Okay seriously, these are crazy good cupcakes! I’m not just saying that. We could kick some serious cupcake arse in Cupcake Wars!
My niece, Megan, loves to cook and was interested in partaking in Sunday Bake Day fun. So of course I invited her over, asking her to choose a fun recipe. Within minutes of texting with her, she sent me a picture of this phenomenally adorable cupcake she found on Pinterest. Now Pinterest can either be your best friend or the bane of your existence. When I saw the recipe, I immediately thought to myself, “Oh man, I gotta step up my baking game.”
I’m all for awesomely delicious cupcakes, however on a Sunday morning I tend to choose fairly basic recipes namely because I’m lazy (and easily distractible). But Megan was ready to take it to a new level, and so we did!
While I was intimidated by the “chai” part of this cake and icing, the entire recipe is extremely simple. Now you all know that I am notorious for making silly mistakes while lazily baking on a Sunday morning. This morning was no different. Of course I forgot to place the butter out last night to soften so Paul was crazily smashing butter in bags. Then, without thinking, I accidentally doubled the butter in the cake batter without realizing it until we had completely finished making the batter.
Thankfully Megan handed my absentmindedness like a pro. She suggested we double the batter, minus the extra butter. It all turned out so well, and we totally laughed in the midst of all my mistakes.
All in all, it was such a fun morning and a total family effort. Megan and I baked, Paul smashed butter and cut cinnamon sticks (not to mention making an emergency run to the store for additional powdered sugar). This type of morning is exactly why I started this whole baking day project.
These cupcakes are extraordinarily moist and the buttercream literally melts in your mouth. They would make the perfect addition to a fall dinner. Enjoy!
Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting (care of the culinary enthusiast.net)
Chai Spice Mix ~ 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
Cupcake Batter ~ 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract), 2 eggs, 2 tsp. chai spice mix, 1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Buttercream ~ 1 cup (2 sticks) butter (softened to room temperature), 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract), 2 cups powdered sugar, remainder of the chai spice mix, 1 Tbsp. cold milk (if needed to thin out the buttercream)
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a cupcake pan with liners. This made about 16-18 cupcakes for me. In a small bowl or plastic bag, combine the chai spice mix ingredients. Set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla bean paste 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. Mix together the baking soda and vinegar in a separate bowl, then add it to the batter and mix until combined. Spoon into prepared cupcake tins until 3/4 full and bake 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Buttercream Directions ~ In a stand mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy. On low, mix in the vanilla bean paste 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. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes with your favorite frosting tip (I used the closed star tip).