Vegan Chai Latte Cupcakes

Yes, the picture shows cupcakes with a lovely coating of buttercream dusted with just the lightest hint of nutmeg. The good news is that the cupcakes are deee-lish. The bad news is that the icing tasted like something hocked up by a zombie, all because we were out of coconut oil. I’ll share the cupcake recipe here, and thanks to a former coworker, fellow mom, and all around classy lady who blogs at Cutting the Cheese, I may have a vegan buttercream icing recipe to suggest sometime in the near future.
Vegan Chai Latte Cupcakes

1 c rice milk
4 chai tea bags OR 3 T loose chai tea leaf blend
1 1/2 c AP flour
1 c granulated sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
2 allspice berries, ground fine
1 small pinch of ground clove
the tiniest pinch possible of black pepper (I’m talking 3-4 grains of the stuff)
2 T applesauce
1/2 c corn oil

1 T vanilla extract
1 T apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350F. Heat rice milk just to boiling and remove from heat. Steep chai in the rice milk while you work on whisking together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices including black pepper) in a medium bowl. Remove tea bags or strain out leaves from the rice milk, squeezing as much out from the tea bags/leaves as possible. Add rice milk chai, oil, applesauce and vanilla to dry ingredients, and stir vigorously until lumps disappear (mix in stand mixer on high 1-2 minutes). Add vinegar and stir 6-7 times until just incorporated. Fill 24 paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full with batter and bake at 350F for 20-23 minutes. Cool thoroughly before icing with whatever vegan icing you like best. Then share that icing recipe with me here, because I’d really like one.

Why was I, mom of a meat-loving family, making vegan cupcakes, you ask? I’d originally made these cupcakes for a “ladies’ night in” kind of thing with several vegans/vegetarians in attendance. It was scheduled for a Friday, so going meatless that day is part of our family routine anyway, so it wasn’t a burden to go that extra step and cut out the dairy/egg. Then the LNI got postponed for various health reasons, so now we have these cupcakes. Anyway. The night I made the cupcakes, I only made 18 of these in cupcake form, poured the rest of the batter into the top of a Tupperware Stack Cooker and microwaved it for 4 minutes on high. We had that for dessert that night, and it was pretty good. Then when I had one of the postponed cupcakes on Saturday morning, the taste and texture had actually improved. Whether that’s the difference between conventional and microwave cooking or the extra day gave the flavors a chance to meld and mellow, I don’t know. Whichever, when the LNI is rescheduled, I hope to make these a day ahead of time so they’ll benefit from whatever forces were at work.

I also made our own rice milk for this. I’ve balked at such an endeavor for a few years now, but now that I’ve done it, it’s so embarrassingly easy I feel ridiculous for not having tried before. Just google up “make your own rice milk” and give it a shot. So easy.


About Erin McCole Cupp
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She is a contributor to and has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, gardening in spite of herself, or dragging loved ones to visitors centers at tourist spots around the country. Find out more about her novels and other projects at .

5 Responses to Vegan Chai Latte Cupcakes

  1. A Tablespoon of Liz says:

    These look so good! I love chai tea, and cupcakes, so I can only assume I would love these!

  2. Jess says: is my favorite frosting recipe, vegan or otherwise. It is SO SO FUN to make, and tastes better than zombie loogie. But I’m not sure how to make it not-chocolate.

    • Thanks for this. As I type I am cooking (pun intended) up an experiment in my head involving super thick homemade rice milk (would that be rice cream?) in place of the cocoa, actual vanilla beans when our next order comes in….hmmm…thinking….

  3. Pingback: EUREKA! Snow White Vegan “Buttercream” Icing « Mrs. Mackerelsnapper, OP

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