Saturday, September 17, 2011

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

The cupcake lovin' continues over here at The Culinary Enthusiast.

As my husband says, "Since you're into cupcakes now." Because, there was a time when I wasn't.  Really.

I rarely hear him complain though, as he delights in one.


But seriously.  Once you get in a cupcake groove, it's hard to get out.  They're just so stinkin' cute, and they're so versatile, and they're so easy to whip together!  The only way to deal with the addiction is to feed it.  Usually bad advice to offer to addicts, except in the case of cupcakes.

The weather turned cool this past weekend; a perfect Labor Day weekend, in my humble opinion.  You know how I feel about fall.  The "summer is just the gateway to fall" kind of feeling.  As I sat at my kitchen table, door open and crisp breeze blowing in, I suddenly needed to pair that with the smell of cinnamon.

And since I have had these cupcakes pinned for a while now, it was the perfect opportunity in the perfect setting to bake them.  I already love chai in hot beverage form, so this variety was just begging me to bake it.

Hubs was impressed with how fast I got them in the oven.

I'll do just about anything for the smell of cinnamon.  Just sayin'.  And, just for the record, the taste didn't disappoint either.

{These are too yummy not to share!  Linking up to Sweets for a Saturday and A Well Seasoned Life.}

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Chai Spice Mix
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Cupcake Batter
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
2 eggs
2 tsp. chai spice mix
1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
2 cups powdered sugar
remainder of the chai spice mix
1 Tbsp. cold milk, if needed to thin out the buttercream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.  This made about 16-18 cupcakes for me.

In a small bowl or plastic bag, combine the chai spice mix ingredients. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla bean paste and beat in one egg at a time. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the chai spice mix. Fold in the flour and buttermilk alternately and stir until combined. Mix together the baking soda and vinegar in a separate bowl, then add it to the batter and mix until combined.

Spoon into prepared cupcake tins until 3/4 full and bake 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Buttercream Directions:
In a stand mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy. On low, mix in the vanilla bean paste and the rest of the chai spice mix. Carefully beat in the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time. If the buttercream is too thick add 1-2 tbs of cold milk until the desired consistency is reached. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes with your favorite frosting tip (I used the closed star tip).

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