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Join us in the Crush Room for our special Nutcracker Afternoon Tea

If you can't visit in person, try our recipe for Christmas cupcakes.

By Albie Ray (Head of Hospitality, ROH Enterprises)

5 November 2015 at 12.38pm | 1 Comment

The Royal Opera House once again becomes the Kingdom of Sweets this festive season with the creation of a new Nutcracker Afternoon Tea by our acclaimed pastry chefs.

Served in the Crush Room on matinee performances of Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker, the menu offers a feast of seasonal savouries, festive fancies and traditional scones with homemade jams and Dorset clotted cream.

Inspired by characters in the ballet and the current vogue for Cannelés bordelais in artisan coffee shops, the Nutcracker Afternoon Tea is full of surprises. Our pastry chefs have devised a rum and vanilla drum cake complete with an edible toy-soldier’s drumstick; an old chocolate box favourite is given a sophisticated makeover in a bonbon of dark chocolate walnut; and there’s a sumptuous take on Gateau Opéra made with white chocolate and Perigord truffle.

Naturally, we have not forgotten younger visitors. The children’s tea includes sandwiches, scones, popping candy Christmas tree cupcakes, candy cane meringues and a Sugar Plum Fairy lemonade flavoured with pomegranate and blueberry.

The Nutcracker tea costs £37.50 for adults and £18.75 for children and is only available in December. To make a reservation, simply telephone +44 (0)20 7212 9254. We also offer a comprehensive range of menus for guests with special dietary needs.

Please Note: While our standard afternoon teas have finished you can still have a Nutcracker Afternoon Tea if you are coming to a matinee performance of The Nutcracker. You can book by signing into your account, selecting ‘Upcoming performances’ and make a reservation for the Crush Room (subject to availability). 

Bake our Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Whether you can join us for this special festive event or not, we hope you will enjoy these Christmas Tree Cupcakes.

Makes 15 cupcakes

What you will need:

For the cupcakes

  • 225g plain flour
  • 125g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 180g crème fraîche
  • 3 eggs
  • 40ml milk
  • 250ml water
  • 100ml sunflower oil

For the decoration

    • 300g icing sugar
    • 150g unsalted butter, softened
    • green food colouring
    • popping candy
    • multi-coloured festive sprinkles


Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder together into a mixing bowl. Stir in the caster sugar.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the crème fraîche, eggs, milk and water and, using the whisk attachment, beat on low speed until fully combined.

With the motor still running, gradually pour in the oil until the mixture emulsifies.

Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients to the batter, mixing continuously on slow speed.

Increase the speed to high and whisk for 3 minutes until the batter is smooth and glossy.

Preheat the oven to 140°C. Divide the mixture evenly between trays of cupcake cases (each cupcake should weigh about 80g).

When the oven is ready, bake for 15 minutes, then increase the heat to 160°C and bake for a further 10 minutes. Check cupcakes are cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre – it should come out clean.

Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before decorating.

To make the frosting, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the soft butter and mix to a smooth paste. Add the green food colouring and mix until combined.

Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle.

Once the cupcakes are cool, pipe the frosting onto them, starting from the outside of the cake and working into the centre to create tall Christmas trees. Finish with popping candy and festive sprinkles.

We hope that you enjoy our recipe. If you try making the cupcakes do share your pictures of your creation on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #NutcrackerAfternoonTea.

By Albie Ray (Head of Hospitality, ROH Enterprises)

5 November 2015 at 12.38pm

This article has been categorised Off stage and tagged afternoon tea, autumn menu, by Albie Ray, christmas tea, cupcakes, menu, recipe, Tea at the Royal Opera House, The Crush Room, The Nutracker, winter menu

This article has 1 comment

  1. Barrie Thompson responded on 24 August 2016 at 10:09am Reply

    Fabulous for Xmas

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