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Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

I don't bake sweets all that often. This is mostly because, although I generally crave savory over sweet, if there are sweet treats around the house, I will undoubtedly eat them. So I like when special occasions arise that allow me to bake something yummy, and I especially love occasions that call for cupcakes. These cupcakes are super rich and loaded with Chai Masala spices, making them feel more sophisticated than cupcakes otherwise might. And paired with some Earl Grey tea or freshly brewed coffee they are the perfect way to end a special meal.

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons A Bite of Good Chai Masala Spice Blend

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg + 1 egg white

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 1 cup brewed Earl Grey tea or coffee (optional)

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • 4 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoons A Bite of Good Chai Masala Spice Blend

  • 2 tablespoons whole milk, enough to make a spreadable frosting

To Make the Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Chai Masala and salt. Set it aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until creamy. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well on medium speed until combined and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl if needed. Add in the oil and vanilla extract, beating on medium speed until fully combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl if necessary. With the mixer on low speed, add in half of the dry ingredients. Pour in the milk. Add in the other half of the dry ingredients and mix them on low speed just until the batter is combined. Do not overmix.

Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full. Bake until the tops are set, about 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Optional: Brush the tops of the cupcakes with brewed coffee or Earl Grey tea before frosting to make them even more moist and give them an extra little kick of flavor.

To Make the Frosting:

Using a stand or handheld mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.

Add the sugar and Chai Masala and beat well.

Add the milk a little at a time, stopping once you've achieved your desired consistency. You can either spread the frosting by hand or fill a piping bag and pipe large swirls on top of the cooled cupcakes. Dust with some additional Chai Masala, if desired.

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