I fell in love with chai cupcakes the very first time I tasted them, which was at my sister-in-law’s wedding almost four years ago. After having them a couple more times since that day, I came to the conclusion that I had to figure out how to make them. They are just that good!
I came across a recipe on Taste of Home and made adaptations to make it slightly healthier and easier to follow. (They are still cupcakes, though, so there is only so much you can do to make them “healthy.”) Hope you enjoy my tutorial!
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups flour I use unbleached white
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup 2% milk
- 3 Tbsp butter softened
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 to 2 Tbsp 2% milk
- Extra cinnamon for garnish
In a large mixing bowl, use a fork or whisk to cream sugar and softened butter until all grains of sugar are mixed in (approximately 1-2 minutes).
Add egg and vanilla, and cream until fully mixed in (approximately 1 minute).
In a small bowl, make 5-spice mixture (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and pepper).
In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of 5-spice mixture.
Gradually add milk and dry mixture to wet mixture. Whisk until fully combined.
Line a 12-muffin pan with muffin cups, and fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22-24 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cupcakes are done when toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. When cupcakes can be removed without burning your fingers, place on wire rack to cool.
Once cupcakes have cooled, make frosting. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat softened butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth. Gradually add milk until you have reached the desired consistency for decorating. Add 1/2 of remaining 5-spice mixture, and taste. Add more if desired.
Decorate cupcakes. I use a piping bag (also known as a pastry bag). They are available at most grocery stores, but if you already have a pastry tip, you can use a sandwich-size plastic bag.
Garnish with a light dusting of cinnamon (and/or remaining spice mixture, if you didn’t use it all in the frosting).
In my opinion, one batch of frosting is just the right amount for one batch of cupcakes (makes 12). But if you're a frosting lover and want tons, feel free to double.