Ah yes, I’ve been threatening you with iced tea cupcakes for some time now and I finally made good on it this week end. The legend goes, my mother-in-law Jo (you may know her from her world famous eco-friendly grocery bags) drinks the shit out of this weird powdered iced tea. She drinks so much that she has a bag of it in my pantry… she lives in the coach house in my back yard. It’s like, 25 feet from my back door to her front door. And yet the need for powdered iced tea is so great she stores it in two houses. I was going to make these for her birthday using the powdered tea in the frosting, but at the last minute I chickened out and made her inside out German chocolate cupcakes instead.

So this week end I assembled all the ingredients, minus powdered tea, and went for it. This is basically the vegan chai cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, but without a bunch of spices, plus some lemon zest. I added some notes for you if you plan on making these, and don’t get cute by adding fruit flavored soy yogurt like I did because it doesn’t taste like anything at all. I thought I was pretty clever with my peach yogurt.

So this entire post isn’t making fun of Jo, who is the sweetest person in the world, I would like to add that today her daughter Leslie was carrying a container of Tang in her purse.

For the cupcakes you will need:

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 6 iced tea teabags
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup soy yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract*
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

*Replace up to 1/2 tsp of this measurement with a flavor complimentary to ice tea- lemon, orange, mint, etc. I’d recommend 1/4 tsp if you’re using something as strong as mint or citrus oil.

Then you:
Preheat oven to 375 and line tin with cupcake liners. In a small saucepan heat soymilk till almost boiling, add tea bags, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes. When ready to use stir teabags and thoroughly squeeze to insure as much tea is dissolved in milk as possible.

In a large bowl whisk together oil, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, lemon oil, zest and tea mixture until all yogurt lumps disappear. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until large lumps disappear; some small lumps are okay. Fill tins full and bake about 20 to 22 minutes until a sharp knife inserted comes out clean.

For the lemon buttercream you will need:

  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp fresh grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Then you:

In a small bowl, cream the shortening and margarine until well combined. Add the sugar in 1/2 cup additions. After each addition add a splash of lemon juice and beat well with a handheld mixer. Add vanilla and beat for another 3-5 minutes until smooth, creamy and fluffy.I stuck cut-off straws in some of these and topped the rest with a sprig of organic mint.