As a lover of food, I heart Thanksgiving. To me, it is a holiday dedicated to the celebration of all the delicious Fall flavors. While pumpkin is the official mascot of Fall, I have noticed a new flavor popping up as well. Masala chai is a beverage originating in India prepared by brewing tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices. Chai spice mix doesn’t have an official recipe, different spice mixes are made in different areas. The spice mix generally includes ginger and cardamom as the base. Other spices that are added include cinnamon, star anise, peppercorn, clove, all-spice, and nutmeg. There is something so warm and soothing about these spices that I just can’t get enough of.
Some of my close friends and I celebrate Thanksgiving together by enjoying a pot luck meal. I am always assigned dessert and I usually bring pies. I know pumpkin pie is generally served on Thanksgiving. But I don’t like pumpkin pie, so I stick to lemon meringue pie and apple pie. I do love pumpkin though, so I decided that this year I needed to come up with a delicious pumpkin dessert. I also wanted to include my newest obsession, chai spice mix so I present you with Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes. The pumpkin chai cupcakes are moist and delicious but not overly sweet. The chai tea concentrate adds a hint of spice to the cupcakes, but if you can’t find it, you can always just use water. These cupcakes are perfect on their own or they can be paired with chai spiced frosting for a sweeter, more decadent option. If you wanted to serve the cupcakes as a side dish, add ½ cup of craisins to the batter before baking and call them pumpkin muffins! These can also be made in a mini cupcake pan for a cuter presentation.
Thanksgiving should not be a stressful time, so try making these easy cupcakes and enjoy your time with friends and family. The cupcakes (minus the frosting) can be made ahead of time, they freeze well! Frost before serving. Happy Thanksgiving!