Cranberry Chai Cupcakes

     When I first saw a picture of this cupcake I was literally speechless.  These were perhaps the most gorgeous cupcakes I’ve ever seen and I knew I had to make them immediately.  I had everything in the pantry so I got started right away.  My cloves and fennel were not ground, so I had to put them in my coffee grinder and grind until they were fine and powdery.  The chai spice would be great to put in teas, coffees, or muffins.

     The cupcakes were easy to make though I was a little concerned because they seemed to be runnier then most cupcakes I make.  While they were making I made the chai cream cheese frosting.  The frosting was thick and spicy with hints of cinnamon and cloves.  It paired nicely with the sweet cupcakes and the sourness of the cranberries.

     While my cupcakes weren’t nearly as pretty as Kelsey’s, they did look good.  I had no idea that the recipe made up to 2 dozen until I looked over the entire recipe, so I ended up taking some of them into work.  They were a big hit with the teachers.  These would be a beautiful cupcake to make at Christmas time.

Cranberry Chai Cupcakes (adapted from Apple a Day)

For the chai spice:

1 t. ground fennel
1 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. nutmeg
2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. black pepper
For the cupcakes:

1/4 c. applesauce
1/4 c. unsalted butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 T. chai spice seasoning
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
3/4 c. chopped fresh cranberries

For the frosting:
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese
4 T. butter
2 t. vanilla
2 t. chai spice seasoning
4 c. powdered sugar

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 20 muffin cups with paper liners.

2.  In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the chai spice.  Stir until well combined.

3.  In a stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed.  Gradually add the sugar.  Beat for 2 minutes or until fluffy.  Add in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time.

4.  In another bowl combine the flour, chai spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

5.  Alternately add the flour mixture and then the milk to the butter and sugar mixture.  Mix until fully incorporated.  Fold in the cranberries.

6.  Fill each muffin cup with 2/3 of the way full with the cranberry batter.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

7.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. 

8.  Cream together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer.  Add vanilla and chai spice and beat until fully incorporated.  Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.

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  1. says

    Your cupcakes look great! There is such an interesting variety of flavors going on here that would go so nicely together. I bet they were delicious!

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