Ch-Ch-Chia Dirty Chai Cupcakes

It was my friend Jillian’s birthday and I wanted to bake her birthday cupcakes, but not the same type of cake and icing I had made the year (unless she had asked for it of course!). One of my employees had come back from a trip to India and had given me an amazing Marsala Chai. Let me tell you, we’ve got nothing on the real deal Indian chai. Since Monkey Man and I came back from India last December, I’ve been craving authentic Indian chai.

In cake terms, when I think chai cupcakes I think of a spiced-like cake. But I wanted it to have more dimension. And so the Dirty Chai cupcakes were born.

Because these were for Jillian, they had to be egg-free and gluten-free. And of course they had to taste great 😉 This recipe gave me the opportunity to make some of that amazing Marsala Chai from India. This recipe makes about 20 cupcakes.

For this cake recipe, you will need:

Ingredients - Dirty Chai Cupcakes

5 1/2 t. Ener-G egg replacer
6 T. water
1 c. honey
1 c. palm sugar
3/4 c. + 2 T. almond flour
1 1/2 c. coconut flour
1 c. tapioca flour
1 t. baking powder
3 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 T. ground chai seed
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground cloves
2 pinches of cardamom
4 t. Marsala chai tea, loose
1 1/2 c. almond milk
1 c. canola oil

For the icing, you will need:

4 c. powdered sugar (with tapioca flour, not corn starch)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. ghee (softened)
1/4 c. coconut oil (softened)
3/4 c. almond milk (almost boiling, steeped with  2 heaping T. Marsala chai)
2 T. instant coffee, ground
1 T. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line at least 20 cupcake holders with paper liners.

First, in a large mixing bowl, add 4 1/2 t. of Ener-G and 6 T. of water. Whip until the mixture increases in volume.

Ener-G! - Dirty Chai Cupcakes

After the mixture increases in volume, add the honey and palm sugar. Continue to whip until very well mixed. Add another 1 T. Ener-G and beat for additional 2 minutes.

Sugar and Ener-G - Dirty Chai Cupcakes

Next, steep 4 t. of Marsala chia tea in 1 1/2 c. of almost boiling almond milk. I say almost boiling because the almond milk will start to break down at boiling temperatures.

Marsala Chai - Dirty Chai Cupcakes

And…’s really important when making chia tea. In fact, some people steep the tea twice by bringing the milk to a boil once, allowing to cool, and then bringing to a boil a second time. Again, because almond milk does not tolerate a boil well, you’ll need only bring it to an almost boil.

While the chai tea is cooling, mix the dry ingredients in another large bowl – almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chia seed, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamom.

Dry ingredients - Dirty Chai Cupcakes

Add the milk to the sugar mixture. Then add the dry ingredients in two additions.

Batter - Dirty Chai Cupcakes

Add 1 c. canola oil and beat on medium-high for 2 minutes.

It’s important to beat for at least 2 minutes – you need to let the ground chia seed get “snotty”. This is what helps bind these ingredients for a nice, not-crumbly cupcake 😉

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full and bake for 20-25 minutes. Be sure to confirm the doneness –  first, they’ll start smelling “done”; next, a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a cupcake in the center of the cupcake pan.

Cupcakes - Dirty Chai Cupcakes

Place the cupcakes on a wire rack and allow to completely cool before icing.

For the icing, steep the Marsala chai in almost boiling milk for at least 5 minutes. Add the ground instant coffee. Set aside.

Cream the ghee, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Then add the powdered sugar and milk mixture, alternating, until the icing is a smooth texture. Pipe onto the cupcakes.


Ch-Ch-Chia Dirty Chai Cupcakes

enjoy!!! I know I did 🙂 I hope you do too.

– Nicole


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1 Response to Ch-Ch-Chia Dirty Chai Cupcakes

  1. OMG! I never thought that our normal masala chai can be turned into a cake! Awesome! 😆

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