Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Winter Breakfast: Vanilla Chai Muffins

Warming chai spices make these muffins extra special on a winter morning!  Hot from the oven these muffins are hard to beat and will be on your table in 30 minutes.

Vanilla Chai Muffins

One thing I miss so much due to our stay at home orders is a Chai Latte from Coffee Bean.  Oh that sensation that you get from a foamy hot drink that is slightly sweet and heady from chai spices...boy I miss that feeling!  Well I turned my favorite drink in to my new favorite muffin.  This muffin has everything the drink has.  Slightly sweet and full of vanilla and chai spices with an extra sprinkle of sanding sugar on the top for a bit of crunch and an extra sweet bite.  Heaven I must say.  Even MGG said that he thought this was a great muffins...so much so he ate two!

To make this muffin you need some Vanilla Chai Spice which may be purchased as a blend.  This makes things a lot easier than blending your own.  If you would like to make your own see my recipe down below in the Kitchen Notes & Tips section.  You could also use Oregon Chai vanilla powder or liquid concentrate to get a similar flavor.  These muffins are the perfect breakfast treat on a winter morning.  They are equally good during winter brunch, with coffee or tea, or as a afternoon snack.  Definitely bakery worthy and so much cheaper.  Plus did I mention that you can whip these up and have a hot fresh muffin in 30 minutes?  Love that!

What Ingredients do I need?

  • egg
  • milk
  • canola oil or vegetable oil
  • flour
  • sugar
  • baking powder
  • vanilla chai spice mix (see Kitchen Notes below for sources)
  • salt
  • sanding sugar (optional topping)

Substitutions and Variations

  • Make mini muffins instead of regular sized muffins
  • Double the recipe for 12 muffins
  • Use liquid chai flavoring instead of a mix
  • Add some mini chocolate chips
  • Add some chopped pecans or walnuts for crunch 
  • Substitute your favorite sweetener for the sugar
  • Use yogurt instead of milk
  • Use butter instead of canola oil
  • Use 1/2 the amount of flour with whole wheat or white whole wheat flour.

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Cook mini muffins for about 12-14 minutes
  • Muffins freeze well.  Wrap each one individually in cling wrap and freeze up to 3 months.
  • Do not overmix your muffin batter. Overmixing causes your muffins to come out flat and tough
  • Homemade Chai Spice Blend:  To make your own chai spice blend 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cardamon, and 1/4 teaspoon all-spice.
  • Chai Spice Blend sources:  
    • Spice House Chai Spices - I use this one and it has a hint of vanilla in it.
    • Amazon - Watkins Chai Powder - This does have a trace of tea in it and no vanilla.  If you want a vanilla hint add some to the muffin batter along with this spice.
    • Amazon - Spicewalla Chai Masala - This Blend does not have any tea in it, nor does it have vanilla.  If you want a vanilla hint add some to the muffin batter along with this spice.
    • Morton & Bassett Chai Spice - most major grocery stores carry this brand.  This does not contain vanilla.  If you want a vanilla hint add some to the  batter along with this spice.

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Vanilla Chai Muffins

yield:  6 muffins

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 canola oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons Vanilla Chai Spice blend  (see Kitchen Notes above for sources)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Coarse sanding sugar for topping (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a 6 well muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.

To a large bowl add the egg, milk, and canola oil.  Whisk to combine.  Add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and vanilla chai spice to the bowl.  Stir until just combined.  Do not overmix.  

Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter evenly among the 6 muffin wells.  Sprinkle the batter of each muffin with sanding sugar if desired.  Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown and set.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.  Serve.

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