Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

I've been on a baking frenzy lately...I don't know why, but I seem to be obsessed with cupcakes. I never even liked cupcakes! I think it was the frosting ~ Why do people like frosting? Thick, sugary goo that impairs the lusciousness of the cake? Well, I guess not all frostings are like that.....but I digress.

So, today I was going through a box of food items that some friends left for us when they moved to Australia. Imagine my delight when I saw a container of Chai Spiced Tea. Instantly my creative juices started flowing. Chai Cupcakes! Here, I thought, is an original idea! I doubt anyone has thought of it...Ugh! Martha Stewart and a host of others beat me to it.

So, thanks to Darla of, I found my perfect Chai Cupcake recipe. If you love a warm Chai tea on a cool autumn day, this is the recipe for you. Sorry it's not an original, but I did make a slight adjustment. I discovered a perfect substitution for cake flour! I'll share the joy in the ingredient list. I'm so excited about this recipe because you can substitute applesauce for eggs. Not only is it low fat, it's full of awesome fiber, too!

1 1/2 cups cake flour (If you don't have it, mix 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup of cornstarch to equal 2 cups. Then portion out your 1 1/2 cups. Cool, huh?)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup soy milk
4 chai tea bags (I used Stash brand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers. This recipe will make about 18 regular size and 24 mini size.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices; set aside.

In a small saucepan, warm milk until it just simmers. Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow the milk to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add applesauce, just until combined.

Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over the butter/sugar/applesauce batter and mix with a hand mixer on low speed until just combined. Add 1/2 of chai milk mix and beat on low until combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour mix and beat. Scrape the bowl, then add remaining milk. Mix until incorporated, then add the last of the flour. Be careful not to over mix.

Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way full and bake for approximately 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. I always like to test the tops of the cupcakes, too. If they spring back when lightly touched, they are most likely done.

Allow to cool completely before frosting. Darla suggested using a cinnamon scented buttercream frosting. My husband would like a cream cheese style frosting...You choose what you'd like to accent them with.

Enjoy! I certainly my exercise regimen increases.

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