Butterfly Pea Tea Frosted Vanilla Cupcakes

Discover the enchanting combination of Butterfly Pea Tea Frosted Vanilla Cupcakes! These delightful treats offer a unique twist on the classic vanilla cupcake, featuring a vibrantly coloured frosting infused with the subtle earthy notes of butterfly pea flowers. It’s a feast for both the eyes and the palate!

These cupcakes start with a moist and fluffy vanilla cupcake base, providing a subtly sweet foundation. The star of the show is the frosting – a creamy, dreamy concoction infused with the natural blue hue of butterfly pea flowers. The result is a mesmerizing swirl of blue frosting atop each cupcake, offering a visual surprise and a hint of delicate, earthy flavor.

What is Butterfly Pea Tea?

Butterfly pea flowers (Clitoria ternatea) are a vibrant blue flowering plant native to Southeast Asia. They have been a traditional ingredient in both cuisine and herbal teas for centuries. Here’s what makes them so special:

  • Mesmerizing Blue Colour: Their most striking feature is the intense blue pigment they release when steeped in water. This natural blue color makes them a popular ingredient for creating visually stunning beverages and dishes.
  • Subtle Earthy Flavour Butterfly pea flowers impart a delicate, slightly earthy and grassy flavor that complements sweet flavors beautifully. It’s a subtle taste that won’t overpower other ingredients.
  • Traditional Uses: In Southeast Asia, butterfly pea flowers are used to color rice dishes, desserts, and refreshing beverages. They also have a place in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for various potential benefits.
  • Potential Health Benefits: While more research is needed, butterfly pea flowers are linked to potential health benefits due to their antioxidant content. These may include promoting healthy skin and hair, and supporting cognitive function.

Flavor and Colour Fun

The earthy notes of the butterfly pea tea balance the sweetness of the vanilla cupcakes and frosting perfectly. A squeeze of lemon juice in the frosting can create a delightful colour transformation from blue to shades of purple and pink! Consider adding edible flowers or sprinkles for extra visual appeal.

Butterfly Pea Tea Frosted Vanilla Cupcakes

Yields: Approximately 12 cupcakes


For the Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups (190g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (180ml) whole milk

For the Butterfly Pea Tea Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups (360g-480g) icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried butterfly pea flowers
  • ¼ cup (60ml) hot water (not boiling)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: squeeze of lemon juice


  • Cupcake pan and liners
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk & electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer)


Vanilla Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat and Prep: Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Line a cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Dry Ingredients: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Cream Butter and Sugar: Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add Eggs: Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.
  5. Combine: Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry. Mix just until combined.
  6. Bake: Fill cupcake liners about ⅔ full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Butterfly Pea Tea Frosting

  1. Infusion: Steep butterfly pea flowers in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Strain out the flowers.
  2. Cream Butter: Beat butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add Sugar and Tea: Gradually add icing sugar, alternating with butterfly pea tea infusion. Beat until smooth and desired consistency. Add vanilla.
  4. Color Change (Optional): For a fun color shift, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  5. Frost: Frost cooled cupcakes generously. Decorate as desired!


  • Room Temp = Fluffy: Use room temperature ingredients for the best cupcake texture.
  • Don’t Overmix: Overmixing the batter leads to dense cupcakes.
  • Customize: Add a pinch of spice or citrus zest to the cupcake batter.

Choosing high-quality ingredients makes a significant difference! Opt for premium butterfly pea flowers to achieve the most intense blue hue in your frosting and the best subtle, earthy flavour.

The amount of butterfly pea tea infusion directly controls the colour intensity of your frosting. Start with a small amount and gradually add more until you reach your desired shade of blue. Keep in mind that adding more infusion may require a bit of extra icing sugar to maintain the ideal frosting consistency.

Frosting freshly baked and completely cooled cupcakes ensures the frosting adheres smoothly and beautifully. Warm cupcakes can cause the frosting to melt and lose its shape.

For a playful touch, add a squeeze of lemon juice to your frosting and witness a magical colour transformation! The acidity will shift the blue hue into stunning shades of purple and pink.

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