Chai Cupcakes with Brown Butter Chai Icing.

If you’ve actively been looking to break your resolution, I’m going to sell you right now.

chai cupcakes with brown butter chai icing and crunchy sugar sprinkle I howsweeteats.com

One peek below into this swirly vanilla chai batter and we’re all done for. It’s OVER people.

chai cupcakes with brown butter chai icing and crunchy sugar sprinkle I howsweeteats.com

Half of me wants to scoop this into a mug and drink it.

The other half doesn’t want to die from salmonella or, well… drink batter.

chai cupcakes with brown butter chai icing and crunchy sugar sprinkle I howsweeteats.com

Also, I can’t stop typing “chair” instead of “chai.” My fingers automatically hit the R. I’m conditioned!

chai cupcakes with brown butter chai icing and crunchy sugar sprinkle I howsweeteats.com

These cupcakes are so super fluffy and filled with tons of warming spice. It’s like a big mug of tea in cake. A big hug in a mug in a cake. Covered with an icing hat. The flavor is one that I didn’t have much interest in until I took a gigantic bite.

And died.

chai cupcakes with brown butter chai icing and crunchy sugar sprinkle I howsweeteats.com

Also, is brown buttercream a thing? Should it be brown butter buttercream? I wanted to call it brown buttercream but thought you’d freak out and think that it was (or supposed be) brown. Which I suppose is not terrible since chocolate is brown. But still!

Regardless, the icing is made with brown butter. Shocking at this point, I know. So it’s made with brown butter, then covered in a crunchy sugar chai sprinkle. The coarse raw sugar adds the most wonderful texture on top of the fluffy buttercream cloud!

Like, hello: can I feel that crunch and fluff with everything I eat?

chai cupcakes with brown butter chai icing and crunchy sugar sprinkle I howsweeteats.com

The best part is that I’ve never even cared about chai. It was never one of my beverages of choice, but after making these chewy chai snickerdoodles this past fall, I have changed my tune. I want everything chai. Especially loaded with sugar. 

chai cupcakes with brown butter chai icing and crunchy sugar sprinkle I howsweeteats.com

ALSO. This is the cupcake that I shared on my Tuesday Things post last week! Suspense is now over. A bunch of you have been asking and I have been a terrible person for ignoring you. Or, I just transferred the written recipe into an electronic version less than twelve hours ago because I’m struggling to get my life together. That’s real talk right there.

chai cupcakes with brown butter chai icing and crunchy sugar sprinkle I howsweeteats.com

Now I know it’s still January and all but there are TONS of reasons that you might need a cupcake recipe, like a playoff football game, the superbowl, fat Tuesday or just this coming Friday night. When a blizzard hits. Be prepared. I personally choose the last option.

I know. This is your shocked face.

chai cupcakes with brown butter chai icing and crunchy sugar sprinkle I howsweeteats.com

Chai Cupcakes with Brown Butter Chai Icing.

Ingredients:

cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup whole milk

frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned and cooled to solid room temp
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk

crunchy sugar topping

  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

 

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Set it aside.

Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat it until creamy. Add the sugar and beat with the butter on high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add in the oil and vanilla extract, beating on medium speed for another minute. With the mixer on low speed, add in half of the dry ingredients. Pour in the milk. Add in the other half of the dry ingredients and mix them on medium speed until the batter is combined.

Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full. Bake until the tops are set, about 16 to 17 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

frosting

Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed until creamy. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the sugar. Add in the ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and allspice. Beat until the sugar is incorporated and add the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Beat the frosting on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy and creamy. If the frosting seems too thick, beat in the tablespoon of milk for 1 to 2 minutes until combined.

Frost the cupcakes once cooled. To make the crunchy sugar topping, stir together the raw sugar with the cinnamon and cardamom. Sprinkle on top of the frosting!

[cake from my confetti cupcake recipe, chai spice from chewy snickerdoodles!]

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chai cupcakes with brown butter chai icing and crunchy sugar sprinkle I howsweeteats.com

But can you even?!