Chai-tea mini cupcakes recipe

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These cupcakes get their flavor from a traditional Indian spiced tea, known as masala chai. The tea is often lightened (and sweetened) with condensed milk; here, condensed milk is used to make the glaze.

  • Yield: 46 mini


  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 bags black tea (such as Ceylon)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • Condensed-Milk Icing
Condensed-Milk Icing
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (7 ounces)
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
How to Make It
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line mini muffin tins with paper liners. Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat; add tea bags, and let steep, covered, 15 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing the bags over the pan, and discard. Allow milk to cool completely. Whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt, pepper, and spices.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of tea-infused milk, and beating until just combined after each.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops spring back when lightly touched and are pale golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. Cupcakes can be frozen up to 1 month in airtight containers.
  4. To finish, dip top of each cupcake in icing, then turn over quickly, and let set. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are glazed; keep at room temperature until ready to serve.
  5. Condensed-Milk Icing
  6. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together butter, condensed milk, and salt until smooth. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar, ¼ cup at a time, until combined, then whisk on high speed until thick and smooth. Use immediately.

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