The one drink I love to have, rain or shine, is Thai iced tea. I mostly associate this drink with Asian restaurants in the US because it’s literally served at almost every single one. I’ve had it at Vietnamese restaurants, Chinese restaurants, and of course Thai restaurants. It has a signature orange color with an earthy, sweet flavor combination that comes from a mixture of black tea and condensed milk. I really wanted to recreate the feeling I get drinking Thai iced tea, so I made these mochi muffins! These Thai tea mochi muffins have a pillowy texture with all the flavors of Thai iced tea.
Where does Thai tea come from?
I was super curious about Thai tea because I just assumed it was an American invention like fortune cookies were. The truth is, the Thai tea we know and love is actually a mixture of a Thai street food favorite and American tastes. Tea came to Thailand via the Chinese in the 1980s. The tea that was brought over was eventually combined with condensed milk and ice to create Thai tea or Cha Yen in Thai. This drink quickly became a popular Thai street food staple.
It eventually made its way over to the US. As Thai food gained popularity here, Thai chefs added orange food coloring and more sugar to adapt this drink to American tastes. The food coloring used is actually very similar to the food coloring used in Kraft Mac & Cheese. And nowadays, it is a hugely popular drink in not only Thai restaurants, but all Asian restaurants across the US.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Coconut milk – Coconut milk helps make these mochi muffins really moist. I tested this recipe with coconut milk and whole milk, and found that coconut milk yields the best results. If you choose to use whole milk, make sure to use only 1 cup of whole milk.
- Thai tea mix – Adds the Thai tea flavor to these muffins. I used Pantai’s Thai Tea mix for this recipe.
- Butter – Adds a nuttiness and richness to this recipe.
- Granulated sugar & condensed milk – Both sugar and condensed milk add sweetness to this recipe. I used condensed milk in addition to sugar because it provides more moisture to the muffins and it more accurately replicates the flavor of a Thai iced tea. If you don’t want to to use condensed milk, I would recommend using more sugar.
- Vanilla paste – Adds flavor to the muffins. You can substitute with an equal amount of vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean.
- Eggs – Adds richness to the muffins.
- Sweet rice flour – This is the main dry ingredient of these muffins. The beauty of sweet rice flour is that it’s gluten free, and it adds a chewiness to the muffins, similar to the texture of mochi.
- Baking Powder – This ingredient helps the muffins rise and gives it an airiness.
Making my Thai tea mochi muffins
The beauty of this recipe is that the batter comes together in 1 bowl. First warm up coconut milk in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the Thai tea leaves and steep for 30 minutes. Next preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the melted butter, sugar, and condensed milk in a bowl. Mix until combined. Strain the Thai tea flavored coconut milk into the bowl and mix. Lastly, add the vanilla paste and eggs. Mix again until combined. Sift in the sweet rice flour and baking powder. Mix until a wet batter forms. It should be a pretty loose batter.
Now it’s time to fill your muffin pan! Grease a muffin pan. Scoop the batter into the muffin pan and then smack it on a flat surface a few times. This helps get rid of some of the air bubbles. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges start to brown. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Did you make these Thai tea mochi muffins?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
Thai Tea Mochi Muffins
- Heat coconut milk in the microwave for 30 seconds. I like to do this in a liquid measuring cup for easier handling.
- Once warm, add the Thai tea mix to the coconut milk and steep for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add melted butter, sugar, and condensed milk to a bowl. Mix until combined.
- Strain the Thai tea flavored coconut milk into the bowl.
- Add the vanilla paste and eggs. Mix until combined.
- Sift the sweet rice flour and baking powder into the wet ingredients. Mix until a wet batter forms. It should be a pretty loose consistency.
- Grease a muffin pan. Scoop batter into the muffin pan. Smack the muffin pan 1-2 times on a flat surface to get rid of some of the air bubbles.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges start to brown.
- Cool for 10 minutes before serving.