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Chocolate Chai Cupcakes

What you need: 

1 1/4 cups water
2 chai tea bags
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

What you do: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, line cupcake pan. Boil the water and add the two tea bags. Let steep while you are mixing the other ingredients.
2. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder.
3. Take the tea bags out of the water and measure 1 cup tea, set aside. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add vanilla, oil, tea, and vinegar. Stir until just mixed.
4. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full, and bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
I frosted them with garam masala frosting, and it was great.
Source of recipe: Modified from the chocolate cake recipe in The Joy of Vegan Baking cookbook by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. http://www.joyofveganbaking.com/sample_recipes

Preparation Time: 
15 minutes, Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Cooking Time: 
20-25 minutes
Servings: 
8
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

I allowed a few changes to take place when making this recipe. In my days I have found that chai teas can go oh so wrong all too easily. For this recipe, I chose Tazo brand Organic Chai Tea Concentrate, a blend I have always enjoyed immensely. This also worked as a convenience factor because the tea blend is already strong, so brewing, steeping and waiting are unnecessary. I used one cup of it.

For health reasons I substituted 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce for the oil. I know that in doing that, most often times baked goods have a harder and chewier outside. I don't mind so much, but for those of you who like your desserts to sink when you take a bite, stick with the oil.

I chose to use a muffin pan sprayed with Baker's Joy (the one with flour) instead of using muffin wrappers (as I did not have any). Personally, I always hate having to leave behind so many crumbs when I peel the paper off my muffin. I found that 2 heaping tablespoons (it probably would have been 3 even tablespoons) was the perfect amount to give me 12 equal cupcakes. 20 minutes in my oven was just perfect.

They stuck together perfectly well. Not a single crumb was found. They were rather dense, I do have to say.

Now, on to the nitty-gritty. In making the changes that I did, the resulting cupcake tasted more like a molasses cookie. For some reason there was practically no rise to these cupcakes, even though I stuck to the full teaspoon of baking soda. I did not find there to be any issue with tasting this ingredient, as others mentioned. I'm sure that's because my chai addition was indeed as strong as one could get. It's my assumption that these taste like a molasses cookie because of the cocoa powder. Without it, these would definitely be very VERY chai tasting, but the cocoa powder softens the sometimes harsh flavors of pepper and cinnamon. It's tasty, but not at all what I was expecting.

I was making these for a birthday party tomorrow, and though I enjoy them well enough, there is no way these would fly at the party. For just a casual self-treat these are okay. Sadly, I would actually be embarassed to give these to other people. I may consider making another batch with the oil instead of the applesauce and diluting the chai concentrate, because my concoction was not in the least bit what I wsa expecting and hoping they would be.

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I just made these.  Couldn't find my cupcake pan, so made it as a little sheet cake.  :)
I used 3/4 c wheat flour and 3/4 c white flour, replaced half the oil with applesauce, and used 4 chai tea bags.  The resulting flavor was good, but the cake was a bit dense.  I am a pretty crappy baker normally (read: I rarely make it if it doesn't come out of a box), so I'm proud that these were edible, but I like my cakes a little fluffier.  Ideas?
Also, I used a pretty basic vegan cream cheese frosting on top, which was pretty good.

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;)b  These were excellent! They went so quickly that I didn't even have a chance to take a picture! I added a tbsp + of ground flax to help hold them together, and it was perfect. Recipe made 12 cupcakes for me.

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I have made these cupcakes twice and they've turned out great both times.  I don't notice the taste of the baking powder at all, and I have found the chai tea gives nice mysterious undertones.  I like the suggestion to use espresso powder, too!  I frost with a glaze made from vanilla silk creamer and powdered sugar. Cute for halloween this time of year - decorate accordingly. 

OH, and I find this recipes makes 12 standard size cupcakes.

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I have made these cupcakes twice and they've turned out great both times.  I don't notice the taste of the baking powder at all, and I have found the chai tea gives nice mysterious undertones.  I like the suggestion to use espresso powder, too!  I frost with a glaze made from vanilla silk creamer and powdered sugar. Cute for halloween this time of year - decorate accordingly. 

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nmpixie, you mentioned you used garam masala frosting. Where did you get the recipe for that? or did you buy it in a store? Sounds interesting and I'd love to try it!! thanks!

I just made buttercream, and added a ton of garam masala to it. It was really good, although kinda brown from the spice. I supose, for presentation, you could frost them and then dust the top w/ garam masala.

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These turned out so yummy and nice and moist, even though I think I accidentally baked them for longer than needed.

I used 4 chai teabags since other reviewers mentioned that they couldn't taste the chai.  The 4 teabags provided a mild chai flavor which complimented the chocolate perfectly.  Since I am a chai fanatic, I may actually consider using even more teabags  :)  Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly.

It made 12 cupcakes for me.  I didn't frost them yet, but I almost think the chai flavor is so delicate, that frosting might overwhelm them.  They are yummy plain!

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These turned out well, but very similar to a standard wacky cake recipe — i.e., couldn't really taste the chai. Will try again with more next time.

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nmpixie, you mentioned you used garam masala frosting. Where did you get the recipe for that? or did you buy it in a store? Sounds interesting and I'd love to try it!! thanks!

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After reading the reviews, I used 1/2tsp of baking powder, and they did not end up rising very much(if at all),

So apparently, I'm a total idiot, and forgot that the overabundance of baking powder reviews were in a different recipe I was looking at. Uh-huh. Applying things properly... always helps.

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