At approximately 6:30 PM on Wednesday, February 22nd, exactly one boy entered my apartment.
There was eating, talking, laughing, kissing (unless you’re my mother and/or father, in which case. Definitely not, none, zero, I would NEVER.)
And exactly zero ran out screaming.
I’d call that a success.
Let’s rejoice eat cupcakes.
Cause if we’re being real, here. One of the major perks of dating is the post-date gossip session with the girls that inevitably ensues.
And if there’s anything I love more than a good gossip session with my ladies…
…it’s a good gossip session with my ladies that involves cupcakes.
You know you feel the same.
These cupcakes are actually ideal for such a get together. They taste like a warm cup of tea (and we all know gossip sessions necessitate tea!). But with frosting on top.
And not just any frosting. But my new favorite frosting.
With a hint of honey and a touch of salt, it has that sweet/slightly salty thing going on. Swoon.
I highly recommend you keep a bottle of dishwasher soap nearby while making it. Because when you have extra frosting sitting in a bowl on your counter…it’s gonna be important. Trust me.
The intriguing thing about these cupcakes is that they actually require you to tear open your tea bags and put actual tea leaves into the batter. We’re not just steeping milk and hoping the flavor comes through. No, no, no. We’re getting down and dirty with our bold, tea-loving selves.
While Joy originally called for chamomile, I opted to go with chai instead. (Because chamomile makes me nauseous.) And while the spices definitely came through, they weren’t overpowering and didn’t make you feel like you were eating a tea bag. Even though that’s essentially what you were doing. Times nine.
I have a feeling you could use just about any tea in these, so just choose the one you love. And get baking.
There’s lots of cupcake-eating gossiping to be done in this world, and we have not a moment to lose.
Chai-Spiced Cupcakes with Honey Frosting
Makes 12 cupcakes, adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup AP flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp chai tea, from tea bags (originally called for chamomile)
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or regular milk!)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- For the cakes:
For the frosting:
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp honey
- 6 tbsp heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 325. Line a cupcake pan with paper or foil liners and set aside.
- To make the cakes: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and tea leaves. the mixture will be slightly coarse and sandy when mixed for several minutes.
- Whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla.
- Pour half of the milk mixture into the flour mixture with the mixer on medium-low speed. Beat until just incorporated. Pour in the remaining milk mixture, and turn mixer up to medium. Beat for 1 minute, until well blended.
- Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake cups. There isn’t a lot, so only fill the liners up about halfway. Scrape the bowl to make sure you get as much batter out as possible…there is not even a tablespoon to lose!
- Bake cupcakes for 17 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- To make the frosting: whisk together the sifted powdered sugar, honey, cream and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Use a butter knife to generously spread the frosting atop the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with a bit of tea leaves (or top with a sugar pearl!). Cakes will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days.