These delicious little two-bite, Mini Cupcakes are flavored with vanilla and chai, and frosted with White Chocolate & Chai Italian Meringue Buttercream.
Why Mini Cupcakes?
I've been feeling like Christmas is a bit much. There's an over exaggerated emphasis on more. Spend more, do more, eat more. For the entire month, everyone seems slightly harried and exhausted, and at some point in every conversation, the word "crazy" or "busy" is used to describe the general state of things.
Also, between all the parties, family get togethers, holiday dinners, food gifts, and home baking, we all just accept that we're going to end the month overstuffed and perfectly primed to start yet another New Year with a resolution to undo the damage we did in December.
I also genuinely LOVE this time of year. I want to go to holiday parties. I love giving gifts to my favorite people. I want to spend hours in the kitchen with Christmas music playing while I bake delicious, adorable Christmas treats. And, I want to eat things that include flavors of ginger, and spice, and chocolate, and peppermint, and eggnog.
I just want to do all that with with a modicum of moderation. Smaller gifts. Simpler parties. Smaller portions.
I want to enjoy a little bit of everything. Pressure free. With more sleep and fewer expectations. With less rushing and spending, and more savoring and enjoying. With plenty of delicious treats in smaller portions.
So... Mini Cupcakes.
Richly flavored with chai and vanilla, these two-bite treats are like Christmas in your mouth. The cupcakes themselves are extremely simple to make. You won't even need an electric mixer.
It's the frosting that might scare you off, if you've never made Italian Meringue Buttercream. So, let's nip that in the bud right now. Italian Meringue Buttercream is silky smooth, not too sweet, and so easy to work with.
Still, you might look at the length of instructions and decide that everything I just said about a simpler, calmer holiday is a big fat lie. Please hear me when I tell you that Italian Meringue Buttercream is really, truly easy to make. You simply cook sugar and water to 248 degrees. Pour it into beaten egg whites and let your electric mixer beat it until its cool, while you go pour yourself a cocktail and relax by the tree. Add butter and flavorings, and you're done.
That's it. I promise. Follow the instructions to the letter once and you'll rarely have to read them again.
I'm also certain that you will love this frosting so much that you'll make it again and again. I have people tell me all the time that after making it once, it's now the only kind of buttercream they ever use.
Mini Chai Latte Cupcake Recipe Notes
The chai flavor in these cupcakes comes from powdered chai tea latte drink mix. I used four 1.1oz packets of Oregon Chai Tea Latte Original Mix. But, I'm sure any powdered chai mix will work.
The mini-cupcake pan I used is non-stick, but I still sprayed it lightly with baking spray and suggest you do the same. As these chai cupcakes bake, the tops will puff out over the tops of the paper liners. You absolutely do not want their cute little domed tops to stick to your pan. Spraying the pan lightly with baking spray will cause them to pop right out of the pan.
The recipe makes between 54-60 mini cupcakes. If that's more than you need all at once, just freeze the remainder for up to two months. Make sure to freeze them in a single layer or they'll stick together. Once frozen, you can pile them into a smaller container or ziplock bag.
Also, it kinda goes without saying, but what could be better with a couple of mini chai cupcakes than a cup of homemade chai tea? If you want to know how to make a really incredible cup of tea, this is the best chai tea recipe.
Used in this Recipe:
- Oregon Chai Tea Latte Original Mix
- Wilton non-stick 24-cup mini muffin pan
- Cupcake Decorator Tips
- Disposable Decorator Bags
- Mini-cupcake paper liners
More Mini Christmas Treats:
- Mini Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
- Individual Almond Cakes with Cranberry Sauce
- Mini Ginger Snaps with Sorghum and Brown Sugar
- Perfect Profiteroles
- Wine Poached Pear and Almond Tart
- Lemon Ricotta Olive Oil Loaves
- Mini Butterscotch Eclairs
- Eggnog Pots de Creme
- Cranberry Pineapple Upside Down Cakes
- Mini Cranberry Bundt Cakes with Lemon Glaze
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #ofbatteranddough on Instagram.
- 1 ½ cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (7 grams) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon table salt, OR 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 to 5 ounces powdered chai tea latte drink mix (I used four 1.1 oz packets of Oregon Chai Tea Latte Original)
- 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (12.5 grams) vegetable oil
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten and at room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 recipe Italian Meringue Buttercream - follow instructions for Chai Latte flavor
- Optional: white chocolate chips and nutmeg for decorating
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) Lightly spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick baking spray and line with paper liners.
- Add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and powdered chai mix to a bowl and stir with a wire whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add the melted butter, oil, and sugar and whisk to combine. Whisk in the eggs.
- Combine the buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring cup and add in two additions, alternating with three additions of the flour: flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, and flour. After each addition, whisk just long enough to combine the ingredients.
- Fill muffin cups about ¾ full with batter. The batter should come nearly to the top of the paper liners. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in one of the cupcakes comes out without any liquid batter on it.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 1 minute, then dump them out onto a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before frosting.
- Frost cupcakes with a swirl of Chai Latte Italian Meringue Buttercream. If desired, top each with one white chocolate chip and a light dusting of nutmeg.
- No buttermilk? No problem. DIY Buttermilk: How to make your own
- The chai flavor in these cupcakes comes from powdered chai tea latte drink mix. I used four 1.1oz packets of Oregon Chai Tea Latte Original Mix. But, I'm sure any powdered chai mix will work.
- The mini-cupcake pan I used is non-stick, but I still sprayed it lightly with baking spray and suggest you do the same. As these chai cupcakes bake, the tops will puff out over the tops of the paper liners. You absolutely do not want their cute little domed tops to stick to your pan. Spraying the pan lightly with baking spray will cause them to pop right out of the pan.
- This recipe makes between 54-60 mini cupcakes. If that's more than you need all at once, just freeze the remainder for up to two months. Make sure to freeze them in a single layer or they'll stick together. Once frozen, you can pile them into a smaller container or ziplock bag.
- Nutrition information, prep time, and cook time are for the cupcakes only - not the Italian Meringue Buttercream.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 30 Serving Size: 2 mini cupcakes
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 151mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 23gProtein: 2g