Chances are you have had your fair share of cupcakes; either baking them for your little one’s birthday party or perhaps taking store bought versions for a play date. And chances are, these cupcakes were probably covered per children’s tastes with the standard overly-saccharine frosting in some artificial neon color, topped with a confetti of sprinkles, with the latest character pegged on top. Hey, you’re not above those necessarily. Sometimes having the time to shovel anything in your mouth is a treat, I get it.
So chances are, you have nothing against cupcakes, hell, you love cupcakes! But sometimes you want an adult version, something with decadence that does not involve embellishments. I have a cupcake for you, Momma, a cupcake that is almost as gratifying as enjoying a cup of chai in solitude. Almost.
These cupcakes conjure the same, soothing, warming notes as chai with a batter chock full of all the same masala you would find in your cup – fresh ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and fennel. The frosting, too, is spiced making this treat the perfect companion to chai, hands down.
Chai Masala Cupcakes with Spiced Frosting
makes 1 dozen cupcakes
- 1 stick or 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon green cardamom powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1/8 teaspoon fennel powder
- 2/3 cups whole milk
- 1/2 tablespoon finely minced or grated ginger (squeeze juice and use as well)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
- 12 candied ginger pieces OR cinnamon sticks (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare muffin tin/cups with paper lining. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, combine dry items: flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, green cardamom powder, salt, nutmeg powder, and fennel powder.
- Gradually add dry mixture to creamed mixture; add milk and ginger to mixture.
- Fill lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
(Note: Do NOT apply frosting until cupcakes are completely cooled!)
For the frosting: Using a stand or hand mixer and beat butter until fluffy; mix in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, cinnamon powder, and ginger powder and beat to combine. (Note: Do NOT add all the milk at once. Add 1 tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency.) Pipe frosting over cupcakes. Garnish with candied ginger or cinnamon (optional).
Yo, full disclosure, this post was first published on MasalaMommas.com. Still relevant today though!