A couple of months ago, I decided to be adventurous and bought some chai tea. All was going well and I thought I had discovered a new favourite winter drink, until I read three little words on the back of the packet: 99% caffeine free. Honestly, what is the point of caffeine free drinks?! So the packet of chai tea got relegated to the back of the cupboard and I resumed drinking my trusty English Breakfast blend.
And then somewhat of a revelation came in the form of Brooke at Adventures of a Cake Diva, who used chai spice in her apple chai spice cake, and suddenly I knew those tea bags made for people without children which were lurking in the cupboard finally had a purpose!
My oldest friend was home for the holiday and after meeting in our beautiful home town, we had a bake date – finally my baking obsession is beginning to wear off on others. I bet they’re glad I’m not passionate about extreme ironing. Or stamp collecting. It seemed that on this cold crisp Autumn day, the warm chai spice in a cake as I had seen in Brooke’s blog would be perfect. To put our own spin on it, we topped the chai tea cupcakes with an orange buttercream as a spur of the moment decision, but mainly because I had a whole bowlful of oranges on the table, and Big Bear had eaten all the honey.
Chai Tea cupcakes
280g caster sugar
240g self raising flour
80ml whole milk
2 large free range eggs
2 x chai tea bags
120g unsalted butter
400g icing sugar
Grated zest and juice of one orange
Preheat the oven to 175 C. Measure the whole milk and pour into a small saucepan, then place the tea bags in the saucepan too. Heat the milk gently over a low light until warm, then remove from the heat pour into a jug and cover the top with cling film. Leave to cool with tea bags in for at least 10 minutes.
Whilst waiting for the milk to cool, use and electric beater to mix together the stork, flour and sugar until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. when the milk is room temp, remove the teabags and then break the 2 eggs into the milk. Beat with a fork until just combined, and then pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with flour sugar and stork in.
With the beater on a low spread, beat until the batter is just combined. It will be quite runny, this is normal. Use an Ice cream scoop to measure batter into 13 cupcake cases, and then bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes.
Whilst the cakes are baking, grate the butter into a large bowl (if it is straight from the fridge – this will help if soften quicker) and then beat with electric beaters until smooth. Add in the orange zest, juice and icing sugar, and mix initially with a fork, then once the icing sugar is combined, beat with the electric mixer for a further 5 minutes to make it super smooth.
We used a 1M wilton nozzle to pipe the buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes, and then decorated with flowers and golden sugar balls. It’s quite a Christmas-y cake and it reminds us of something, but neither of us could quite put or fingers on what!
So here’s to caffeine free tea and baking dates. Good times!
Mummy Bear x