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Chai Latte Muffins

I usually have a small jar of pumpkin pie spice sitting around. It’s easy to make, but in the morning it is very convenient to have some ready to go when I want to spice up my oatmeal on a chilly morning. A few weeks ago, I picked up a jar at Trader Joe’s and was very surprised to discover that it tasted nothing like the classic pumpkin pie spice mix that I know and love. I also discovered that it’s not necessarily the greatest thing to blindside your tastebuds shortly after waking up. Their version of pumpkin pie spice included lots of cardamom, ginger, cloves, pepper and cinnamon. Call me traditional, but that’s not what I want my pumpkin pie spice to taste like.

The point of this little story is that when I was deciding what recipe I wanted to try from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, I realized that the spice combination in the Chai Latte Cupcakes was very similar to my non-pumpkin pie spice mix. I made the cakes and used it instead of the original recipe’s combination with great results. The flavor was very spicy and chai-like, but not too aggressive.
The only complaint that I have is that I don’t think these are actually cupcakes. They have a less refined, more muffin-like texture than I want for a cake. I would have added more sugar if I wanted to try for more cakiness from this recipe. Fortunately, the muffins went beautifully with a cup or tea or coffee and, as they weren’t frosted with anything more than a bit of spiced up confectioners’ sugar, I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about having them for breakfast instead of dessert. And this time I wasn’t surprised by the spicing – just pleased by it.
By the way, these turned out just fine with regular yogurt instead of the soy, so don’t worry if you need to make a small substitution to make the recipe fit the ingredients that you keep at home.

Chai Latte Muffins
(from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)
1 cup soy milk (I used vanilla)
4 black/chair teabags
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain soy yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
pinch of ground pepper

Prehat oven to 375F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
Heat milk to almost boiling (in the microwave or a small sauce pan) and steep the tea bags for about 10 minutes, making very strong, milky tea. Don’t worry about making the tea bitter (which can happen as a result of oversteeping) because you won’t taste it in the end product.
In a large bowl wisk together oil, yogurt, sugar and vanilla.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Pour half into the yogurt mixture, stirring well, followed by the tea mixture and the rest of the flour. Stir only until just combined, then evenly distribute into prepared muffin tin.
Bake for about 21-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the muffin springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
Makes 12 mufins.

Top with sifted confectioners’ sugar when cooled. Mix 2 tbsp cocoa powder with 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg together in a small bowl. Sift lightly over top of the sugar (using a stencil for accuracy, if you want) to add a bit of extra spice.

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  • Brilynn
    January 30, 2007

    I love how you decorated your cupcake/muffines/moresels of goodness.

    I’m attempting to make some sort of chai ice cream or gelato or something this afternoon, I haven’t fully figured it out yet.

  • McAuliflower
    January 30, 2007

    And I’ve been looking for a yogurt recipe too!

    i think I shall make these for work tomorrow- thanks Nic

    ps- steeping the liquid of your ice cream/gelato mixture with tea works well. I will usually multiply the amount of tea x4.

  • Nic
    January 30, 2007

    Thanks. You know, Mcauliflower, I usally double (or more) the amount of tea when I do tea bagged things to increase the strength of the flavor. I should have noted that I used stash double chai, which is pretty strong as it is and worked out perfectly with the recipe as it was written in the book.
    I might try them with different types of tea in the future, perhaps a rooibos….

  • gigi
    January 31, 2007

    Kudos your sweet treats always look amazing! You inspire me to bake 🙂

  • Reese
    January 31, 2007

    These look great. I will definitely try them, maybe even tonight!

    My son is allergic to dairy and where I live I can’t get soy yogurt. I usually puree soft silken tofu and use it as a substitute.


  • Jen
    February 7, 2007

    Oh, these are yummy. Really, really yummy… I used Trader Joe’s Decaf Green chai and nonfat vanilla yogurt (rather than soy), and the flavor was great.

    Thanks, Nic!

  • Terri Grabbs
    February 12, 2007

    I would love a chai tea flavored yogurt recipe…Also if anyone can recommend a good “low-budget” yogurt machine…..

  • Christina
    April 1, 2007

    I just made these and they came out great. It’s a very simple batter to prepare, especially since it was a spur-of-the-moment decision to make the muffins.

    One question: I don’t know if it’s because my chai tea bags are old, if it’s because I didn’t have any cardamom, or because I used milk products (both low fat) over the soy, but the spice flavor wasn’t as pronounced in the finished muffins as it was in the batter. Did I do something wrong or is that how it tastes – undertones of spice?

    Anyway, thanks for the recipe and I’ll definitely make it again =)

  • minimaniac977
    February 19, 2008

    if any1 here is from australia there’s this awesome pizza shop in belgrave (on the burwood hwy) that has chai latte gelati its really nice!!!

    by the way if any1 wants to go to my website it also has recipes!!!

  • minimaniac977
    February 19, 2008

    oops forgot website name lol


  • MuffinLover
    June 18, 2008

    Tried these out just now. Absolutely gorgeous!! They were so soft and moist on the inside. The only change i made was i increased the spices a bit as i only had regular black tea. Keep the recipe’s coming!!

  • sooyoung
    March 12, 2010

    just finished baking these, they smell delicious. thanks for the recipe!

  • Penelope
    November 25, 2011

    Where do you get ‘chair’ teabags from?

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