Chai Cupcakes with Apple Spice Frosting

The flavor of these cupcakes is out of this world. The cake is tender and the frosting is sweet and indulgent. Another great choice for non-pie eaters during the holidays, or just to add another option; they pair prefect with a hot mug of tea or cider. I used Trader Joe’s Apple Cider Jam in the frosting, which is absolutely amazing and worth ever penny, but feel free to use anything similar you have lying around. Big thanks to Sprinkles cookbook for this idea!

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cardomom
  • 2 grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 c almond milk
  • 1/2 c vegan butter/ coconut oil (see tip at bottom)
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 tbsp flax + 1/4 c water mixed
  • frosting (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 325 and line a cupcake pan. Whisk flour, spices, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Beat vegan butter in a stand mixer for 2-3 mins until fluffy. Reduce the speed and add flax mixture until the consistency is creamy, about a minute. Add half the dry ingredients, the almond milk and vanilla, and then the other half of the dry ingredients. Beat until just incorporated. Pour batter into liners. Bake for 19 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely and frost. Top with a dollop of apple jam.

Frosting:

  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1 grind of fresh black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c vegan butter/ coconut oil (see tip at bottom)
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4-1/2 c apple jam/butter (to taste/consistency)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Beat vegan butter/coconut oil with brown sugar in for about 2 minutes on medium. Mix cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, and salt in a small separate bowl. Reduce the speed to low and add powdered sugar, followed by the almond milk and vanilla. Start with 1/4 c apple jam and beat in on medium. Taste and add more as necessary. If runny, add 2 tbsp cornstarch.

Tips/Things I Would Change:

  • I actually think my favorite combo is to use vegan butter for the cake, but coconut oil for the frosting. Surprisingly, coconut oil cuts some of the sweetness of typical frostings, which lets you taste the flavor more.
  • If you are missing any of the spices, replace it with more allspice (unless that’s what you’re missing, then sub cinnamon). For example, I was missing cardamom, so I added 1/4 tsp more allspice instead.
  • If you don’t have apple jam, you could try apple sauce, or make your own. I’ll try to make a recipe for one soon.

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