Saturday, September 18, 2010

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes
From The Novice Chef
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 quantity chai spice mix (see below)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used reduced fat)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (I didn't have any and used plain vinegar)

Chai Spice Mix:
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (I didn't have any and substituted pumpkin pie spice)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix together spices in a small bowl.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and beat in one egg at a time. Stir in half the quantity of the chai spice mix. Fold in the flour and buttermilk and stir until combined, don't over mix. Mix together the baking soda and vinegar and mix into the batter.

Spoon into prepared cupcake cases until 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Vanilla Chai Buttercream:
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 quantity chai spice mix
1-2 TBSP cold milk, if needed

In a stand mixer, beat the butter until it's creamy. On low, mix in vanilla and the rest of the chai spice mix. Carefully beat in the sugar 1/2 cup at a time. If the buttercream is too thick, add 1-2 TBSP cold milk until the desired consistency is reached. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes

I absolutely love vanilla chai, so when I came across this recipe I knew I had to try it out. These were not overly sweet (well, of course the icing was) and a good fall alternative to the typical very sweet cupcakes people make in the summer. I think the cake part would be good for breakfast with cream cheese instead of icing. The icing would also be good on a pumpkin cupcake or gingerbread cupcake.

I have very little cupcake decorating experience, and this was my first time attempting to do something other than smear icing onto the top of the cake. Not having any tools, I just used a ziploc bag and cut a small hole in one corner. Worked pretty well! I may ask for the Wilton 12-piece cupcake decorating kit for Christmas...

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