Cherry Chai Cupcakes

My latest collaboration with Dona Chai and Brins Jam & Marmalade resulted in these adorable cherry chai cupcakes.  A lightly flavored Dona chai cupcake is crowned with cherry chai buttercream from Brins (formerly named Stagg Jam & Marmalade).  Brins actually used Dona chai in their jam recipe, so this cupcake is a flavor match made in confectionery heaven!

The cherries on top remind me of the alluring ice cream sundaes at old time-y diners, such as the one on my old college campus in Chicago.  Sometimes the only thing that would motivate me to write a paper was a friend dragging me from the bookish danger zone of my dorm room to study at our diner with a sweet treat close at hand.  That cherry on top could make it or break it!

Dona is a Masala Chai tea concentrate.  If you mix equal parts with hot milk, you’ll have a wildly good chai tea latte on your hands.  With vibrant spices like green cardamom and black peppercorn shining through, Dona chai breathes sparkling life into baked goods.  I suggest drinking a chai latte as you munch on your cupcake batch!  Dona chai is brewed in Brooklyn, where the brand also concocts a golden latte concentrate made from turmeric.

While I was cozy at home eating cupcakes this weekend, I was excited to browse the upcoming lineup at New York’s Dessert Goals festival next week.  I’m excited to see their new space in Long Island City!  I won’t leave before grazing on some fluffy shaved ice at the Bonsai Kakigori stand or taking incessant photos of the push-pop cake creations at The Pop Cake Shop.  I think there are a few tickets left for the event, so skedaddle on over to their website as soon as possible!  And if you can’t make it, definitely, DEFINITELY mix up a batch of these gorgeously flavored cupcakes.

Scroll down for the recipe!

For the Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Dona chai concentrate
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and beat in the eggs.
  3. Mix in the Dona chai concentrate.
  4. Fold in the flour and buttermilk, alternating between each, and mix until just combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar and then mix into the batter.
  6. Distribute batter in cupcake holders until 3/4 full.  Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cups Cherry Chai Jam from Brins Jam & Marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Beat the butter in an electric stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Slowly incorporate powdered sugar, sifted.
  3. Add cherry chai jam and vanilla.
  4. Beat until well combined.

Don’t forget the cherry on top!

Peanut Butter & Cherry Jam Cake

I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly

This cherry jam spice cake has swoon-worthy crumbs and is topped with a billowy peanut butter frosting.  A layer of roasted cherries is sandwiched between the two layers of this naked-style cake.

Everyone remembers the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that marked their formative years in grade school.  I’ve updated the lunchbox staple with a sophisticated, country chic version that will please the most refined adult palate.

This cake will be the perfect centerpiece at your rustic wedding gathering or reunion with friends.  You can easily add more tiers, and the naked-style lends itself to simple elegance.  This stress-free cake will allow you to worry about other things on your special day!

Grab a fork and prepare yourself for nostalgic decadence.  Scroll down for the recipe!

 

Cherry Spice Cake

(Makes two round 9 inch cakes)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry jam
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • fresh cherries, for roasting/garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.  Whisk to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the jam and the buttermilk.
  4. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs one at a time.
  6. Alternate the incorporation of the flour and the buttermilk mixture.  After each addition, mix until just barely blended to prevent over-mixing the flour.
  7. When both the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture are incorporated, distribute the batter evenly between two greased and floured round 9 inch cake pans.
  8. Bake 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  The cake centers should be just barely firm when lightly touched.
  9. Let cool before frosting.

 

Peanut Butter Buttercream

(Double recipe according to your peanut butter addiction)

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup natural crunchy salted peanut butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the peanut butter until smooth.
  2. Gradually incorporate the confectioners sugar until smooth.
  3. Add cream and vanilla.  Beat until the frosting is light with an even consistency.

To Assemble: Pit one cup of fresh cherries and spread on a baking sheet.  Bake for ten minutes at 400 degrees.  Let cherries cool.  Let cake cool completely before frosting.  Using a piping back with a round tip, pipe a thick layer of peanut butter frosting on top of one of the cake rounds.  Sprinkle roasted cherries generously on top of the frosting.  Place second layer of cake on top.  Repeat process.  Garnish the cake with roasted cherries or fresh cherries.