Friday, November 22, 2013

Pumpkin Chai Latte Cupcakes with Nutmeg Cardamom Icing (Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan)

No, I didn't throw paleo out the window! This is one of the recipes in my baking cookbook and I've been meaning to share it with you here on the blog because there's actually a typo in the cookbook. And it's my fault! I looked over that recipe 500,037 times and still somehow didn't catch that typo!! Fingers crossed that's the only typo in the book!

But I really want you to have this recipe. It's probably one of my very favorites in the entire book not only because it's gluten-free, but because it contains pumpkin and chai spices, it's soy-free AND it's also vegan. Yep. No eggs or dairy in that lovely cake.

This is the recipe I keep turning too when people ask me to make them cupcakes for a friend or a neighbor, for a birthday or just because. They are spicy and sweet and they make nearly all tummies happy! They are moist and decadent and have a really lovely crumb. And that homemade icing, it's TO DIE FOR.

I actually made the cake this week for a fundraiser for a family in our community. They are going through some really tough times with medical issues and when a neighbor asked if I could donate a cake, I gladly jumped at the chance. Even if it's a treat that I really shouldn't be eating due to sugar or grains, it's still a joy to make them for other people.

So here's the deal with the recipe in cookbook, this recipe is listed on page: 187 in the cakes and cupcakes chapter as Chai Latte Cupcakes with Nutmeg Cardamom Icing. What needs to be corrected is that the original recipe in the book ONLY makes about 9-10 cupcakes and NOT 24. It's a small batch recipe. It can EASILY be doubled, tripled, even quadrupled! For the cake above I actually tripled the recipe and ended up with a 2 layer cake and about 8 cupcakes. How I managed to look at that recipe hundreds of times and miss that mistake, I will never know... but trust me, it won't make 24 cupcakes! (Unless maybe they are minis! lol)

Either way, it's a really delicious cake or cupcake. I'd love to come up with a grain-free version of this recipe without eggs (since there are SO many folks who follow paleo, but who also need to follow an autoimmune protocol or have egg sensitivities), but until then I hope you can enjoy this version! And while you're at it, double the recipe and share them with a friend!

Pumpkin Chai Latte Cupcakes with Nutmeg Cardamom Icing
Created by Carrie Forbes
Reprinted with permission from "The Everything Gluten-Free Baking Cookbook
Free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs
Printer-friendly Recipe

Ingredients | Serves 9

1 cup brown rice flour or sorghum flour
¹⁄³ cup arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¹⁄8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup almond milk, warmed to 110°F
4 black tea bags
¼ cup light-tasting olive oil or canola oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce or plain pumpkin purée (I highly recommend the pumpkin) 
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Spectrum Palm Shortening (Or Crisco™ if you're cool with that or butter if you can tolerate dairy!)
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
3–5 tablespoons ice water

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tins with 9-10 paper liners and spritz with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the brown rice flour or sorghum flour, arrowroot starch or tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and pepper. Set dry ingredients aside.
  3. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, heat almond milk in the microwave to 110°F. Add the tea bags and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags.
  4. In a medium bowl mix together the tea-steeped milk, oil, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until you have a thick cake batter.
  5. Fill the lined muffin tins 3/4 full of batter.
  6. Bake for 25–30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean and the tops are golden-brown. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then turn out cupcakes onto wire racks to cool completely.
  7. Make the frosting: In a medium bowl, cut shortening into confectioners’ sugar with a pastry blender. Stir in spices. (If you prefer a less-spicy frosting, use only ½ teaspoon of each.) Mixture will be crumbly. Thin the frosting with ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get the consistency you desire to frost the cupcakes.
  8. Store any remaining cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Carrie's Notes:
  • To increase the pumpkin flavor in the cake even more, you can easily replace up to 1/3 cup of the almond milk with additional pumpkin puree. 
  • Any type of non-dairy milk OR regular milk will work.
  • Coconut palm sugar will work perfectly in place of the sugar, you can also decrease the sugar to 1/2 cup without compromising the texture of the cake. 
  • For chai tea, simply whisk together the spics called for in this cake and add 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture to your regular hot tea with a splash of almond milk or regular milk. Coconut milk would also be lovely. 
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