Earl Grey Tea Cookies Recipe

Cookies infused with a light citrusy flavor and notes of vanilla.

Earl grey tea cookies stacked on a saucer next to a mug of tea.

Serious Eats / Carrie Vasios Mullins

Why It Works

  • Grinding tea leaves and adding them directly to the dough gives the cookies a strong earl grey flavor (and a significant amount of caffeine).
  • The dough holds its shape, so it's a good choice for any cutter you have with small or sharp accents.

I don't think you'd guess it to look at me (or my apartment), but I have a secret obsession with things that fall into the category of kitsch or twee. Hey, life is short, and dancing hula lamps, cottage-shaped teapots, and over-decorated Mexican restaurants amuse me. Since I don't actually want my house to look like the set of a historical movie (OK maybe I do), I get my kitschy fill through baking.

No surprise, then, that when I recently purchased a teapot-shaped cookie cutter, I knew I had to make the cookies taste like tea, too. I took my standard crisp sugar cookie base and ground earl grey tea leaves into the dry ingredients. Using the whole tea leaves as opposed to adding in steeped tea really makes a difference in terms of imparting the flavor of the tea; versus adding steeped tea, it's much more potent. The cookies are crisp, especially on the second day, and good for dunking. The earl grey tea gives them a light citrusy flavor, and there are also notes of vanilla.

I love that the dough is easy to roll out and doesn't crack or tear. And because the dough holds its shape, it's a good choice for any cutter you have with small or sharp accents (delicate snowflakes, flamingos, etc.)

So no, you don't have to make these earl grey tea(pot) cookies in a tea-pot shape, but you know you want to. On the inside.

March 2014

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 105 mins
Serves: 24 servings

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  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon earl grey tea leaves
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and tea leaves. Pulse until tea leaves are finely ground (about 6 pulses).

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla, followed by egg. Add dry ingredients to bowl and mix just until dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

  3. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  4. Lightly flour a clean work surface. Roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with cutter of your choice, then transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake until cookies are just golden at the edges, about 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Special Equipment

Food processor, stand mixer, rolling pin, baking sheets, parchment paper, cookie cutter

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