Chai. I know, I guess all Indians have a special connection with this drink. Sure, the English have their Earl Grey, but our special Masala Chai has some magic that nothing can replace. The fragrance of ground cardamom and cloves and ginger, oh I cannot describe how much I adore it. I like my chai on the spicier and stronger side and my day always begins with a strong cuppa tea! No, I don’t mean to say that I am not a coffee person, but I guess I like tea a little more. I am so honored and Happy to be collaborating with Sprig on this Independence Day to bring you a recipe that is so close to my heart. This is I guess my favourite recipe on the blog.
I usually would use regular castor sugar or brown sugar for this recipe but I guess I now have found a new favourite replacement for regular sugar and that is Sprig Gourmet’s Coconut Palm Sugar. I know I know there might be other options for coconut sugars in the market but oh my god this one, is a game changer. I cannot emphasize how it transformed this cupcake, you HAVE to try it. It’s not just coconut sugar, it is everything you want in a chai spiced cupcake with some pixie dust magic. I am from Kerala and I have always been a Malayalee at heart, spices of any kind always appeal to me. The cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and star anise in this sugar make all the difference. So, coming back to the recipe, this cupcake recipe is a brain baby of mine, I blended the flavours of Masala Chai, and turned it into a cupcake. To give it an Independence Day feel, I topped it with our tri coloured frosting. I used Sprig’s all natural colour extracts to colour my buttercream. I will talk about it at the end of the recipe. First let’s make some amazing cupcakes!
Preparation time: 25 mins
Baking time: 16-20 mins
Yield: 12 regular sized cupcakes
For the cupcake:
100 g soft unsalted butter
25 ml coconut oil (room temperature)
110 g Sprig Coconut Palm Sugar
2 medium-large eggs
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp ground Cardamom (if you do not like it reduce it to ¼ tsp)
50 ml strongly brewed Indian Chai (brewed in milk with no added sugar)
½ tsp freshly grated ginger
110 g Plain flour
1 tbsp. corn flour (yields a softer cake, you may leave it out and replace it with more flour)
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
A generous pinch of salt
200 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
250 g sifted icing sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Sprig all natural colour extract (Paprika Orange and Spinach Green)
- Preheat your oven to 160 C, line a 12-hole cupcake tin with some cupcake cases. Brew some strong tea (strong to your preference, the stronger the tea, the more chai flavour you get)
- In a medium-large bowl, sift all your dry ingredients, flour, cornstarch/corn flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then add the ground cardamom separately. Just whisk lightly with a whisk and keep aside.
- In a larger bowl, add your soft butter, coconut oil and sugar and whisk well till it is fully incorporated. Add the eggs one by one, whisk after each addition. Then add the vanilla and freshly grated ginger. Mix well.
- Once your chai is not too hot, add half of your dry ingredients and whisk, then add the 50ml of chai, mix. Add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and switch to a spatula and fold it in till you see no more dry flour.
- Use an ice cream scoop to divide the cupcake batter evenly between the cupcake liners. Bake for 16-20 minutes. Mine baked for 16 minutes and 30 seconds, Check after 16 because every oven is different. Leave them to cool on a wire rack.
- As the cupcakes cool, make the frosting: In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer, blend the soft butter for 1 minute, sift in the icing sugar and salt and whisk for 2-3 minutes, add the vanilla and whisk for another two minutes.
- Divide this frosting among three bowls equally and colour one with the orange and the other one with the green food colours. Leave the third one as is.
- Take three small piping bags and one larger piping bag.
- Transfer the frostings into the smaller piping bags, snip of their ends and put these three in the larger bag with your favourite piping tip. (This is the easiest way to get a tricolour swirl instead of putting all colours in one. However, you may follow whatever is convenient to you.)
- Once the cupcakes cool down completely, frost your cupcakes and serve! These taste best the day it’s made; however, you can refrigerate them for a day or two.
I am absolutely in love with these cupcakes, you should definitely make these. And now speaking of the colour extracts. Food colours have always been a talk of concern, the synthetically manufactured colours usually have ingredients that aren’t so good for your body. Sprig’s natural colour extracts are colours extracted from things naturally having colour, hence they are not bad for your body. I tried them and they are really impressive, they are pigmented and give you the colour that the package shows. I am happy that I found a good alternative to synthetic food colours.
I highly suggest that you try this recipe, let me know your feedback and HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! 😊