With Thanksgiving only 2 days away, I thought I’d squeeze in one more fall recipe. It seems that every year after Thanksgiving we all get into holiday mode (some may already be there!) and start shopping, decorating, and making cookies. I’m always sad to see fall go because I love it so much, but I must admit I do love the holiday season as well. I’m one of those people that refuses to do any decorating or anything Christmas related until after Thanksgiving – so until Friday I’m still enjoying the flavors of fall!
I had been thinking about making a pumpkin inspired cupcake for a few weeks now, but wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. Pumpkin spice is probably the biggest fall food trend – people go crazy for it- in their coffee, pastries, and even candy! I figured I ought to jump on the bandwagon and make a pumpkin spice treat!
I often wake up in the middle of the night with recipe ideas (seriously!), which is exactly how I got the idea for these Pumpkin Chai Latte Cupcakes. I have recently been obsessed with a pumpkin chai tea from David’s Tea – it’s amazingly good and really captures the flavors of fall. I made a lightly spiced batter with plenty of pumpkin, added in the tea along with some milk and ended up with a delicious, moist cupcake. Pile on some whipped cream frosting, sprinkle with cinnamon and you have yourself a comforting dessert!
These cupcakes are really delicious and have been a big hit with everyone I have shared them with. Pumpkin spice is starting to disappear for the season –so keep it alive and whip up a batch of my pumpkin chai latte cupcakes!
If you can’t find pumpkin chai tea you can make your own by steeping regular black tea with 1 teaspoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon both nutmeg and ginger, and a pinch of each cardamom, cloves, and allspice. Feel free to use pumpkin spice coffee, if you like, it’s easy to find and would be just as delicious.
A few notes about the recipe:
1. I brew the tea at double strength – so if you were brewing 1½ cups of tea using 1½ teaspoons loose tea, you would double that and use 3.
2. Though you only need 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of tea, I always brew a cup and a half to account for evaporation that occurs during boiling – if you end up with a little more than a cup go ahead and use it and just add enough milk to equal 1 ¾ cup.
3. I like to make the icing first and then refrigerate it while I make the cupcakes – the consistency is much better for piping when it’s cold.
Pumpkin Chai Latte Cupcakes
Cupcakes full of fall spices, pumpkin, and a surprise ingredient – pumpkin chai tea! Top them off with an equally flavorful cream cheese frosting and you’ve got the perfect fall cupcake!
| Yield: 24 Cupcakes | Prep Time: 20 Min | Cook Time: 21 Min |
For the cake:
3 Cups Cake Flour
2 ½ Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Salt
2 Tsp. Cinnamon
½ Tsp. Nutmeg
½ Tsp. Ginger
¼ Tsp. Cardamom
¼ Tsp. Ground Cloves
1/8 Tsp. All Spice
1 Stick Butter, softened
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Stick Butter
¾ Cup Pumpkin Puree, fresh or canned
1 ½ Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 ¼ Cup Brewed Pumpkin Chai Tea, cooled and divided (you’ll need 2 tbsp. for the frosting)
About ¾ Cup Whole Milk
For the frosting:
4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened but not quite room temperature
4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, softened but not quite room temperature
2 Tbsp. Brewed Pumpkin Chai Tea, Cooled
½ Tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Cups Heavy Cream, cold
¾ Cup Powdered Sugar
Cinnamon, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350º. Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
Make the frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter; whip on medium speed until very creamy. Add in the cooled 2 tablespoons of tea and vanilla extract on low speed and whip until combined. With the mixer off, pour in the heavy cream and turn the mixer on to low speed, continue moving up until you have reached high speed. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form (when you dip the whisk in the frosting it will hold a peak). Once you have stiff peaks, turn the mixer down to low and add the powdered sugar a ¼ cup at a time until all incorporated. Scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is fully incorporated.
Make the batter:
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside
In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugars; add the pumpkin and when fully incorporated add in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla.
In a 2-cup measuring cup, pour in the remaining tea and then add enough milk to make 1-¾ cups. Alternate adding the flour and liquid until you have a smooth batter.
Evenly drop batter into prepared pan, filling each liner about ¾ of the way full. A large cookie scoop gives you the perfect amount here.
Bake at 350º for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator.