2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (see note at end of recipe)
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk or orange juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups grated zucchini (start with one 8-inch squash)
6 Tablespoons salted butter
3 Tablespoons milk
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place paper liners in 18 muffin cups.
Whisk dry ingredients (flour through cardamom) together in medium bowl; set aside.
Beat eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, and almond extract in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients in thirds and mix until smooth. Add zucchini and mix until well distributed.
Grease a 1/4 cup cookie scoop or plastic serving spoon and dispense batter into prepared pans.
Bake 18-20 minutes, until tops are golden and firm. Cool in pan 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
While cupcakes are baking, make frosting. Place butter, milk, brown sugar, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes, whisking. Cool to lukewarm. (Cooling may be hastened by placing saucepan in a sink with enough cold water and ice to reach halfway up the sides of the pan.) Beat in 1 cup powdered sugar and gradually add enough additional powdered sugar to make a thick, spreadable frosting. Frost completely cooled cupcakes by placing a 1 tablespoon dollop on top of a cupcake and spreading in a circular motion with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Repeat for remaining cupcakes.
Yield: 18 cupcakes
- Cardamom is a keynote flavor in chai but is a costly spice; you may choose to omit it. To maximize your investment, store whole or ground cardamom in its container in the freezer where it will last in fine shape for about 2 years.