For the muffins:
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 bag chai tea
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
- 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
For the sugar coating:
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- Pour milk into a mug or small microwaveable bowl. Heat in microwave 40 seconds until hot (but not scalding). Steep tea in milk 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom and baking soda until well combined.
- Remove tea bag from milk, squeezing out any extra liquid and flavor from bag. Pour milk into a small bowl and stir in canned pumpkin until mixture is well combined.
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on high speed 1 to 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Using a spatula, wooden spoon or stand mixer on low speed, alternate stirring in flour (in 3 additions) and pumpkin mixtures (in 2 additions), beginning and ending with flour mixture, just until batter is combined.
- Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool muffins 10 minutes in pan on a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon. One at a time, remove muffins from pan and brush tops and sides with butter, then roll in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.