Orange Spice Chai Cupcakes with Vanilla Spice Buttercream Frosting
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
zest of one medium orange
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 chai tea baga
¼ cup water
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray cupcake tins with baking spray or grease and flour them.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in medium bowl. Set aside.
Place sugars in a medium bowl. Add zest. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar. Oils should release and give your sugar an orange flavor.
In a small saucepan, bring ¼ cup water to a simmer. Add tea bag. Leave for 3-5 minutes, depending on how strong you want the flavor. Remove tea bag. Let cool to room temperature. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer, add the oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat at high speed of an electric mixer for 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl often.
In a large liquid measuring cup add cooled tea, buttermilk, and orange juice.
Add sifted dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk/chai mixture, starting with and ending with the dry ingredients.
Mix until fully incorporated and batter is smooth with no lumps.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and move cupcakes to wire rack to finish cooling. When cool, frost with buttercream.
Vanilla Spice Buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 to 8 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl.
Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the spices, and vanilla.
On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar.
Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Mocha cake filled with coffee whipped cream topped with coffee buttercream and a chocolate covered espresso bean.
The Nitty Gritty:
A luscious, moist cupcake filled with espresso buttercream and topped with dark chocolate frosting and chocolate covered espresso bean.
• Prep Time: 1.5 hours (includes cooling, filling, & frosting)
• Yields: 17 cupcakes
These fantastic, handheld desserts come together in a three-part process: First, bake the cupcakes. Next, make the dark chocolate frosting and the espresso buttercream filling (see recipes below). Then, assemble and serve — and enjoy the smiles on the faces of the recipients!
Note: You’ll need a pastry bag to fill the cupcakes with the espresso buttercream. Disposable ones are available at most grocery stores.
You can use either a standing mixer fitted with the beater attachment, or a handheld electric mixer.
• ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 ⅓ cups baker's (superfine) sugar
• ¼ tsp. kosher salt
• ¼ Tbsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 6 Tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• ½ tsp. vanilla extract
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup Greek yogurt, or plain, if you can't find Greek
• 24 cupcake liners
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
• Mix butter and baker's sugar with an electric mixer on high until the mixture's color lightens, about 5 minutes.
• Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, until fully combined.
• Add half the flour mixture and continue mixing on low. Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla, then the rest of the flour. Mix until just combined.
• Spoon into lined muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
• Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack.
1.5 tsp instant espresso powder
1.5 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
• Dissolve espresso powder in hot water and set aside.
• With electric mixer, mix the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and the espresso mixture. Whip until creamy, about 1 minute. Set aside.
0.5 c. baker's sugar
3 egg whites
0.5 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of cream of tartar
• Melt chocolate in a double boiler and set aside to cool. Leave pot of simmering water on the stove.
• Place egg whites, cream of tartar, and baker's sugar in a stainless steel bowl and place over the double boiler. Whisk by hand -- rotating the bowl and removing it from the heat, if necessary, to prevent the egg whites from cooking -- until they are warm to the touch.
• Grab the electric mixer again and beat on high until the meringue holds a stiff peak. Add butter and continue to mix.
• Add chocolate and vanilla and mix until combined.
To assemble the cupcakes:
• Add the espresso buttercream frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a plain attachment.
• Insert the tip of the pastry bag into the top of each cupcake. Push the tip nearly all the way through, then pull it back a bit. Inject about 1 Tbsp. of frosting, then carefully remove. (It's good to get a hang of the pastry bag by practicing on a plate first. Don't worry, you'll have plenty of filling left.) Just as the cupcake starts to inflate, stop filling it -- otherwise it will crack, or shoot out the sides!
• Top each cupcake with the chocolate frosting.