Chocolate & Earl Gray Cupcakes with Kumquat Italian Meringue Buttercream
Serves: 14 jumbo cupcakes
Makes 14 jumbo cupcakes or about 22-24 standard sized cupcakes.
  • Earl Gray Chocolate Cupcakes:
  • 4 Earl Gray Tea Bags
  • 1½ cups Water
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • ⅓ cup Cocoa Powder
  • 2 cups Unrefined Cane Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 2 Eggs (XL), room temperature
  • 1⅓ cups Buttermilk, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup Coconut Oil, melted
  • Kumquat Italian Meringue Buttercream:
  • 6 Egg Whites, room temperature
  • 2 cups Unrefined Cane Sugar
  • 3 cups Butter, room temperature
  • Zest of 10 kumquats
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
  1. Earl Gray Chocolate Cupcakes:
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a jumbo baking tin (6 wells) with large cupcake liners (or a standard sized muffin tin with standard liners).
  3. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. remove from heat and add the tea bags. Let steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags from the pan, squeezing the bags out into the saucepan before discarding.
  4. Place the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
  5. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, and buttermilk. Add mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Bring the tea to a boil and add 1 cup of it to the cake batter. Whisk until smooth and combined.
  7. Divide the mixture between the prepared baking tins, filling the liners halfway full. Do not fill more than halfway or cups will overflow when baking!
  8. Bake cupcakes in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes (for jumbo cupcakes, 12-13 minutes for standard) or until tops are firm to the touch.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Store cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to frost.
  10. Kumquat Italian Meringue Buttercream:
  11. Fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium/high heat. Place a metal or glass bowl on top of the pan. Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl and whisk constantly for several minutes, until the mixture is hot to the touch and sugar has completely dissolved. When you rub the mixture between your fingers it should be smooth, not grainy.
  12. Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and whisk on medium speed for several minutes. Once the mixture has cooled down completely, whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  13. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, until all the butter has been added and mixture is thick and creamy. Add the kumquat zest and vanilla and mix in until evenly distributed.
  14. Frost cold cupcakes with buttercream. Top with a kumquat, greenery, blackberries, and sliced almonds, if desired.
Recipe by The Kitchen McCabe at