Chai is one of my personal favorite tea drinks. Mixed with milk this spicy tea brings together a rich combination of cinnamon, black pepper, and cardamom along with other flavors in harmony. The drink originated in India where masala chai is a common beverage. Masala refers to the spices and chai simply means tea.
Chai is now so popular around the world that the chai latte is a staple at almost any coffee house in most countries. Baked into cupcakes this phenomenal combination is a warming comfort food dessert.
To simplify this recipe we started with a boxed spice cake. But, instead of using the 1 cup of water that is called for on the package, we are using an infusion of milk with chai. Simply simmer together 1 1/2 cups milk with 2 chai teabags. After 10 minutes measure off 1 cup and put in the fridge to cool off.
The next step is to prepare the cake to package directions using the chai milk. But, instead of leaving it there, this recipe also calls for some additional spices to really kick up the flavor.
Ground cardamom, allspice, and cloves make for an even tastier cake. Some extra vanilla adds to that chai latte feel. Once your cupcakes have cooled off it’s time for the icing. The cream cheese frosting is the perfect touch to complete these delectable treats.
These cupcakes are the perfect way to get your dose of those warming chai spices with the wonderful creaminess of cream cheese frosting to round it all out. You might call it comfort food for tea lovers.
Chai Tea Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
2h prep time
40m cook time
For the cake:
- 2 bags chai tea
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 15-oz box spice cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing:
- 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/4 cups butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Heat milk until just boiling. Remove from heat and add in tea bags. Allow to steep for at least 10 minutes. Measure out 1 cup of the tea milk and place in fridge to cool off.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl combine cake mix with eggs, milk-chai mixture, oil, spices, and vanilla. Line 2 12-cupcake pans with paper or foil liners. Pour batter into pans and bake for 12-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing cakes from pans to a wire cooling rack. Allow to finish cooling completely before making the frosting.
- In a large bowl beat cream cheese and butter together until creamy using an electric mixer. Add in half the powdered sugar and mix again. Add in remaining powdered sugar and blend until perfectly combined. Add in vanilla and beat for another 3 minutes.
- For best results chill the cupcakes before frosting. Use an offset spatula, knife, or back of a spoon to apply the frosting to the cupcakes.
Recipe adapted from Liv for Cake.