Fall is in full swing and we are all just crazy for pumpkin. Beyond the traditional (and 100% necessary) pumpkin pie, we just want to soak up pumpkin in its every form. We’re drinking it in our coffee, folding it into our pancake batter, stirring it into our soups and pasta dishes, and of course, gobbling it up in cupcake form.
No one could argue that traditional pumpkin pie spice is out of this world, but why not shake things up a little bit with a new spin on pumpkin and spice?
I’m talking pumpkin and chai! If you aren’t already familiar with chai you need to get yourself right over to the tea shop because it’s bound to be your new favorite. It’s a perfect blend of familiar spices, combined in a totally fresh and exotic way. A hot cup of chai tea is one of life’s great pleasures during the cooler months, and adding it to a pumpkin cupcake brings both to a whole new level.
Start by brewing a strong cup of chai tea. The KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series Electric Kettle brings the water to optimal tea brewing temperature in just a matter of moments. Pour the hot water over the tea bags and allow them to steep for as long as possible to really infuse the cupcakes with the tea’s intense flavors.
When I bake cakes and cupcakes, I prefer the reverse creaming method. It really cuts down on the dirty bowls and the result is always flawless! So I start by working the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles damp sand.
Finish the cupcake batter with a good dollop of pure pumpkin puree, a little Greek yogurt for a bit of tang, and that intensely aromatic brewed chai.
Cupcakes always bake up puffy and light in KitchenAid’s sturdy bakeware. The KitchenAid® Professional-Grade Nonstick Muffin Pan conducts heat so evenly, and you don’t even need to bother with liners. Cupcakes and muffins slip right out like a dream, and cleanup is a snap.
The KitchenAid® Stand Mixer fluffs Swiss meringue buttercream so effortlessly, and this version echoes the spicy flavors of chai in such a beautiful way.
Garnish with chocolate vermicelli and a fondant pumpkin, and enjoy this whole new spin on fall’s favorite flavors!
Pumpkin Chai Holiday Cupcakes
Makes 30 cupcakes
For pumpkin chai cupcakes
1 cup boiling water
(2) chai tea bags
2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (240 grams) dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons (173 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs (100 grams)
1 1/2 cups (340 grams) pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (112 grams) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For chai buttercream
3 egg whites (90 grams)
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (230 grams) softened unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
For optional garnishes
Chocolate vermicelli or sprinkles
For pumpkin chai cupcakes
Place the water in a KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series Electric Kettle, and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the tea bags, and allow them to steep for at least 10 minutes, or as long as overnight.
Lightly mist a KitchenAid® Professional-Grade Nonstick Muffin Pan with non-stick spray, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer, and mix on low speed to combine.
Add in the butter, and stir on low speed until the mixture resembles damp sand.
Stir in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition.
Add the brewed tea, pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, and vanillla, and mix until incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, and mix for about 90 seconds more, to aerate the batter and develop the cake’s structure.
Fill the KitchenAid® Muffin Pan no more than 2/3 full and bake for 15 minutes, or until a bamboo skewer inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely, then frost and decorate.
For chai buttercream
Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer. Place over a pot of simmering water. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture no longer feels gritty when rubbed between the thumb and forefinger.
Remove the egg white mixture from the heat, and whip on medium-high speed (using the whip attachment) until there is no hint of warmth remaining, and the meringue holds stiff peaks.
Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, while continuing to whip on medium-high speed.
Stir in the five-spice powder, ginger, and black pepper until completely incorporated.
(If the buttercream seems runny, place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes, then whip again until fluffy and stiff.)
Pipe the buttercream on the cupcakes in a rosette. Sprinkle with chocolate vermicelli, and garnish with a fondant pumpkin.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*