Today’s average diner boasts a sophisticated palate. Butter’s not simply butter anymore, cream cheese doesn’t have to be white, and cupcakes are demanding more than simple chocolate frosting to top things off. Monochromatic foods are long gone, and flavor’s been ramped up to eleven. To meet the thirst for tasty innovation, spreads have evolved into bold flavors, with tea coming out to play. Tea-infused spreads are dressing up morning breakfast items or afternoon snacks in playful, delicious ways. Here’s a few recipes for tea-infused spreads to diversify your plate:
1) Chai and Honey Butter
This butter recipe from The Kitchn relies on the strength of power couple tea and honey for a spread that elevates snack time. The recipe uses both brewed black tea and black tea leaves, which dots the spread for a speckled look. Chai spices cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and pepper work with the tea and honey to create a butter that packs a kick.
2) Earl Grey Buttercream Frosting
Top With Cinnamon pairs this earl grey frosting with lemony zucchini cake, but we think it would go well on top of just about any dessert. Butter combines with loose earl grey tea, egg whites, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt to create a rich and creamy spread for cupcakes, muffins, cookies, or brownies.
3) Matcha Green Tea Frosting
Go green with this matcha frosting from A Cozy Kitchen. This recipe finishes chocolate cupcakes with green tea frosting, but this spread can be used on all sorts of sweets, from rice krispy treats to Christmas cookies. Simply mix butter, powdered sugar, buttermilk, and matcha powder to make the frosting you’ll never know how you did without.
4) Black Tea Icing
This black tea icing from Delish is drizzled on top of black tea-infused cardamom cookies, but we think it would be a great candidate to ice cakes, muffins, or, let’s be honest, to eat right off a spoon. With just three ingredients—whole milk, English Breakfast tea, and powdered sugar—it’s very easy to make. Simply steep tea in the milk and then whisk into the sugar for an icing that’s sure to dazzle taste buds.
5) Blueberry Earl Grey Jam
This tea-infused jam from Fool Proof Preserving is the perfect way to eat tea for breakfast. Spread this jam on an English muffin, on top of toast, or even remix a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with it. The recipe authors write, “We found through testing that the best way to infuse tea flavor into the jam was to steep five Earl Grey tea bags with the blueberries for the entire time the blueberries cooked.” The end result? “We were left with a blueberry jam imbued with the subtle flavor of Earl Grey tea.” Yum!
6) Matcha Cream Cheese
This recipe from The Healthy Matcha Cookbook (via blog Desserts With Benefits) is the tea-based addition your morning bagel’s been searching for. Alternatively, use the cream cheese as the filling for homemade sandwich cookies or on toast. Stir together 8 ounces of cream cheese and 3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrump, then add in 2-3 teaspoons of matcha, adjusting based on how strong you’d like your spread. And voila! Three ingredients and a little elbow grease later, you’ve got a new green cream cheese in your culinary arsenal.