Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

This will tell you how far behind I am - I made these cupcakes for my sister's birthday back in November. Yes, you heard me right. November.

I decided to make these cupcakes for my sister because I know how much she loves chai. I would have made her chocolate cupcakes, but I wanted to spice it up and make her something she wouldn't expect. There was this little cafe place next to her apartment in Berkeley that she used to go to get chai when she was an undergrad. Who doesn't love a cup of warm chai during an intense study sesh? I wish I remembered the name of the place, but there was also this fantastic middle eastern restaurant below that had the best naan. The garlic naan was to die for good. Jess, can we go here next time I come to visit?

Okay, back to cupcakes. See how easily I get off track. Yikes. Anyways, these cupcakes are spicy (not hot spicy, just full of warm delicious spices), dense and have the best chai cream cheese frosting you ever put in your mouth. Not joking. It's dense as well, but somehow the cupcake and frosting work perfectly together. You've just got to try them. There is just something about the cardamom that warms you up. It's a spice that you might not think you will ever use again, but trust me, you will. 

It's always nice to spice up (no pun intended) and change up the cupcake recipes you have in your back pocket. You should see the list of cupcake flavors I want to try. I have one with avocado frosting. Strange? Maybe. Delicious. Yes!

spicy spices


butter and sugar!

can you see the swirling spices?

ready to bake

baked and cooled

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes (from

Cupcake Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 tsp. chai spice mix (recipe below)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Chai Spice Mix Ingredients:

1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Frosting Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
remainder of the chai spice mix
1 Tbsp. cold milk, if needed to thin out the buttercream
4oz cream cheese, softened

Cupcake Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
In a small bowl or plastic bag, combine the chai spice mix ingredients.  Set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and beat in one egg at a time. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the chai spice mix. Fold in the flour and buttermilk alternately and stir until combined, don’t over mix. Mix together the baking soda and vinegar in a separate bowl, then add it to the batter and mix until combined. Scoop into prepared cupcake tins until 3/4 full and bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting Directions:
In a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until it is creamy. On low, mix in the vanilla and the rest of the chai spice mix. Carefully beat in the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time.  If the buttercream is too thick add 1-2 tbs of cold milk until the desired consistency is reached. Frost each cupcake with frosting.

If you love chai tea as much as my sister does, try these. I know you will love them. I brought them into work to have them sample the flavors and a whole dozen were gone in under 30 minutes. 12 cupcakes gone in 30 minutes. That means they were good right? Just don't eat the cinnamon stick decoration. I did have someone ask me if they could eat that. Yikes!


1 comment:

  1. I just love chai. I'm not surprised that they were eaten up in a flash. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your cupcakes up.