Well, time flies and so do posts! I can’t believe this is my hundredth post, and squashing 100 posts into a year filled with grad school, internships, and family devastation has been a bit of a whirlwind. I’ve loved almost every post, and am looking forward to 100 more! I was going to do a giveaway for this occasion but have to amass things to give away first, though I have some book-like ideas, but also I have NO activity in the comments, for all the lovely readers I have. Hmm. I must need to be more provocative in my posts, thought provoking rather. Still figuring out the engagement bit of all of this.
So here it is, 100 post celebratory Chocolate Chai Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting! I am not a big fan of cream cheese frostings, preferring mascarpone as a lighter tasting substitute, but this worked well, sweetened with a little honey (and it was cream cheese, not mascarpone that I happened to have in my fridge). I LOVE chai and have loved the chocolate chai combo since working in the Alpine Bakery years ago (they made chai truffles). I have also been drinking a lot of chai lately and thought it would be the perfect celebration cake for Not Crocker. The cake is chocolatey but I loaded up on the homemade chai spice to let that flavour punch through. The honey in the frosting lightens up this rich dessert (or snack, or breakfast, or dinner, or lunch).
Chocolate Chai Cupcakes
Makes about 24 cupcakes
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp chai spice mixture (mix up the list below and include 2 tbsp in the cupcake recipe)
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 1/2 tsp cardamon
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground rainbow pepper corns (or just white or pink)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground fennel seeds
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- Pour your milk and one tablespoon (1tbsp) of the chai mixture into a small sauce pan and heat over medium-high for 7-10 minutes, turn off and let sit.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and the second tablespoon of the chai spice mixture in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add in the cocoa powder and mix to combine.
- Add in eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition before adding the next.
- Add in the flour mixture and milk mixture in alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat just to combine each addition before adding the next.
- Fill each cupcake liner about ¾ full with batter. Bake in oven for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the cupcakes comes out clean or the tops bounce back when lightly pressed.
- Let cupcakes cool on a wire rack before decorating.
Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 8oz package of cream cheese (you can use low fat but it will be a lot softer, you will need more sugar)
- 1/2 cup of butter, softened
- 1/4 cup liquid honey (I used the mild-tasting alfalfa honey, so you may want less if yours is quite strong)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2-3 cups icing sugar
- I made this largely by taste, tasting as I go, so feel free to adjust as needed.
- Cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Add in the honey, vanilla, and 2 cups of icing sugar. Mix well until smooth. Taste, add more icing sugar as needed. The glory of this recipe is that you can more or less icing sugar to adjust the amount of icing without really effecting the taste. Add more honey if you want more honey flavour as well.
- Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes before piping on the cupcakes, it will keep its shape better.
- Sprinkle the cupcakes with the left over chai spice mixture from baking, and if you have it, top with a chunk of dark chocolate.