Chai and Honey Cupcakes
Last night my dear friend Ashley asked if I’d help her bake cupcakes for her office. Of course I jumped at the opportunity to not only hang out with her, bake, and get a yummy post out of it, but also at a baking session where I wouldn’t be left with 2 dozen delectable treats staring me down and forcing me to eat them! I usually eat enough cupcake batter and frosting during the baking process, that the 3 full cupcakes I end up eating between finishing touches and handing them out at work are usually quite unnecessary. Anyway, I decided to whip out my Cupcakes book by Shelly Kaldunski, and Ashley had a great idea to make the Chai and Honey Cupcakes as well as the Mocha Cupcakes to make kind of a tea and coffee theme – cute!
Now, while this book has some great cupcake ideas, I have my doubts about its recipes. To start with, I used the recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes and my cake didn’t turn out red at all (even after adding a ton more dye than it calls for), and was a bit lacking in flavor. Next I used the basic Buttercream frosting recipe from the book and I found it to be very waxy in texture. I know this is probably because its supposed to be a European style Buttercream, using whipped eggwhites, but its just not my personal preference. Despite these qualms I decided to give the book another try, and I’m glad I did. Both Cupcakes turned out to be delicious. My only issue was the portions seemed to be off – the Mocha recipe said it yielded 12 so we used all the batter to fill our baking cups, and were left with overflowing messy cupcakes that required quite a bit of first aid. The Chai and Honey cupcakes however, yielded the perfect amount of batter. The other small issue was these were very delicate cupcakes. While that makes for a moist and delicious bite, it can be a bit top-heavy depending on how much frosting you top it with. Just a word of caution. We also decided to use a different buttercream recipe, which is outlined below. So without further ado, here’s the recipe for the Chai and Honey Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream.
- 3 chai-spice tea bags
- 3/4 Cup boiling water
- 1 1/4 Cup flour
- 3/4 Cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 Cup Honey
- 4 TBSP butter, melted
- 1/4 Cup buttermilk (we couldn’t find buttermilk in the local grocery store, so we substituted plain yogurt- still delicious and healthier!)
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a small bowl, steep the tea bags in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Discard the teabags and let the tea cool to room temperature.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, combine the honey, melted butter, buttermilk (or yogurt), and egg. Add the flour mixture and, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until just combined, about 2 minutes. Add teh cooled tea and beat until just combined, screaping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Frost with Vanilla Buttercream (below).
- 1/2 Cup butter, softened
- 3 Cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
In a mixing bowl, cream butter. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Add milk until you reach desired consistency. Spread or pipe on top of cooled Chai and Honey Cupcakes and top with crushed almonds. Enjoy!