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Sweet Tea Cupcakes

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Take the taste of sweet tea and enjoy it in cupcake form! Steep the flavor of summer into this fun dessert.

Sweet tea cupcakes with peach buttercream and paper straw decorations.

Sweet tea is a hot weather staple for a lot of folks, but now you don’t have to have a glass and ice to enjoy it. Instead you can eat your tea in cupcake form! They are the perfect way to cap off a summer party and would be perfect for a BBQ!

I’m going to let you in on a little insider knowledge about me. I don’t like tea.

I want to like tea. I’ve tried to like tea. I just don’t like it.

I enjoy the idea of cozying up with a mug of hot tea during the winter. I really would love to have an excuse to have a cute tea kettle that lives on the stove.

tea bags steeping in milk for making cupcakes.

I have bought several varieties of tea and it’s just never as good as I hoped it would be. So I am stuck pining over tea kettles with no good reason to buy one.

During the summer, it’s basically the same story. I see folks with their glass of iced tea and wedge of lemon and think about how refreshing it looks.

Then I take a sip and quickly realize I am more of a lemon water kind of girl. Oh well, I guess it’s not meant to be.

However, it turns out I do like tea in cupcake form! I am sure that doesn’t come as much of a surprise to most of you.

sweet tea cake batter in cupcake tin ready to bake.

It turns out I can have my tea and eat it too. After all that’s much better than drinking it.

For these cupcakes I steeped plenty of tea into the batter.  It gave it the flavor and a nice tea color as well.

I just used the standard ice tea blend I keep on hand for parties, but you could really use any tea you would like. I was really tempted to use some peach tea bags. Maybe next time!

To top your cupcakes, you will want a fun frosting. For these I used peachy keen buttercream and I will share that recipe tomorrow.

tray of sweet tea cupcakes fresh from the oven.

They would also be fabulous with lemon sweetened condensed milk buttercream. That would give them more of a Tom Collins feel.

Though they would be great year round, they remind me of ice tea and make me think of summer. They would be a fun addition to a potluck or summer BBQ.

More tea inspired treats:

Tips and tricks for sweet tea cupcakes:

  • This makes 12 large cupcakes with big domes. You could probably eek out 16-18 cupcakes if you don’t fill the wrappers so full.
  • Use your favorite variety of tea and feel free to be creative with tea and frosting combinations.
  • Once you add your dry ingredients, mix until they are just incorporated. Overmixing can result in tough cupcakes.
  • I like to use a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to get the batter in the cupcake papers. It makes it easy to get even amounts without a huge mess.

      Have you ever tried baking with tea? What are your favorite recipes?

Sweet tea cupcakes with peach buttercream and paper straw decorations.

Sweet Tea Cupcakes

Servings: 12 Cupcakes
Author: Carlee
Take the taste of sweet tea and enjoy it in cupcake form! Steep the flavor of summer into this fun dessert.
4.64 from 19 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • cup whole milk
  • 5 tea bags
  • cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs


  • Warm milk to just boiling, remove from heat and add tea bags. Allow to steep for about 20 minutes. 
    2/3 cup whole milk, 5 tea bags
  • Preheat oven to 350 and place 12 cupcake papers in a cupcake tin.
  • Remove tea bags from warm milk.  Stir together milk, sour cream and vanilla.
    ⅓ cup sour cream, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt until lump free. 
    1¾ cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar and oil until thick and pale yellow.
    1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs
  • Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the milk mixture. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients until just mixed.
  • Scoop into cupcake papers and bake for 15-18 minutes. 
  • Cool in cupcake tin for about 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting. 


Serving: 1CupcakeCalories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 4gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 254mgSugar: 14g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Saturday 17th of February 2024

I want to make these but I am wondering if you could substitute melted butter for the oil. I really don't like using oil.


Sunday 18th of February 2024

Yes, melted butter should work great. Just let it cool a bit and use a 1:1 swap.


Sunday 30th of July 2023

Hello could you tell me how much milk in ml plz, as I'm from the UK? Thankyou.


Sunday 30th of July 2023

2/3 cup is roughly 160mL.


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

Can these be frozen for a week or two ahead of time?


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

Yes. Cakes and cupcakes freeze pretty well. Put them in an airtight container and they'll keep for a couple of months in the freezer.


Monday 23rd of January 2023

So excited to try these! I really need to double the recipe. Do I double the tea bags too or would that be too strong?


Monday 23rd of January 2023

I would double the tea bags too. I hope you love them!

Darlene H

Monday 22nd of June 2020

Hi Do you have a frosting to go with the cupcake?


Thursday 2nd of July 2020

I did a peachy keen buttercream with them. Though lemon sweetened condensed milk frosting would be lovely too!