How to Ice a Cake

How to Make Earl Grey Buttercream Frosting

How to Make Earl Grey Buttercream Frosting

Popular for its uniqueness and unmatched flavor, Earl Grey buttercream is a must-try for beautiful cakes.

Its “secret” ingredient is Earl Grey tea. You can use it as a rich cake cream and frosting.

Earl Grey tea is a black tea that contains bergamot oil. This oil is citrusy and boasts a one-of-a-kind tart taste. 

It’s an excellent buttercream frosting and pairs well with a variety of cakes, including chocolate and fruity ones, as well as cakes with herbs like Earl Grey lavender cake. 

How to Make Earl Grey Buttercream Frosting 

the image displays an early grey lavender cake

Cake Frosting; Earl Grey Lavender Cake

Earl Grey buttercream is made using powdered sugar, butter, Earl Grey tea and half-and-half which is a blend of equal parts whole milk and light cream. It averages about 10% – 12% milk fat, which is more than milk and less than cream. There are also green and rooibos versions of it and you can use whichever option you prefer.

This cake buttercream isn’t just for the tea fans out there: no one can stay immune to its distinctive flavor and aroma. 

You can add the buttercream to different parts of the cake and the final frosting. It’s creamy and easy to apply.

You can combine it with a variety of other buttercreams and cake flavors. 


1 or 2 tea bags of Earl Grey 

¼  cup of half and half

1 cup of butter at room temperature

4 cups of icing sugar

2 tsp of vanilla extract


  • Heat up the half-and-half in the microwave for half a minute or minute
  • Put the tea bags in it to steep and leave aside (or the strained infusion if you’re using loose leaves) 
  • Mix the butter using a hand or a stand mixer
  • Begin to gradually add the powdered mixture to it 
  • Take out the tea bags from the half-and-half and squeeze out as much of the liquid into the half and half
  • Add the half and half to the butter and icing sugar and add the vanilla
  • Stir well for a homogenous cream

How to Prevent Lumps in the Earl Grey Buttercream?

To avert lumps from forming, check out these tips:

  • Choose the right sugar

Not every icing sugar is the same, though all of them can be used for buttercream. Avoid the ones made from beet sugar because they don’t dissolve as quickly as that from cane sugar. 

  • Add enough liquid

The liquid is the key ingredient for a homogenous mixture. Don’t be afraid to add it to the buttercream. 

  • Don’t forget to mix

Mix the buttercream additionally if you notice lumps to dissolve the sugar better. If there are still lumps despite mixing, increase the moisture. 

  • Leave the buttercream overnight 

Leaving the buttercream to rest overnight and then whipping it again in the morning may help resolve the lumps. 

the image displays an earl grey buttercream frosting

Cake Frosting; Earl Grey Buttercream

Can I Use Tea Leaves instead of Tea Bags?

If you’re looking for optimal Earl Grey buttercream frosting, tea leaves may provide a stronger flavor. 

Tea bags tend to lose their flavor as time goes by, so you may need to use more bags to achieve the same effect. 

Of course, if you can’t get the leaves, you can definitely use the tea bags. 

But, make sure you increase the dose a bit and steep the tea longer to get as closer as possible to the vibrant and rich flavor from the leaves.

Earl Grey Buttercream FAQ 

How to Fix a Runny Earl Grey Buttercream?

If you’re struggling with a runny Earl Grey buttercream frosting, don’t worry. You can increase the thickness by adding icing sugar until you reach the desired consistency.

Is There a Suitable Alternative to Earl Grey Buttercream? 

If you don’t have Earl Grey tea at your disposal, but you want a similar taste of the buttercream, here are great alternatives:

  • If you like a more floral taste, lavender or rose tea are great choices
  • If you’re looking for a citrusy flavor and aroma, you can add Lady Grey or orange tea
  • Any other tea with bergamot oil as its ingredient will taste very similar to Earl Grey

How to Adjust the Flavor Intensity of Earl Grey Buttercream?

If you want a more intensive Earl Grey taste, increase the dose of tea used in the recipe. And, opt for loose-leaf tea because it’s usually stronger in flavor and aroma. 

If you don’t want the sharp citrusy flavor to overtake the cake, reduce the dose of tea in the recipe.

Final Thoughts

Earl Grey buttercream frosting offers a unique combo of lemon and bitter orange and adds a tart and floral flavor to your cakes and desserts. 

Its creamy and thick consistency makes it ideal as a buttercream frosting in combination with other creams for a variety of cakes and it’s also awesome as frosting.


How To Ice A Cake

How To Ice A Cake

Compiled and written with love from our editorial team.

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