vanilla chai tea cupcakes

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Vanilla Chai Cupcakes
Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

FOR THE CUPCAKES

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk (I ran out of regular milk so I substituted almond milk)
  • 4 chai tea bags

FOR THE FROSTING

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk/ almond milk

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and contents of one tea bag; set aside.

In a small saucepan, warm the milk until it just simmers. Remove from heat and add the remaining 3 tea bags. Steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and allow the chai milk to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Scrape the bowl, then add the apple sauce and vanilla and mix until just incorporated.

Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over batter and mix until just combined. Add 1/2 of the chai milk mixture, mixing on low until combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, and beat until just mixed. Scrape the bowl, then add the remaining milk and mix until combined. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture and mix until the batter is thoroughly combined, but do not over mix.

Fill each cupcake liner with 2 tablespoons of batter and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar and cream together. Once combined, beat in another cup of sugar, then mix in the vanilla. Add the cinnamon and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix until the frosting is light and fluffy. If your frosting is too stiff or dry, beat in up to 2 tablespoons of milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.

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