Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mrs. Winters' Iced Tea Cupcakes

The whole time I was growing up, Mrs. Winters was my next-door neighbor. Everytime I knocked on her door she would invite me in, give me an Andes Candy mint, and let me sit on her couch for a chat. If my mom was with me, she would make sweet iced tea with lemon and mint from her yard. Now, iced tea with lemon and mint might not seem that special, but I had never had fresh mint until I tried Mrs. Winters' iced tea. I thought it was the most wonderful and sophisticated thing to be able to grow mint in your own backyard. (Of course, nowadays I wish that I could pare down the mint plant that has taken over my herb garden.)

The combination of black tea, lemon, and mint is still one that reminds me of summer in Texas, riding my bike all day, doing circles in Mrs. Winters' driveway. This cupcake is for Mrs. Winters.

Mrs. Winters' Iced Tea Cupcakes
*Gluten-free and vegan
makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup +2 Tbsp nondairy milk
3 Tbsp. loose black tea (you can break open a teabag)
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plain soy yogurt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 cup rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum

Lemon-Mint Frosting
2 Tbsp. non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, room temperature
1/2 cup nondairy cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp mint extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
Zest from one lemon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcakes liners. In a small saucepan, combine milk and tea. Bring to a simmer, then turn off heat and steep for 10 minutes. Strain out tea leaves, squeezing all remaining milk out. Combine milk/tea, oil, sugar, yogurt, and extracts together. In a separate bowl, sift together remaining dry ingredients. Then add wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into each cupcake liner. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool completely.

In an electric mixer, cream together the shortening and cream cheese. Add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until a creamy frosting forms. Add extracts and zest and mix to combine. Spread over cupcakes once they have cooled completely. Garnish with fresh mint and lemon wedges and serve with iced tea. Think about your neighbor when you eat it.

***To make this cupcake with wheat flour, use 1 3/4 cup wheat flour instead of the tapioca flour, rice flour, and xanthan gum. I think that'll work- I'll test it soon.

This cupcake is being entered in the Cupcake Hero contest.


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Iced-Tea Cupcakes??? How innovative!!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Hooray for vegan Cupcake Hero entries! These sound lovely & I adore the little lemon wedge.

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