Chocolate Chai Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting (Vegan)

Peanut butter.
These are my friend's favorite things. 

Therefore, on her birthday, I couldn't resist leaving any of those three ingredients out of her celebratory dessert. These cupcakes were all three: perfectly chocolatey, hinted with chai spices, and creamy with peanut butter (which made her happy). They were also dairy-free (which made me happy). 

Gathered around a table of butter-lovin' culinarians with stomachs full of authentic Mexican food from three hours prior...still, no one could resist trying these cute, but tempting cakes. In fact, no one could resist from discreetly having two. These are actions I take note of. What can I say, it fills me with feelings of pride and accomplishment....but it mostly just makes me want to jump up and down with glee because I did good. Isn't that what we all want to do in times of success, chocolate, chai, and peanut butter?

This chocolate cake is an adaptation of the one from this recipe. I simply replaced the water with chai-steeped milk and the applesauce with olive oil to turn a simple chocolate cake into a flavorful masterpiece. 

Chocolate Chai Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting (Vegan)
Yield: 12 cupcakes

Click here for full printable recipe 

For the chocolate chai cupcakes-
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk, warmed 
  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or additional all-purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/3 cup olive oil 
  • 3/4 cups sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
For the butter frosting-
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance, chilled 
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, unsalted 
  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons non-dairy milk 
For the ganache drizzle-
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance
  • 3 tablespoons sweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with liners. 
  2. Steep the 2 bags of chai tea into the warmed non-dairy milk. Set aside. 
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the olive oil, sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle for one minute.  
  5. Stir the vinegar into the chai-steeped milk and let stand for three minutes. 
  6. Add the dry ingredients and the milk to the oil and sugar mixture alternatively beginning and ending with the dry. Beat until all ingredients are fully combined. 
  7. Fill the cupcake pan 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.
  8. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. 
  9. Cream the Earth Balance, and peanut together with an electric mixer. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and non-dairy milk and beat until a thick creamy consistency is reached. Use to frost cupcakes or refrigerate for later use. 
  10. For the ganache, heat the Earth Balance with the milk until melted and hot. Stir in chocolate chips until they are fully melted and combined. As the chocolate ganache cools. it will thicken. When fully cooled, drizzle ganache over frosted cupcakes. 

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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall