also, if the tea you used has bitterness you may need to add a bit more sugar to countract that. (You can taste the batter a bit to see if the sweetness is enough for you before baking.)


i just made these, and they are delicious, not too sweet, and light and airy. a keeper for sure. i am thinking that some butter whipped with lemon sugar would put them over the edge! thanks for the great recipe!

yours are so pretty!

When I made these muffins they looked absolutely terible. first of all mine had little holes on top with flour in them. Second the pigment was way to pale compared to yours. They tasted ok but I could get passed the look. You have any ideas?^^

It sounds like you

It sounds like you under-mixed it a little. Next time, try adding the flour in 2 to 3 batches, mixing it a bit better, and also baking it a bit longer to get the nice brown color. (Actual oven temperatures can vary quite a bit from what you set it to, depending on the oven, so you may have to adjust the cooking time - trust your eyes!)

Thank you :)

this is a super recipe. I’ve already made these 3 times, and I only found the recipe less than 2 weeks ago. Mine turned out a bit pale compared to your picture, but I blame my oven for that. It’s old and the heat is consistent. They still turned out yummy, and everyone who tried them liked them.


These look delicious! I think I am going to go make them right now (at 1 a.m.)!

These muffins look superb,

These muffins look superb, and the recipe seems manageable (however, if I stuff up… :D) Just wanted to ask if you would do a little mixing after having added the tea leaves? Because, well, there were no specific prompts in the instructions to do so… or would you just scoop the batter with a little layer of tea leaves into the tray? I hope you won’t mind providing greatly sought-after enlightenment! Thanks very much for a wonderful site.

I do mix the tea leaves in

I do mix the tea leaves in lightly after adding them. (I use a fork to mix everything, by the way…very high tech :))

Oh, hahahah. :] thanks so

Oh, hahahah. :] thanks so much for your reply - your super super fast reply, I say! Am making these today, and am sure they’ll turn out lovely.



I made these and they came out delicious, thanks Maki! I didn’t have Buttermilk so I used the milk + vinegar suggestion and they tasted fine to me, but I’m planning on making more (cause i bought buttermilk especially for muffins). They make such a great breakfast item for on the go (i’m not a morning person), but I’m going to try different black teas.

Maybe some herbal teas? Has anyone tried herbal teas? Green tea? (this muffin recipe makes me want to go buy different kinds of teas, haha!)

Thanks again Maki! <3

I wonder… would it be

I wonder… would it be possible to use other types of teas? I only have Darjeeling sitting around.

You can try it with other

You can try it with other tea leaves - see the last two paragraphs of the article about that.

I made this today but used

I made this today but used raspberry-peach tea instead because I don’t have Earl Grey tea at home (still using the exact same batter).. they were absolutely wonderful! At first I thought they won’t be sweet enough but they taste just perfect.. Will make more in the future! I’m surprised at how healthy these muffins are too! Low in fat and sugars.. what more can you ask for?

i just finished baking a

i just finished baking a batch of these muffins. (‘Just’ as in 5 minutes ago.) They are just as good as the previous reviewers have described, so I shall not extrapolate on how they taste.

But one note of caution - NEVER bake them in un-greased muffin cups (the kind made of paper). I did such a silly thing and about 0.2 cm of my muffin stuck to the sides and bottom of the paper cup :(

I made some in silicon cups though. Those turned out perfect and fuss-free.

dear maki: i’m the

dear maki:

i’m the anonymous person from above XD the doofus who didn’t grease her paper cups.

this is officially my official ‘muffin base’. thank you! i enjoyed the earl grey so much that i couldn’t resist making another batch of muffiny things… but i didn’t want the exact same thing. seeing how great today’s venture turned out, i couldn’t wait to come here and thank you for such a simple and wonderful muffin recipe. lots of hugs and thank yous to you!!!

today, with this muffin recipe, i added 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of lemon juice into the wet ingredients and then replaced the earl grey with 6 large strawberries, all cut up into little pieces, and folded them in just as how i would’ve done with the earl grey.

they taste wonderful. i love this recipe. it’s for keeps. <3

The strawberry variation

The strawberry variation sounds great! I’ll have to try it when we get strawberries in season again. I’m glad you like the recipe!

this is such a late reply…

this is such a late reply… :P the strawberries and lemons give the muffins a fruity, slightly sour fragrance, which not everyone likes… it seems that only my dad and i like the flavour!

my mom is a great fan of the earl grey muffins though.

i was wondering if i could switch the AP flour with whole grain flour since my parents (esp. dad) have numerous food-related health risks (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, the like) and it’d be good to start them on healthier eating habits. i’ll try it today :)

Thank you so much for this

Thank you so much for this recipe me and my mom just tried it and its really good with tea (wich is good because we drink alot of tea) Yay!! :)

*fangirls madly*

I recently discovered your websites Just Hungry and Just Bento, and I just wanted to thank you so much! for sharing your accumulated culinary wisdom online. Earlier today, I defrosted and finished my last lady-grey-tea muffin for breakfast, and in preparation for tomorrow I am now baking a new batch, which will be promptly placed in the freezer, next to my frozen (bento-ready!) bags of rice, stewed hijiki, sweet-and-spicy acorn (cheaper than kabocha at the local supermarket!) squash, and beef chili. I’ve always wanted to be a portion-controlled, fiscally-responsible eater, and I’ve been wanting to learn more about Japanese cuisine for a while now — thanks to your generosity, I can now accomplish all of that at once! runs to take her muffins out of the oven…

That is pretty awesome. :)

That is pretty awesome. :) I’m glad the sites are helpful to you!

I had this recipe bookmarked

I had this recipe bookmarked for quite awhile now. I am very limited for ingredients and cooking supplies and I lack the money or a huge need for such things, but something in me was determined to try the recipe.

I’m a big tea person, but I’m actually not a fan of earl gray at all. I wasn’t sure it would work with one of my many green flavors, so I tried the blueberry tea I picked up from Ikea (wooo quality lol) and oh goodness they turned out soooooooo yummy

awesome recipe and thanks so much for it!!!

Re: Earl Grey Tea Muffins

Just a question: Is it okay to use soy flour instead of cake flour? Will it change the taste?
Thanks muchly for this, I can't wait to try it! :D

Re: Earl Grey Tea Muffins

Soy flour will probably make the muffins very heavy, and not rise much if at all. You may want to experiment with just adding a little soy flour.

Quantity of muffins?


I've had this recipe bookmarked for some time as I think it sounds delicious. I was wondering whether you could tell me how many muffins (regular sized or mini) this recipe yields? I have 12 silicone cupcake/muffin moulds and I'd like to use them if the recipe will make enough!

Thanks again for posting this recipe, I'm really looking forward to trying it out.

Re: Quantity of muffins?

This makes 12 regular (flattish) muffins or 24 mini muffins.

Re: Quantity of muffins?

Thank you so much for your help.

I just wanted to let you know that I made these muffins a couple of weeks ago. I think my mixture was a bit wet, as they came out quite dense, but still, totally delicious! I've discovered that egg size varies by country, it seems as though a British "medium" egg is roughly equivalent to a US "jumbo" or "extra large" (I weighed them and compared weights stated on several websites). They went down a real treat (delicious with jam!), and were requested again! This time I made a coffee version, and they've just come out of the oven. They worked so well, not too sweet, and with a mild coffee flavour. They are extremely light too, and tomorrow I think I'll make a coffee buttercream to put on top of them when they are cool.

Delicious, thanks again!

Re: Earl Grey Tea Muffins

... My muffins came out in two categories: the Hippos and the Checkers Disks <_<

Re: Earl Grey Tea Muffins

I found that my batter was rather thin, is that alright? i followed the recipe, but i added about 2 tablespoons of extra sugar and used extra large eggs, was this too much?

Re: Earl Grey Tea Muffins

Extra large eggs are well, much bigger than the ones I used, so they'd have more moisture. To compensate you will need to add more flour.

Nibbles at Midnight

I made mini muffins so yummy, so cute. If you have not made these really they are lovely and easy and fast.

I have a tendency to cut down the use of sugar and flour. I find that the taste is no different if you use a few things instead of a straight swap. I used a cup of almond meal, a cup of wholemeal flour and 1/3 of rice flour, 2 tbs of sugar, 1 tbs molasses, 2 tbs of honey, 1 egg, 3 tbs olive oil, 1 1/3 soy milk + 1 tbs apple cider vinegar and a earl grey tea bag. I added an extra pinch of salt to half the batch and next time I will add the extra salt. I only cooked them for 15 minutes as I have a gas oven that seems to cook things that little bit faster. my love and I are nibbling them at midnight with butter and orange marmalade.

I have been looking for some inspiration or foodspiration wandering around the interweb I stumbled here and have found so much wonderful thanks so much this is a Very Very site.
xx marmalade

Re: Earl Grey Tea Muffins

oh dear.. just to clarify is one 1/3 butter milk.. or 1 and 1/3 butter milk....

Re: Earl Grey Tea Muffins

it's one AND one third, or 1.333 if you prefer :)

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