i'm thoroughly a tea person, and this academic year has served to make this distinction even stronger. i blame (credit? both?) my friend, whose townhouse i spend a lot of time in. partly because it's only a 10 minute walk from campus, mostly because she's not willing to study any place besides on the couch in her townhouse. she's the kind of person who feeds anyone who comes through her door, no matter if she's fed them countless other times. in the afternoons, this means tea and some sort of sugary junk. i've been into tea time since having it on a cruise 10ish years ago, so i never put up a fight.
she typically makes green tea or masala chai, unsweetened because you don't need the sugar when you're having tea with cookies or cake or whatever. (in general, i prefer hot tea unsweetened. cold is the complete opposite). green tea is obviously easier to brew than combining toasted spices with murky black tea and creamy milk, but i can't help but prefer the latter.
these masala chai carrot cupcakes bring forth the same warm and cozy afternoon vibes that a cup of tea provide. i probably won't ever make these for her (these are way too intense for college baking lol), but i will continue to fuel her 3pm sweet tooth with homemade banana bread (her favorite) and blondies (my favorite).
but anyways, back to the masala chai carrot cupcakes. they're super moist, and jam-packed with plump raisins (re: the age old raisin debate, you can leave them out, but i implore you to suck it up and use them).
they're flecked with shreds of carrots, and the spices and tea infuses everything without being that person whose perfume you can smell from a room away.
the cream cheese frosting (choose your adventure: flavor it with pistachio or vanilla or something else altogether) is on the softer side, so you're not going to be able to make a scran line worthy beehive of it. but it doesn't slide off the cupcakes in a puddle (aka it's functional), and it's so creamy that it doesn't really matter.
in the mood for other cake ideas? how about this apple cake with almond crumb topping, or some chocolate hi hat cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream?
- ¼ cup boiling water
- 4 tablespoons darjeeling/assam tea Indian black tea
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound carrots peeled and shredded
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup raisins
- 12 oz full fat cream cheese room temperature
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 tablespoons full fat sour cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pistachio extract or vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
Pour the boiling water over the tea and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain the tea, and discard the tea leaves.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs and tea until combined. Add the oil and whisk until the mixture is completely emulsified.
Fold in the carrots until combined, then fold in the flour until no visible specks of flour can be seen. Quickly fold in the raisins.
Transfer the batter to 24 lined cupcake wells and bake at 350F for about 20-25 minutes. The cupcakes should be golden brown and a toothpick will come out with a few crumbs when inserted into the center of a cupcake. Cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Frost the cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.
Cream the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, extract and salt until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, then beat until combined.
Adapted slightly from A Brown Table.
You can make the cupcake batter in a food processor. Click through to the link above and follow the instructions there.