Recently I was asked to create Panda Cupcakes. Honestly, I’m not so much into cute, but if someone asks for it, I can do that. My “It’s Pandamonium” post featured a cute panda cupcake. However, my first thought when faced with a request for panda cupcakes was this: Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting and Royal Icing decorations.
I made Royal icing pandas a day before. The greatest thing about Royal icing decorations is they last almost forever. Store them in the refrigerator and I can assure you that you will find a way to use them in future projects.
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 eggs
- 1/8 cup apple sauce
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 chai tea bags
Preheat oven to 350°F and line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
In a bowl, sift and combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
In a small saucepan, warm the milk until simmering. Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and allow the chai milk to cool to room temperature.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs until combined. Add the apple sauce and scrape the bowl until all is incorporated.
Starting and ending with the dry ingredients, add the flour mixture and chai milk mix until fully combined. Do not over mix.
Evenly divide the batter into the prepared liners and bake for 14-15 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs.) Cool completely.
In a stand mixer on medium-high, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
Add 1/2 of the powdered sugar and combine. Scrape down the bowl and add the rest of the powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix until all is incorporated.
Add heavy cream to reach the desired consistency.
Frost the cupcakes using a piping bag fitted with an Ateco #806 tip. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top and add a Panda. A slightly slicker cupcake for a more sophisticated pallet.
Happy baking and Pandas!