So every year around Christmas, Chris's work throws a fun holiday party and they always have a bake off. Obviously I enter and get super excited about what to bake! Sometimes the options are so overwhelming I just can't make up my mind! This year I decided to bake something with the holiday flavors in mind. Do you know where I am going with this? Yup, that's right. Gingerbread. And it just so happens I found the BEST gingerbread recipe out there. I turned it into a cupcake with a cream cheese chai frosting. BOOM! And yes it is amazing! I usually make this gingerbread cake with an orange crème anglaise but thought it would make a great cupcake. Another thing to note is that this recipe oriniglaly calls for Guiness beer in the batter, but I wanted to make a dessert that was alcohol free (since it was going to be in a competition and lots of guest tasters, otherwise I don't mind baking with booze!). So I added in ginger ale in place of the beer! Pretty ingenious if you ask me! When it comes to substitutions in baking, I typically draw a blank since baking is such a science, but I figured the bubbles from the ginger ale would do the same as the carbonation from the beer and it would add just a touch more ginger flavor! These cupcakes were a hit, regardless of not winning. They are a winner in my book and a holiday staple that I will use for years to come!
The cream cheese chai frosting was killer. Silky, buttery, spicy, and delicious. I love having a hot chai tea when it is really cold out, especially the soy chai latte from Starbucks! I thought the chai flavors would compliment the gingerbread nicely, and it really did. The cream cheese was just mild enough that the chai spices really shined. I will be using this frosting on lots more baking goods to come!
The recipe I follow for the gingerbread cake (which I turned into cupcakes) is Emeril's recipe... my only substitution was instead of Guiness I did equal part ginger ale.
And here is the recipe for the cream cheese chai frosting... killer!(I had a pre-made chai spice mix so I used that. I also did not use the tea and added in 1/2 a stick of room temperature cream cheese!)
*I borrowed the picture from the lovely food blogger Cakes by the Cup, since I forgot to take a picture before they went to the competition! If you haven't checked out this fabulous blog, please do, it is wonderful!
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