Tuesday, June 18, 2013

High Altitude Baking: Chai Tea Cupcakes

I was browsing the Internet for fun cupcakes recipes and came across a blog that told the story of a baker’s love affair with chai lattes. She tried multiple recipes trying to get the perfect chai tea cupcake before making the recipe that I found. I thought I would give it a try since her photos looked fabulous and she was quite witty and fun to read. I altered the recipe for Rock Creek Canyon at 9,700 feet, which is the recipe you will find below.

I’m not a chai lover per say – and this most definitely biased my opinion of her cupcake (well my high altitude rendition of it). I thought it tasted more like a holiday spice cake but then again I don’t have a very refined chai pallet, so maybe there really was a distinctive chai taste and I just missed it. Again. I’m not a devout baker, just a sweets lover trying to compete with pie.

Chai Cupcakes

Makes 2 dozen

Cupcake Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

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 or margarine

3 eggs

1 cup milk

½ cup yogurt or sour cream

4 chai tea bags

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside. Doesn’t it look purdy?! In a small saucepan, warm the milk until it just simmers. Remove from heat and add the 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 yogurt/sour cream 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 2/3 full and bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow to cool completely before frosting.


1 cup butter or margarine, room temp (also good substituting butter for cream cheese)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon (up to 1/2 teaspoon more, if desired)

4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Original recipe by Darla. High altitude adjustments made my me.

These cupcakes DID sell better then my last, the chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and marshmallow filling. I am thinking that the customer likes it when the cupcakes have cute, simple names and “Chai Tea Cupcakes” may have been a winner.


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