Judy Lai was inspired to make these Thai iced tea cupcakes after eating at a Thai restaurant. Her bakery Silk Cakes is known for taking Asian flavors and incorporating them into American-style desserts, so it's a perfect fit. Lai is a first-generation Chinese-American, born in New York City to immigrant parents, and her baked goods reflect her heritage while also showing off the French pastry skills she learned at the International Culinary Center. These Thai iced-tea flavored cupcakes are really the best mix of that: a super delicate and fluffy cupcake that tastes exactly like Thai iced tea.
The trick to making these cupcakes nice and light, according to Lai, is not to mix the batter too much. "As soon as it looks smooth, you're done mixing, and over mixing will make them less fluffy," she says. That's also why the cupcakes are baked at a relatively low temperature. "We chose 275°F so it's a slower baking process at medium heat," to keep the cupcakes light and to ensure they don't get browned, "and we remove the cupcakes the second that a stick poked in the cupcake comes out clean."
"It's important to take the cupcake out of the cupcake tray immediately when it's out of the oven," Lai says, "because leaving the cupcake in the tray will cause it to flatten due to the heat of the cupcake tray."
Thai Tea Cupcakes
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ¼ cup whole milk
1 ounce Thai tea leaves
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 275°F.
Add the tea leaves to room temperature milk and allow it to seep for 10 minutes. Pour through a sieve, coffee filter, or tea screen to strain out the tea leaves.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer—either stand or handheld—on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-6 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Alternate adding the dry and Thai tea milk into the mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that batter is evenly mixed.
Scoop the batter into the cupcake tray using a cupcake liner. Bake 15-20 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool on wire rack.
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