Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with White Star Cookie Toppers

Sometimes a sugar cookie can be simple, yet still catch your eye, and a cupcake can be easy to make from scratch, yet fully satisfy your sweet tooth. You can skip the box mix and you don’t even need a stand mixer for this recipe, but it will totally knock your socks off.

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes that really embody the warm spiciness of chai in both the cake and the frosting. And of course, you can toss on a cookie cupcake topper and they’re that much more awesome.

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with White Star Cookie Toppers

So before I offer up this killer cupcake recipe, lets chat more about the star toppers. Even though they’re simple as can be requiring no food dye, I added just a tiny bit of something to sass them up.

That something is called pearl luster dust and I picked up a jar at Michael’s. Just dust a little on with a dry (and clean!) brush to give your cookies a subtly pretty shimmer. It’s tough to photograph, but maybe you can catch some of the pearly white luster in this picture.

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with Pearly White Star Cookie Toppers | Make Me Cake Me

Making mini sugar cookies into cupcake toppers is a breeze, too! Just a dab of royal icing and some trimmed bamboo forks from World Market (great tip Callye!) and you’re all set. Royal icing dries like glue, so these cookies aren’t going anywhere!

How to Make Sugar Cookie Toppers for Cupcakes | Make Me Cake Me

The bamboo forks work wonderfully as they grab onto your cupcake from two points making them very stable.

How to Make Sugar Cookie Toppers for Cupcakes | Make Me Cake Me

A few pearly white sprinkles and some white nonpareils and we’re all set!

I was so happy with how these cupcakes shaped up. Without a drop of food dye, they have a clean color palette that’s visually interesting and most important, they taste like chai heaven!

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with White Star Cookie Toppers

VANILLA CHAI CUPCAKES - Barely tweaked from The Novice Chef Blog
Makes one dozen cupcakes with a big swirl of frosting

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 teaspoons chai spice mix (half the quantity)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Chai Spice Mix
1. Mix spices together in small bowl. Set aside.

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line cupcake tin with liners.
2. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the vanilla and mix until just incorporated.
4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until just incorporated.
5. In a small bowl, stir 2 teaspoons of chai spice mix with sifted flour.
6. Fold in the flour in three additions alternating with two additions of buttermilk. Be cautious not to over-mix.
7. In a small prep bowl, mix together baking soda and vinegar. The mixture will bubble and then you can add it to the batter, again mixing until just combined.
8. Spoon into lined cupcake tins and bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from tin after a couple minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

VANILLA CHAI BUTTERCREAM FROSTING - Barely tweaked from The Novice Chef Blog
Frosts one dozen cupcakes with a nice big swirl

1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, split & scraped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons chai spice mix (half the quantity)
1 to 2 tablespoons milk, if necessary
pinch salt

1. In a small bowl, stir remaining chai spice mix with sifted powdered sugar.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy about 3 to 5 minutes.
3. On low speed, mix in the vanilla and the vanilla bean seeds.
4. On low speed, add powdered sugar mixture about 1/2 cup at a time. Turn mixer speed up for a minute or two until the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add milk until desired consistency is reached.
5. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

NOTES: I used a Wilton 1M decorating tip, Wilton white nonpareils, and white pearlized jimmies from a local bake shop. I swear I’m not a Wilton rep! I can just find Wilton products close-by at Michael’s and I’m a fiend for their 40% off coupons!

12 thoughts on “Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with White Star Cookie Toppers

    • Agree completely about loving chai anything! lol. The spice combo just can’t be beat! Hope you get a chance to try these out :)

  1. The cupcakes look amazing by themselves but adding that cute sparkly star sends these over the moon!! SO cute! Can’t wait to try this recipe. My daughter will LOVE THEM!!

    • Do let me know if you give them a try. The recipe really is so easy, especially the frosting. A nice straightforward American buttercream. Yum yum yum! :)

    • Yes, for the tea lover especially (you!), the drink and the cupcake are a match made in heaven ;) Maybe you can bake us up a batch when we’re sleep-deprived and you’re visiting!

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