There is no such thing as a good cupcake without a great frosting to top it off. As a former professional cake decorator, clients thoughtfully, but with a certain measure of seriousness, would taste several flavored frostings as they would a wine tasting with discerning palates.
For most everyday celebrations, the common frosting flavors are chocolate and vanilla – you can never go wrong with traditional flavors. However, flavored frostings have a way of pleasantly surprising guests beyond what is common and expected. It’s the equivalent of dressing up the perfect black cocktail dress with show-stopping accessories for a night out on the town. A single pearl necklace is safe, but sparkly gemstones are always more fun!
American buttercream is the most common type of frosting in the United States. Made with butter, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and milk, this classic frosting is a popular choice for icing cupcakes and cakes for birthday parties and special occasions. It also makes an excellent frosting base to add a additional flavors to.
With the help of a few Spice Islands spices, I’ve created an autumn inspired frosting which I absolutely love. This Vanilla Chai Buttercream compliments any type of spiced cakes, cinnamon rolls, or cookies. Best of all, its distinctive spiced flavor makes it a welcomed seasonal flavor beyond chocolate and vanilla.
Vanilla Chai Buttercream
Makes 2 cups
- ¼ cup half and half
- 1 black tea bag
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- ½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Ground Saigon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Ground Ginger
- ¼ teaspoon Spice Islands® Cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon Spice Islands® Ground Cloves
- 2 teaspoons Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
- Pour the half and half into a microwave safe mug. Heat the half and half for 45 seconds.
- Remove the mug from the microwave and place the tea bag in the mug to steep.
- Using an electric hand/stand mixer cream the butter for one minute on medium speed.
- Turn the mixer off and add the confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and vanilla extract.
- Turn the mixer back on at the lowest speed so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere. Once all the powdered sugar has incorporated into the butter, increase the mixer speed to medium and add the tea infused half and half.
- If the frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add the remaining sugar.
- Use immediately or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator up to one month.
Meal type: dessert