milk tea cupcakes fork to belly

Milk Tea Cupcakes



I‘m blaming this on the Boba shop across the street from my apartment. They’ve only been open for a few weeks but I’ve already drank my way through five different variations of milk tea.

A few days ago, as I laid on the couch and practiced being a sloth, my bubble tea fogged brain posed an interesting question: Why have I never tried a milk tea cake?

milk tea cupcakes fork to belly milk tea cupcakes fork to belly


I took to the interwebs to be met with good news and bad news. The bad news is I found only one recipe for such a thing. The good news, that recipe was via Lady and the Pups and if you have yet to check out her work–what are you still doing here (remember to come back though, ok)??? I’m in love with anything Mandy whips up. She makes awesome asian foods looks even awesomer, her writing is hilarious, and all those gorgeous, dark and moody photos… Sorry, I’ll stop fangirling now. Needless to say, I knew I’d be in good hands here.


I love making cakes (if you haven’t already noticed), and my go to idea for this milk tea themed post was, unsurprisingly, a milk tea cake. But a few nights ago, after a stomach full of handrolls, I insisted we try Big Man Bakes next door to the restaurant. Again, if you haven’t heard of this place please do yourself a favor and head to DTLA right now. THIS PLACE has the moistest cupcakes I have ever ever ever had the privilege of ingesting. And I’m reeeally being 1000% serious when I say that. I wanted to stuff my face with these cupcakes, curl up inside one and live there forever. But mostly I just wanted to get my crumb covered hands on the recipe. The experience later reminded me that I’ve only done cupcakes once on the blog, which further reminded me how ridiculous that is because:

a) cupcakes are awesome
b) they’re basically mini cakes, but filled with even more love because they’re mini
3) cupcakes are awesome


But, you know, if you’re not up for making cupcakes then you can definitely make Mandy’s milk tea cake in its original form as a delicious breakfast loaf. I’m thinking this also makes these cupcakes breakfast appropriate?

Despite the exponential growth of boba in my diet, I couldn’t quite seem to fathom what these cupcakes would come out of the oven tasting like. But from the first bite, all I could comment on was that “this tastes exactly like milk tea”. The texture isn’t light and fluffy like a normal cupcake, which was expected as the recipe is meant for a loaf, but it’s still delicious and to me that’s only further proof that these cupcakes are totally pre-10AM friendly.

Milk Tea Cupcakes

Makes 10 tall cupcakes
For the cupcakes:

  • 3 heaping tbsp (12 g) of black tea (I used Assam tea leaves)
  • 1 cup (207 g) whole milk
  • 1 1/2 stick (170 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (106 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (96 g) honey, plus extra for topping
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (270 g) cake flour or all-purpose
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • For the frosting:

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 + 1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1. Preheat oven to 175C/350F.
    2. Grind the tea leaves using a spice grinder or pestle and mortar till it looks similar to coffee grounds. Add it with the milk into a small saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring the milk and tea mixture to a simmer. Immediately turn of the heat and let the saucepan cool to room temperature over the burner. Once the milk has cooled completely, transfer to a small bowl.
    3. Using a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in each egg one at a time, beating well between each addition until the batter is smooth again. Add in the honey and vanilla extract until combined.
    4. Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the dry ingredients and milk mixture into the batter in five alternating additions, beginning and ending with the flour (for example: flour, milk, flour, milk, flour). Mix until smooth and evenly combined but make sure not to over beat.
    5. I used the same tall muffin tin from my cruffin recipe, but you can still make these the normal way by lining your muffin tins and baking for about 20-25 minutes. For the tall muffins, grease and flour the tin and bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown on top and a pick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
    6. To make the frosting, beat the butter on high till for 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and pour in the condensed milk slowly. Mix for another minute. Add half of the sifted powdered sugar. Starting on a low speed and increasing to medium-high, beat for 2-3 minutes. Add in the rest of the powdered sugar and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and beat for one more minute.



    About Courtney C.

    • Ummm, cupcakes for breakfast should totally be a thing. And if it wasn’t already, it is now–you’ve sold me on the idea. Also, MINI EVERYTHANG 5EVA. And I’ve never heard of Big Man Bakes but I’m on it!!

      • Hi Alana! YES, you have to go. It’s in downtown on Main, and there’s a really great hand roll place right next door too.
        Yeeee! So glad to have a fellow food blogger in LA 🙂

    • I love Mandy’s blog too!! Her pictures are to die for. And she’s so unabashedly so hilarious. I’m in love with this cupcake-ified milk tea though!!

      • Hi Mabel! Thanks for stopping by here too 🙂

    • Those cupcakes are so adorable! And they look so moist and delicious!! 🙂

    • Wow, just wow. These look so good!