Earl Grey Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 25 min. + cooling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
Delight your taste buds with these Earl Grey cookies, combining the subtle floral and citrus notes of Earl Grey tea with the warm spices of cinnamon and cardamom. Perfect for an afternoon snack or an elegant dessert.

Updated: Jul. 04, 2024

These Earl Grey tea cookies bring a delightful twist to classic teatime treats. Infused with Earl Grey tea’s fragrant and soothing notes, these cookies are perfect for a sophisticated afternoon snack. The hint of cardamom and cinnamon adds a warm, spiced aroma, making each bite a truly comforting experience.

Earl Grey tea is a popular black tea blend containing bergamot orange oil, which gives it its citrusy aroma. Named after Charles Grey, a British prime minister in the 1830s, it is known for its sophisticated taste. The tea adds a subtle floral and citrus flavor to these cookies, enhancing the overall taste. The bergamot pairs well with the cookies’ spices and complements their buttery, tender texture. Earl Grey cookies are a delightful addition to any teatime or dessert spread.

Ingredients for Earl Grey Cookies

  • Earl Grey tea bag: The tea infuses the dough with a subtle floral and citrus aroma, enhancing the cookie’s overall flavor. You can use chai tea or any other favorite tea blend for a different flavor profile.
  • Boiling water: The hot water extracts the flavors from the tea bag, creating a rich tea concentrate to blend into the dough.
  • Butter softened: Butter provides a rich and creamy texture to the cookies, making them tender and flavorful. Use unsalted butter if you are looking to control the amount of salt in your recipe. For a dairy-free option, use margarine or a plant-based butter substitute.
  • Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness and helps achieve a light and fluffy texture in the creamed butter mixture.  
  • Large egg: The egg binds the ingredients together and adds the necessary moisture to the dough.
  • All-purpose flour: In this recipe, the flour provides the bulk and structure for the cookies, giving them a perfect crumbly texture. For a gluten-free version, substitute all-purpose with a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour.
  • Ground cinnamon: Cinnamon adds a warm spice to the dough and enhances the cookie’s aromatic quality. Nutmeg or allspice make good alternatives.
  • Ground cardamom: Cardamom is a unique and fragrant spice, complementing the Earl Grey tea in these cookies. If unavailable, ground ginger can provide a similar warm note.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: This sugar creates a light and sweet dusting on the cookies, adding a touch of elegance. For a less sweet option, reduce the amount or omit it entirely.

Directions

Step 1: Steep the tea

Place the Earl Grey tea bag in a 1-cup glass measuring cup. Add boiling water and let it steep for three to five minutes. Discard the tea bag and let the tea cool completely.

Editor’s Tip: To cool the tea quickly, place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

Step 2: Cream the butter and sugar

Preheat your oven to 400°F. In a small mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy, five to seven minutes. Beat in the egg and cooled tea until well combined.

Editor’s Tip: Ensure the butter is fully softened for easier creaming and a smoother mixture.

Step 3: Mix dry ingredients

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ground cardamom and salt. Gradually beat these dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture until a dough forms.

Editor’s Tip: Do not overmix the dough to prevent the cookies from becoming tough.

Step 4: Shape and bake

Shape level tablespoons of dough into balls and place them 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten each ball slightly with the bottom of a heavy glass. Bake for six to eight minutes or until light brown. Place the cookies on wire racks to cool completely.

Editor’s Tip: Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough for uniformly shaped cookies.

Step 5: Dust with cinnamon sugar

Mix together the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining ground cinnamon. Dust the cooled cookies with this cinnamon-sugar mixture for a finishing touch.

Editor’s Tip: Use a fine-mesh sieve to evenly dust the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Recipe Variations

  • Experiment with different teas: Substitute the Earl Grey tea with chai or green tea for a unique flavor twist, each adding its distinctive aroma to the cookies.
  • Enhance with citrus zest: Add the zest of one lemon or orange to the dough to introduce a refreshing citrusy note that complements the tea’s flavors.
  • Incorporate herbs: Mix in a teaspoon of dried lavender or rosemary to the dough for an additional floral or herbal layer.

How to Store Earl Grey Tea Cookies

To maintain their crisp texture, keep the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Avoid storing them in a humid environment.

How long do Earl Grey cookies last?

Store the cookies at room temperature for up to one week. Place them in a resealable bag in the refrigerator for longer storage—up to two weeks.

How do I freeze Earl Grey cookies?

To freeze the dough, place it into balls on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid, then store the dough balls in a freezer-safe bag or container. To bake, place frozen dough balls on a cookie sheet and bake as directed, adding an additional one to two minutes to the bake time. To freeze baked cookies, store them in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Recipe Tips for Earl Grey Tea Cookies

What tastes good with Earl Grey? 

Earl Grey pairs well with flavors such as lemon, honey, vanilla and lavender. These ingredients complement the tea’s citrusy and floral notes, enhancing its flavor.

Do Earl Grey and lavender go together? 

Yes, Earl Grey and lavender go together beautifully. The lavender’s floral notes complement the citrusy flavors of Earl Grey, creating a harmonious and aromatic blend.

What gives Earl Grey its distinctive flavor? 

Earl Grey gets its flavor from oil extracted from the peel of bergamot oranges. This oil imparts a unique citrusy and slightly floral aroma to the tea.

Earl Grey Cookies

Prep Time 25 min
Cook Time 10 min
Yield 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 Earl Grey tea bag
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Directions

  1. Place tea bag in a 1-cup glass measuring cup. Add boiling water; steep 3-5 minutes. Discard tea bag. Cool completely.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°. In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in egg and cooled tea. In another bowl, whisk flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cardamom and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
  3. Shape level tablespoons of dough into balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with bottom of a glass.
  4. Bake 6-8 minutes or until light brown. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Mix confectioners' sugar and remaining cinnamon. Dust cookies with cinnamon mixture.
Biscuit-like Earl Grey cookies are a wonderful addition to holiday cookie swaps because they are truly unique. —Veronica Callaghan, Glastonbury, Connecticut
Recipe Creator