Preheat oven to 180degreesC.
Line a mini cupcake or muffin tray with 24 mini cupcake liners or a regular-size cupcake or muffin pan with 9 cupcake liners. In the bowl of an electric stand mixture, with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence together and beat it until uber light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until a smooth mixture has formed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the earl grey tea and lemon. Sift the flour and mixed spice into the bowl and turn the mixer to the lowest speed until a smooth mixture has formed.
Fill 24 mini cupcake liners ½-full with batter and bake for 20 minutes or fill 12 regular-size cupcakes 3/4- full with batter and bake for 22 minutes, or until golden and baked through. Cool the cupcakes completely.
To make the strawberry and cucumber filling place the strawberries, cucumber and caster sugar in a microwavable bowl and put in the microwave on full power for 3 minutes until soft. Hand-blend these together to form a puree and cool along with cakes.
To make the lemon, orange marmalade and cucumber frosting whip the butter, cream cheese, cucumber, orange marmalade and lemon rind together in an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add the icing sugar gradually until it’s perfect to pipe. Place the frosting into a piping bag with a nozzle.
To assemble. With an apple corer scoop half of the middle of the cake and fill with the strawberry and cucumber puree. Swirl the frosting on to the cupcake and add pretty handmade flowers to the frosting if desired.
Recipe courtesy of Mama Doreen’s Cupcake Company, Cupcake Wars, 2012