Lemon Earl Gray streusel muffins are coffee cake-inspired, and infused with the flavors of tea and lemon zest. Topped with a simple brown sugar streusel and lemony glaze, they are perfect for breakfast or dessert!
Try as I might, I am not a tea drinker. I know it has health benefits, I know it’s pretty delicious; I know it’s a lot of things. But if I’m drinking a hot beverage, it’s going to be coffee every single time. Beyond that, I just drink lots of water throughout the day, and maybe a glass of wine or a cocktail in the evening. Tea just doesn’t come into the picture for me, and that’s OK. I’ve accepted it.
Somehow, I still have quite a bit of tea on hand, most of it given to me as gifts from tea-lovers. Since I hate to throw away food (or drink), I’m always looking for other ways to use this tea. I’ve made milky tea ice cream to enjoy on a hot summer day, and tea-smoked duck fettuccine, which is a flavorful and decadent dish for a cold night.
Now that I’ve had some successful recipes in both the savory and (frozen) sweet worlds, I figured it was time to try my hand at a baked good involving tea. And because I’m a certified lemon fanatic, of course I worked some lemon goodness in here as well. Who’s surprised?
The key to these lemon Earl Gray streusel muffins is making sure you have the appropriate tea. I used Earl Gray, but I think any black tea would work. The most important thing is that you use fresh tea. If you have some dusty old tea bags in the back of your cabinet, now is NOT the time to use those. You want fresh tea that is sure to infuse a lot of flavor in the muffin batter. Make sure your lemon is nice and fresh, too!
It’s also important that you use tea that is fairly finely ground. I used the tea from a Tazo Earl Gray tea bag, which was a good consistency for this project. A loose leaf tea with larger bits and pieces wouldn’t work as well here. Who wants to be eating a muffin and chew into a piece of tea bark or something? I just made up “tea bark.” I have no idea if that is a real term or not. I’m doubting it.
Whip up this muffin batter with your fresh lemon zest and tea. Top the muffins with a simple brown sugar streusel mixture and bake them until your whole house smells like coffee cake. To finish, drizzle them with a lemon juice-infused glaze. Enjoy these lemon Earl Gray streusel muffins for breakfast, dessert or a snack!