Cupcake Series: Arnold Palmer Cupcakes


It’s been 2 weeks since I arrived and after a dreadfully grumpy week of staying up during what my hypothalamus firmly believed ought to be the middle of the night, the jetlag has passed and I have settled into my shadowing adventures. And AMCAS.

In the meantime, I’ve run across two little fluffy baby pandas, a recently trending franchise of monstrous mango smoothie-sorbet-whipped cream creations, and novelty beverages served with a chunk of dry ice for instant carbonation. (Hopefully minus accidental frostbite on the tongue – can you imagine showing up to the ER to explain that?)


In any case, Memorial Day is quickly approaching, which means that summer is soon to follow. And what beverage is more quintessentially summer than an Arnold Palmer? For the unenlightened (including me circa 2012), an Arnold Palmer is a half-and-half mixture of lemonade and iced tea, and tastes more or less like sweet tea with extra lemon, except better. So for this month’s seasonably appropriate cupcake week entry, I present to you the Arnold Palmer cupcake.


By far the oddest and yet most exciting part of the recipe is the sweet tea jelly. As I have recently learned, apparently everything can be jellified if you have enough patience (and pectin powder). While I’ve provided a rough guideline regarding the amount of pectin that you should add, feel free to adjust up or down as needed to produce your desired consistency by sprinkling in extra pectin and heating up your mixture – no need to worry about clumping!

For the perfect summer treat (and an extra exciting way to have your dessert and drink it too), bring a batch of these Arnold Palmer cupcakes to your next summer get-together. Hope you enjoy!

Happy Thursday,


Arnold Palmer Cupcakes


Sweet Tea Cupcake:
190 g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup strong black tea

Sweet Tea Jelly:
1/2 cup water
2 black tea bags
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbs pectin powder
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Lemonade Whipped Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

To Serve:
Lemon zest


Sweet Tea Cupcake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a cupcake tray with 12 liners.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  3. Beat together the butter and sugar until the mixture is fluffy and well incorporated.
  4. Add in the egg and egg white one at a time, beating thoroughly after each egg, then beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. Fold in 1/2 of the sifted flour mixture with a spatula until just combined.
  6. Pour in the strong tea all at once and mix until just combined.
  7. Fold in the remaining 1/2 of the sifted flour mixture with a spatula until just combined.
  8. Fill your cupcake liners a little over halfway with cupcake batter. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the middle of the cupcake comes out with only a few dry crumbs attached.
  9. Set aside to cool before frosting!

Sweet Tea Jelly:

  1. In a small pot, bring the water to a boil then remove from heat. Add the tea bags and steep for 5 minutes before removing.
  2. Add the sugar and pectin to the hot tea, stir to dissolve, then bring the mixture just to a boil over medium heat. Watch for the mixture to thicken noticeably to the consistency of room temperature maple syrup, then remove from heat.
    Tip: Add in more pectin or more water as needed to adjust the consistency. Remember to watch for a syrupy consistency of the hot jelly for the mixture to set properly!
  3. Stir in the lemon juice, and set aside to cool!

Lemonade Whipped Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, lemon juice, and sugar until all ingredients are fully incorporated and the mixture is fluffy.
  2. In another bowl, whip the heavy cream to firm peaks. At this point, when you lift out the beaters, the cream should form peaks that curl over slightly at the tips.
  3. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, adding half of the mixture at a time.
  4. Load the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large tip of your choice (I used the Wilton #1A!), and set aside in the fridge for assembly!


  1. Using a large piping tip and a small spoon, hollow out the center of each cupcake as shown here.
  2. Gently heat the sweet tea jelly until just runny to pour, then use a small spoon to fill each cupcake with the warmed jelly. Thin the remaining jelly with water until it is thin enough to drizzle.
  3. Pipe on a tall swirl of frosting, spiraling in from the outside edge of the cupcake, then drizzle on the thinned sweet tea jelly.
  4. Top with lemon zest and serve. Enjoy!




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