Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chai-Tea Mini Cupcakes {MSC}

I have to admit, I'm partial to chocolate.  There's something about spring, however, that lures me to something lighter.  A change of season gives rise to a change of palate.  These Chai Tea Mini Cupcakes were a surprising mix of comfort and delight.

The recipe starts by steeping tea bags in milk.  I veered from the recipe slightly and used two bags of Tazo Chai.  (**Note to self:  Buy Plain Black Tea before Dad comes to visit!)  To a fairly standard cake batter, came a mix of flavorful and fragrant spices:  cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom.  Opening up the jar of cardamom brought back instant memories of my Norwegian grandma.  Norwegians don't use many spices, but cardamom is frequently one of them!  I omitted the ground black pepper (don't really like it) as well as the ground ginger (MIA).  I figured I was basically covered in both areas with the spicy Tazo Chai tea that I used.

The Condensed Milk Icing was an intriguing alternative to a standard glaze.  I had to sit and let the flavor linger on my tongue for a moment to absorb the unexpected taste.

I tried both spreading the icing - 

And piping little berets.

Either way, this is a cupcake that I will definitely make again!

To check out the other bakers, visit The Martha Stewart Cupcakes Club

Chai-Tea Mini Cupcakes
Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

3/4 cup milk
2 bags black tea (such as Ceylon)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon course salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground crdamom
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of freshly grated nutment
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line mini muffin tins with paper liners.  Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat.  Remove from heat; add tea bags, and let steep, covered, 15 minutes.  Remove tea bags, squeezing the bags over the pan, and discard.  Allow milk to cool completely.  Whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt, pepper and spices.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping sides of bowl as needed.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of tea-infused milk, and beating until just combined after each.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops spring back when lightly touched and are pale golden, 10 - 12 minutes.  Turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.  Cupcakes can be frozen up to 1 month in airtight containers.
  4. To finish, dip top of each cupcake in icing, then turn over quickly, and let set.  Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are glazed;  keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

Condensed-Milk Icing

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (7 ounces)
Pinch of coarse salt
3/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together butter, condensed milk, and salt until smooth.  Whisk in confectioners' sugar 1/4 cup at a time until combined, then whisk on high speed until thick and smooth.  Use immediately.

I'm also linking up with Tidy Mom!


  1. Wow! Yours look fantastic. Mine didn't turn out as well for me. I am thinking maybe I should try them again because I want to like these so badly :)

  2. I love bite-sized desserts. They look and sound wonderful.

    I'd like to invite you to share this recipe on my linky, Sweet Tooth Friday. I hope to see you there.

  3. They look great. I LOVE the berets!

  4. These look beautiful! Maybe the Tazo tea helped the flavor. I thought they were BLAH!

  5. What lovely exotic bites! Thanks for sharing!

  6. So that's what the frosting should look like! lol! They look awesome by the way :)

  7. Hmm.. These look delicious!! Beautiful!
    I would love for you to link up at my first linky party! :)
    {nifty thrifty sunday}

  8. Thank you so much for linking up to {nifty thrifty sunday} and making my first party such a great success! I would love if you stopped by tomorrow and share more of your cute projects! :)
    Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}