lavender earl grey cookies

About These Lavender Earl Grey Cookies

These lavender Earl Grey cookies are chewy, buttery sugar cookies infused with the floral flavors of both Earl Grey tea and dried lavender petals. The recipe comes from my friend Amy (the blogger extraordinaire behind Constellation Inspiration—I mean, seriously, have you seen her Instagram account?!) and her cookbook, Blooms and Baking.

Blooms and Baking is all about incorporating edible and aromatic flowers to cakes, cookies, candies, and more. I was super excited about the concept, because I am no stranger to incorporating florals to my bakes whenever I can (see: this Cherry Blossom Cake, and these Spring Flower Sugar Cookies). Amy takes it to the next level though, sharing beautiful recipes like a Chocolate Lilac Layer Cake, Rose Petal Shortbread, and Jasmine and Blueberry Ice Cream Choux Puffs in her book. Flipping through it all, I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to bake first!

But in the end, I settled for these lavender Earl Grey cookies. I thought they would be the perfect recipe to add to Hummingbird High’s collection of Drop Cookie recipes!

What Do Lavender Earl Grey Cookies Taste Like?

Amy’s lavender earl grey cookies really called out to me because they reminded me of an elevated snickerdoodle cookie. What’s an elevated snickerdoodle cookie? In my own cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I talk about how my best snickerdoodle recipe can be customized with other flavors and spices beyond cinnamon. In fact, I included variations for raspberry sumac (made with freeze-dried raspberries and sumac—check it out on my friend Molly’s blog!), black sesame sugar (made with ground up black sesame seeds), and matcha snickerdoodles. You can see a similar concept in my recipes for these Tangy Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies and these Raspberry Lemon Snickerdoodles.

These lavender Earl Grey cookies are very, VERY similar in spirit. However, instead of incorporating the tea into the sugar topping, Amy instructs you to add both Earl Grey tea and ground-up lavender to the cookie dough. Both the Earl Grey tea and lavender give the chewy, buttery sugar cookies their signature floral, aromatic flavors. And before baking the cookies, she also has you sprinkle each with a generous amount of sugar, giving the cookies a “snickerdoodle-esque” appearance and texture.

But doesn’t lavender taste like soap?

There are some haters out there who think that lavender flavored baked goods taste like soap. And you know what, I’ll acknowledge that yes, when done wrong, lavender baked goods CAN taste like soap. But that’s usually because the recipe and/or baker has gone overboard and used too much lavender!

Luckily, Amy’s recipe only uses a minimal amount of lavender—a scant ½ teaspoon. Just enough for flavor and aroma, but not enough for soapy flavor. Rest assured that these cookies taste mostly like Earl Grey tea, butter, and sugar.

lavender earl grey cookies

Why You Should Make The Recipe

Aside from being delicious, there are other reasons why you should try this cookie recipe:

I’ll be honest with you guys; as much as I love the chewy, buttery texture of simple sugar cookies, I’m always looking for ways to switch up their flavors. This is why I love Amy’s recipe SO much. The addition of both lavender and Earl Grey tea just brings so much new flavor to such a classic recipe.

Most folks already have Earl Grey tea in their cupboard. And even if you’re not a tea drinking household, Earl Grey tea is still easily sourced and readily available in most major grocery stores.

That being said, lavender can be tricky to source. Be sure to check out my tips below on how to source culinary lavender, or eliminate it from the recipe completely.

The recipe comes together quickly.

Despite being on the fancier side of things, these cookies still come together quickly. In fact, making the dough for these cookies only took me 10 minutes or so, with another 5 minutes to shape the dough into cookies themselves.

The most time-consuming part of the recipe came from prepping the tea and lavender—but with the right tools, it should take no time at all (more on that below).

The cookies store well.

The best part? Like any good flavored sugar cookie, the lavender and Earl Grey flavors deepen and become stronger with time. Although the cookies were plenty delicious on the day they were made, they tasted extra aromatic and buttery the next day!

Why? It’s similar to how cookie dough tastes better when it’s chilled before baking. Time gives the flour more time to absorb flavors from the butter, sugar, lavender, and tea in this recipe.

lavender earl grey cookies

Ingredients and Substitutions

Now that I’ve convinced you to try this lavender Earl Grey cookie recipe, here’s the shopping list for the recipe:

Shopping List for Lavender Earl Grey Cookies Recipe

  • all-purpose flour
  • Earl Grey tea (from tea bags or loose leaf tea)
  • culinary-grade lavender
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • kosher salt
  • granulated sugar
  • unsalted butter
  • large eggs
  • pure vanilla extract

And let’s talk about some of its key ingredients:

Earl Grey Tea

This lavender Earl Grey cookie recipe uses 1 Tablespoon finely ground Earl Grey tea to make the cookies.

These cookies are primarily flavored with Earl Grey tea. Check out the section below for links to my favorite Earl Grey tea brands! But first, let’s learn more about Earl Grey tea.

What is Earl Grey tea?

Earl Grey is a black tea blend that is flavored with bergamot orange oil. Bergamot oranges are a special type of orange with a very fragrant, flavorful peel. This peel is commonly used in flavors and perfumes. Unfortunately, beyond the peel, bergamot orange fruit isn’t great for food, flavor, or fragrance. It’s best to stick with eating regular orange varieties.

Earl Grey tea is especially popular in England, where the tea is frequently served with milk and sugar, or even just plain lemon. It is named for Charles Grey, a British Prime Minister in the 1830s, and is said to have originated from the London tea house Jacksons of Picadilly.

Does Earl Grey tea have caffeine?

Yes! Earl Grey tea has about the same amount of caffeine as black tea (which can have really variable caffeine levels). Why? Like I said above, Earl Grey is mostly just black tea that is flavored with bergamot orange peel or essence.

Can I use another tea instead of Earl Grey?

Yes! In theory, you can swap out the Earl Grey tea in this recipe for your favorite black tea instead. However, I recommend thinking about whether or not that tea will match with lavender’s floral flavors. In general, Earl Grey and lavender is a pretty common flavor pairing—another tea might not taste as good with the lavender!

Lavender

This lavender Earl Grey cookie recipe uses ½ teaspoon culinary-grade lavender to make the cookies.

In addition to Earl Grey tea, Amy adds just a hint of lavender for flavor to these cookies. Her recipe uses dried lavender petals.

Can you eat lavender?

Yes! Many bakers and professional pastry chefs use lavender as a flavor in cakes, confections, and more. But you’ll need to be mindful of the type of lavender you use. Lavender is also used in many beauty products and household cleaning supplies like soap. Make sure to source culinary lavender.

Where to buy dried lavender

Lavender is available in most organic grocery stores and food co-ops. You can also buy culinary lavender in farmers’ markets (pro-tip: if you live in the Portland, Oregon area, the Portland Farmers Market has a stand that is specifically dedicated to selling lavender of all varieties). However, in a pinch, you can buy culinary lavender online. If buying online, look for a brand that specifically uses language like “for baking”, “for tea”, “organic”, and/or “culinary grade”.

What’s the difference between culinary lavender versus lavender in beauty and household products?

It’s important to look for those terms because culinary lavender is subject to food and safety regulations. Non-culinary lavender, on the other hand, is NOT. That means that the lavender used for making beauty and household products might be treated with chemicals and preservatives that aren’t suitable for eating and are potentially harmful or poisonous to our bodies! Let’s avoid that, please.

Can I skip the lavender in this lavender Earl Grey cookie recipe?

Yes, but with reservations. Although I don’t recommend doing it because you’ll change the flavors of Amy’s original recipe, in a pinch, you can skip the lavender. Your cookies will still taste like Earl Grey, but without the subtle, aromatic flavor from the lavender.

How to Make Lavender Earl Grey Cookies

Amy’s lavender Earl Grey cookies are incredibly easy to make at home. Here’s a breakdown of the key steps:

  1. Prep your ingredients by measuring everything out and grinding the Earl Grey tea and lavender if necessary. (Prep Time: 10 minutes)
    Although most cookie recipes usually take 5 minutes or less to prep, this cookie recipe requires slightly more time. Why? You’ll need to grind the lavender petals (and the Earl Grey tea, if you’re using loose leaf tea—more on that in a second) before adding them to the cookies. However, there are tools to make this task go by in a breeze. Check out the Troubleshooting/FAQ section below!

  2. Make the cookie dough. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
    After you prep the ingredients, you’ll need to make the cookie dough. Amy’s lavender Earl Grey cookie recipe is pretty standard and follows the formula for making most other cookies. First, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs and the dry ingredients. Mix until combined and then boom, done!

  3. Portion the cookie dough and sprinkle with sugar. (Work Time: 5 minutes)
    Like with any cookie recipe, I recommend investing in a cookie dough scoop to make the job go by quicker and easier. My favorite cookie dough scoop size for cookies is a 3-tablespoon scoop. However, I think Amy uses a 4-tablespoon cookie dough scoop in her original recipe. As a result, I end up with slightly more cookies than the recipe’s yield in her book.

  4. Bake the cookies. (Bake Time: 12 minutes)
    Each batch of cookies requires 12 minutes in the oven.
lavender earl grey cookies

Recipe Troubleshooting and FAQ

FAQ: Questions About Ingredients

What is the best Earl Grey tea?

Okay, the best Earl Grey tea is a pretty high bar to clear. But my favorite Earl Grey tea is this Créme de la Earl Grey tea from Townshend’s Tea Company. It has a very distinct vanilla and cream flavor that other Earl Grey teas don’t have, in addition to a sprinkling of pretty blue cornflower blossoms. These are the blue flower petals that you see on my cookies! You can also buy the cornflower blossom petals individually online from Kalustyan’s (my favorite spice store in New York City)!

Can I use loose leaf Earl Grey tea?

Yes! Although Amy’s original recipe calls for Earl Grey tea bags, I used the loose leaf Créme de la Earl Grey tea from Townshend’s Tea Company. Be sure to check out the baker’s notes—it has more specifics on how many tea bag versus how much loose leaf tea to use.

FAQ: Questions About Baking Equipment For The Recipe

Best Spice Grinder for Making Lavender Earl Grey Cookies

To make these cookies, you’ll need to grind up the lavender petals and/or Earl Grey loose leaf tea. There are a handful of tools that you can use for the task:

  • A manual spice grinder. Manual spice grinders are typically operated with a crank—simply place the ingredient in the grinder, and turn the crank to grind it. This is the one I own. It’s technically exclusively for black peppercorns, but I just use it for whatever spice I want because I’m a rebel without a cause, I guess.

  • An electric spice grinder. One of my secret weapons in my kitchen is this electric spice grinder by Cuisinart. It is specifically made for grinding herbs and spices, and it is an absolute BEAST. It is so much less work than a manual spice grinder—I can have things like nutmeg, tonka beans, and cinnamon sticks fully powdered in less than 5 seconds. However, it doesn’t have the best ratings on Amazon. Why? The spice grinder bowl has a tendency to get stuck. Just make sure to store the machine disassembled and it shouldn’t be a problem!

  • A coffee grinder. If you don’t own a spice grinder, you can use an electric coffee bean grinder to grind the lavender petals and/or the Earl Grey loose leaf tea. Just be sure to clean it thoroughly to rid it of its coffee flavors! Be sure to check out the section below on how to clean the coffee grinder before using for this recipe.

How to clean a spice grinder

The best way to do so is to disassemble the grinder, wash it thoroughly in the dishwasher (only if possible), and then grind 1 cup of rice or so before grinding the herbs and spices of your choice.

How to grind spices without a grinder

In a pinch, a mortar and pestle will do the trick. However, this is definitely the most labor intensive route of all the options.

FAQ: Questions About Storing The Cookies

Can you freeze Earl Grey cookie dough?

Yes! You can freeze Earl Grey cookie dough just like you can freeze your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough recipe. After portioning the dough into balls, place the balls on a parchment lined sheet pan and freeze for 30 minutes, or until the dough is hard enough to handle without being sticky. Transfer to a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Note that the dough will be frozen WITHOUT the sugar garnish. When ready to bake, you’ll need to sprinkle the cookies with the extra sugar! There’s no need to thaw the cookie dough balls before baking. Follow the instructions for baking in the recipe, but increase the Bake Time to 14 to 16 minutes. 

Can you freeze the baked Earl Grey cookies?

Yes! I love freezing baked snickerdoodle cookies and snacking on them (while still cold from the freezer!) in the summertime. For softer cookies, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator, then for a few hours at room temperature before serving. 

Best Recipe Tips

Ingredient Tip

  • Amy’s original recipe instructs you to use Earl Grey tea from 3 tea bags. Most tea in tea bags already comes pretty finely ground; however, if you cut open your tea bags and see bigger leaves, you’ll need to finely grind the tea along with the lavender petals.

    Because my favorite tea comes loose leaf, I very annoyingly texted Amy to ask what the loose leaf equivalent for this recipe would be. Together, we worked out that one tea bag had approximately 1 teaspoon finely ground tea leaves. Simply put, this recipe requires a total of 1 Tablespoon finely ground Earl Grey tea. To get that equivalent from loose leaf tea, I ended up finely grinding 4 teaspoons of my Créme de la Earl Grey tea.

Baking Tips

  • I like to bake the cookies one pan at a time. I find that doing so makes the best cookies, ensuring that none of them have overly burnt bottoms or raw centers. However, to save time, you can bake two sheet pans at a time. Position a rack in the upper-third position of the oven, and a second one in the lower-third position of the oven. Bake a pan on each rack, swapping their positions half way through the Bake Time.

  • The cookies will look puffed when you pull them out of the oven, but will fall and crack into the perfect cookies as they cool. Because of the Earl Grey tea, it can be a little hard to tell when these cookies are ready—even when done, the cookie centers will look slightly gray. That’s totally normal, I promise!

Lavender Recipes (or, what to do with your leftover lavender)

Earl Grey Recipes

More Unique Cookie Recipes

Get the Recipe: Lavender Earl Grey Cookies Recipe

These lavender Earl Grey cookies are chewy, buttery sugar cookies infused with the floral flavors of both Earl Grey tea and dried lavender petals. The recipe is from my friend Amy Ho's new book, Blooms and Baking!
(4.91 stars) 171 reviews
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Ingredients

For the Lavender Earl Grey Cookies

  • 2 ¼ cups (9.5 ounces or 270 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon finely ground Earl Grey tea (from 3 tea bags or 4 teaspoons loose leaf tea)
  • ½ teaspoon culinary-grade lavender, finely ground
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ cup (8.80 ounces or 250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For Garnish

  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Instructions
 

For the Lavender Earl Grey Cookies

  • Prep your oven and pans. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • Make the cookies. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, Earl Grey tea, lavender, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter. Beat on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, 2 to 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the mixer to low and add the egg. Add the vanilla and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, and beat on low for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Use a 3-tablespoon cookie dough scoop to portion the cookie dough into balls. Place the cookies at least 3 inches apart on the prepared sheet pans. Sprinkle the tops of the dough balls with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar for garnish before baking.
  • Bake the cookies. Bake one pan at a time for 12 minutes, or until the edges have set but the centers are still gooey. The cookies will look puffed when you pull them out of the oven, but will fall and crack into the perfect cookies as they cool. Cool the cookies on the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, or until the edges and bottoms of the cookies have set and feel firm to the touch. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
  • Serve and store. Serve warm or at room temperature. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Notes

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Weeknight Baking:
Recipes to Fit your Schedule

Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.