To be totally honest, I’m not usually a fan of tea.
Earl Grey? Meh. Green tea? Eh. Peppermint? Just no, please no. But chai… chai is my secret tea crush. Add some frothy milk and you’ve got yourself a ticket straight to chai latte heaven!
A few years back I spent some time working in a coffee shop, which not only gave me the opportunity to learn some fancy coffee making skills, but opened my coffee world to all sorts of exciting flavors. For whatever reason, up until my time at the coffee shop, I never realized that chai lattes don’t actually have coffee or espresso in them. I guess I always just assumed anything with the word “latte” attached to it automatically meant espresso-infused.
Lesson of the day: latte ≠ espresso.
And it made me realize, a person that can walk into a coffee shop and order a chai latte is a person who knows what they want in life and isn’t afraid to ask for it. Who else would walk into a coffee shop and go, “Oh, you serve coffee here? Well f*** your coffee, get me a tea with frothy milk!”
Ok, well, maybe not quite like that… Probably more like we exchange knowing glances equivalent to a visual fist bump because you’re a badass and you do what you want!
Like make chai latte cupcakes… and eat them for breakfast.
- ½ stick (4 tbsp) butter, at room temp.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ cup milk
- 6 tbsp. chai latte concentrate
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. chai latte concentrate
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup chocolate espresso beans, finely ground
- In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer), cream the butter until smooth. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add your eggs one egg at a time, beating between each new addition until just combined. In a small bowl, whisk together your all purpose flour and baking powder. Using a spatula, fold half of your flour into the batter. Add the milk and chai latte concentrate, gently folding that in until just combined. Add the remaining half of the flour to the batter, and fold that in until incorporated.
- Pour your batter into a lined cupcake pan, and bake at 350F/175C for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the sugar and egg whites for the frosting. Place over a pot of boiling water and heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is hot and the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove the bowl from the boiling water, return it to the stand mixer, and whip until stiff peaks form and the frosting has cooled to room temperature. Add the chai latte concentrate and ground cinnamon, and whip until just combined.
- Spoon the frosting into a large piping bag and affix with a tip of your choice (I used an Ateco 829). Pipe the frosting onto your cooled cupcakes, dip the sides in your finely ground espresso beans, and toast the edges with a chef's torch. Due to the frosting, these cupcakes are best served the same day.