Mini Chai Muffins with Vanilla Bean Glaze are the perfect sweet addition to your winter brunch table! These bite sized, whole wheat muffins are packed with chai spice mix and will make the whole house smell amazing!
This recipe and photos have been updated since the original post on 12/12/2013
Chai spice is one of those warm wintery flavors that makes it feel like the holidays. Not only is it wonderful to sip a chai tea latte on a cold day, but chai is amazing to bake with as well. You can use the actual chai tea bags, buy a pre-made mix like I did from my local spice shop, or you can create a homemade chai spice mix.
What’s in Chai Spice Mix?
Chai spice mix is usually made up of six to eight ingredients. Cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and black pepper are most common. You might also see star anise, coriander and fennel listed as well. Cinnamon, cardamom and ginger are the predominant spices used giving the blend a warm, earthy flavor.
What is Cardamom?
Cardamom is a spice you may not have in your pantry, but I assure you, it’s a must if you’re making your own chai spice mix. Cardamom is a spice that’s made from seed pods of plants in the ginger family. The pods are filled with small seeds and can be used whole or ground up. The flavor of cardamom is truly unique. It’s flavor is citrusy, sweet, minty and spicy and works well in a variety of sweet and savory dishes.
A little goes a long way with this potent spice, which is a good thing because it’s not the cheapest spice to buy. I like to buy it in bulk in small quantities since it isn’t an everyday spice and is best used when it’s fresh.
These mini muffins are made entirely with whole wheat pastry flour. Not only does it make the muffins a little healthier, but it adds a nice nutty flavor to them. To keep the muffins moist and tender I used a combination of plain Greek yogurt, milk and olive oil. You can substitute the olive oil with vegetable oil or even melted coconut oil.
Instead of sugar, these mini chai muffins are sweetened with maple syrup. The maple was a wonderful combination with the chai spice mix. Since these are mini muffins you won’t need to bake them as long. Anywhere from 10-14 minutes depending on your oven. Always check by inserting a toothpick into the center of the muffin. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached they’re good to go.
To top these mini chai muffins I dipped them in a vanilla bean glaze. The glaze is optional, but I highly recommend indulging in a few extra calories because it really puts these muffins over the top! To make the glaze for the muffins you’ll need powdered sugar, a splash of milk and one of my favorite baking ingredients, vanilla bean paste. I find the flavor to be more intense than traditional vanilla extract.
These mini chai muffins with vanilla bean glaze are perfect for your next winter brunch or make a batch anytime you’re in the mood for chai. They go great with your morning coffee!
More Recipes Using Chai
Chewy Chai-Spice Sugar Cookies
Mini Chai Muffins with Vanilla Bean Glaze
Mini Chai Muffins
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons chai spice mix
- 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons low fat milk or milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, canola or melted coconut oil may also be used
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
Vanilla Bean Glaze
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2-3 teaspoons low fat milk
- Preheat oven to 375° F. and line a mini muffin pan with 32 liners or spray the muffin pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour baking powder, baking soda, salt and chai spice.
- In a smaller mixing bowl whisk together the yogurt, milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Fill the mini muffin pan evenly with the batter and bake for 10-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing them to cool on a wire rack.
- While the muffins are cooling make the vanilla bean glaze by whisking the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla bean paste together in a small bowl until they're smooth. The consistency is up to you. Add more or use less milk for a thicker or thinner glaze.
- Dip or drizzle the cooled muffins with the glaze then let them return them to the cooling rack until the glaze has set up and hardened.
If you plan to freeze the muffins for a later day do not glaze them as the glaze will become sticky. Store them in an air tight container or freezer bag until you are ready to use them.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 39Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 47mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g
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