Orange Chai Spiced Muffins
I’ve always heard about “chai,” but never really knew what it was until recently while conducting research on the flavor profile of chai. Historically, “chai” stems from India, with the actual story being more of an accident. Chai tea was created inadvertently by a monk in travels to China… you can read more about it here. On my quest to perfecting these muffins, I played with measurements of ingredients, specifically the flour combination and the right amount of “chai” spices: cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. I didn’t have any cardamom at home, nor did I remember to add in ginger. I did add in the zest of an orange and just a teaspoon of freshly squeezed orange juice. The results? The most flavorful, aromatic, and moist muffin I have made to date; no exaggeration. You have to make these orange chai spiced muffins.
These orange chai spiced muffins aren’t too fancy: creaming butter and sugar, adding an egg, a stream of milk, and adding the wet to the dry whisking just to combined. It results in a super light batter, but yields insanely moist muffins. The difference is with the flour and the measurements for all ingredients. Lately, I’ve begun to measure out my ingredients for baked recipes using a scale, and also in grams. Talking with a friend (and a kickass baker – you should follow her @cloudykitchen on Instagram), it makes sense to measure with grams as it is way more precise. If measuring by “cups,” the actual measurement will vary depending on the person replicating or making the recipe. Additionally, certain flours weigh different than just all purpose. For example, a cup of oat flour is 90g, whereas a cup of all-purpose flour is around 120g. MAJOR difference.
- Flour: I opted for oat flour in these muffins (2 cups, so 180g of flour). I also added 1/2c (or 122g) of tapioca flour. Rather than going on a soapbox about tapioca flour, you can read about it here. I can confidently say this addition made all the difference to this batch of muffins versus my first batch which were way too moist and fell apart.
- Sugar: I did not substitute any coconut sugar in this recipe. It can be a 1:1 swap, but sometimes it changes the texture and the color can turn a little darker. For this recipe, I wanted it to be slightly orange yet still bright.
Orange Chai Spiced Muffins
The most delicious muffins you'll make! Orange chai spiced muffins are perfect for breakfast or a snack. Oh, and they're gluten free too!
- 180 g oat flour
- 122 g tapioca flour can substitute arrowroot as well
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp clove
- 1 tbsp nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 200 g organic cane sugar or 1 cup
- 125 g half and half or 1/2 cup
- 1 tsp fresh orange juice
- 1 tbsp orange zest
Preheat the oven to 375º and line a muffin tin with liners. Spray the liners with a little cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the oat flour, tapioca flour, spices, baking powder, and baking soda using a silicone spatula. Set the bowl aside.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale yellow and fluffy. Crack in the egg and whisk to combine.
With the mixer on, add in the half and half in an continuous stream and continue to mix until it’s a little thick; turn off the mixer
Pour in the orange juice and orange zest and whisk only just to combine.
Discard the dirty mixer attachments and the electric mixer. To the dry ingredients, pour in the wet and mix with a hand whisk. Only whisk until the batter comes together and then stop. The batter should be thick but appear and feel airy.
Using a cookie scooper, scoop batter into the tin evenly (approximately 2/3 of the way in each muffin well). Bake 375° for 25m, you can test with a toothpick: insert into four of the muffins and if it comes out clean, the muffins are done.
LET COOL 35 MINUTES before serving or plating!