Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting (Vegan GF-Option)

Light and fluffy chai-spiced muffins full of warming flavours, a punch of coffee and juicy raisins. Topped with a creamy vanilla buttercream, these cupcakes are naturally vegan, easy to make with gluten-free options.

There’s nothing better than a chai latte… than a “dirty” chai latte which is basically a chai latte with a shot of coffee. I’m not sure I like the name “dirty” but nevertheless, it’s a delicious combination. Without being overpowering, the coffee adds to the sweet and warming aromas that make up the chai flavours in these Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting. For the chai, these are the spices to have:

  • Cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground clove
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Ground cardamom
  • Vanilla essence: not strictly a spice but essential for the sweet chai
Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

You don’t need a lot of each, but blended together, they are such beautiful flavours. If you don’t have all of the spices, you can add more or less of one or the other, they may not be classic “chai” – but they’ll still be delicious! Even if you just have the cinnamon, I still recommend making these cupcakes!

As well as the chai flavours, there’s a few more ingredients for these Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting that are simple enough and make the cupcakes really light, fluffy, cake-y, airy with a good crumb and a golden top:

  • Chia or flax seeds: I always grind mine at home for the smoothest texture. These bind the cupcakes and replace the egg in a lot of non-vegan recipes
  • Vegan butter or margarine: the butter or margarine adds a great softness and buttery flavour to these cupcakes that you don’t get with coconut oil, although I’m sure it would work. Make sure the coconut oil is soft but not melted.
  • Coconut sugar: or another sugar like golden caster or light brown sugar would work here.
  • Plant-based milk: anything you have open will do!
  • Coffee: make up a small shot of coffee using your favourite blend. If you don’t want to use the coffee, simply skip this out as below.
  • Lemon juice: this acts as a natural binder and when mixed with the plant-based milk, it will naturally curdle.
  • Plain or GF plain flour: if using a GF flour, make sure to use a blend that contains xantham gum and that is recommended as a 1:1 replacement for plain flour. You could also try spelt or wholemeal flour for a slightly denser cupcake.
  • Bicarbonate of soda: this helps the cupcakes to rise.
  • Raisins: the essential raisin element to these cupcakes. They are just as good without or try with chocolate chips instead.

Whip up these Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting in one bowl, divide between the cupcake cases and wait while they bake in the oven. The smells are gorgeous! Once out, allow the cupcakes to cool fully before frosting them. They are still delicious without the frosting, but they look more appealing with the vanilla buttercream and a few decorations on top.

Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

The vanilla buttercream is simple: beat together vegan butter/margarine with icing sugar and vanilla essence until thick and creamy, adding a splash of milk if needed. I always use a blender rather than trying to do this by hand!

Pipe or spoon the buttercream over the Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes and decorate with anything you like. As I was showing off the delicious juicy raisins, I added a few more on top as well as a star anise which are really pretty, but you could add pomegranate, chopped nuts, cinnamon or even sprinkles.

These Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting are delicious with a cup of chai, coffee or a dirty chai latte to really have the full experience. They are warmly spiced with lots of classic chai flavours, bursting with juicy raisins. With a light and fluffy, moist crumb, these cupcakes are perfect with a generous piping of vanilla buttercream.

If you are looking for more cakes and bakes, how about my:

Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting (Vegan GF-Option)

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Light and fluffy chai-spiced muffins full of warming flavours, a punch of coffee and juicy raisins. Topped with a creamy vanilla buttercream, these cupcakes are naturally vegan, easy to make with gluten-free options.

Ingredients

    Cupcakes:
  • 1 tbsp ground chia or flax seeds + 2 tbsp water
  • 90g vegan butter or margarine
  • 80g coconut sugar
  • 100ml plant-based milk*
  • 20ml coffee (1 tsp coffee + 20ml hot water)*
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 200g plain flour or GF plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground clove
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 70g raisins
  • Frosting:
  • 150g vegan butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Plant-based milk, if needed
  • To serve: extra raisins, star anise, cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line a cupcake tray with 10 cases.
  2. Whisk together the chia seeds and water and leave for 5 minutes to form a gel.
  3. Beat together the vegan butter and sugar until creamy and then whisk in the chia gel, plant-based milk, coffee, lemon juice and vanilla.
  4. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and cardamom to form a sticky batter.
  5. Fold in the raisins and divide between the cases. Bake for 20-22 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.
  6. Make the frosting by blending/whisking together the ingredients until smooth, add 1-2 tsp of plant-based milk if it’s too thick. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and serve with extra raisins, star anise and cinnamon.
  7. *if you are not using coffee (and hot water), use a total of 120ml plant-based milk.
Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

I look forward to hearing what you think of these Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting so please let me know in the comments below. if you make these cupcakes, please tag me, I love seeing them! I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With dirty chai raisin love x

p.s. the original recipe and social media post was sponsored by South African Raisins but this blog post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

8 thoughts on “Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting (Vegan GF-Option)

  1. naturally.sophiexx says:

    Hey my great friend Amy. Such a lovely blog post and I definitely want to try your above raisin cupcakes 🧁 for sure, I adore raisins. Especially coffee ☕️ flavour also as my Parents have a coffee machine yay 😁. We don’t have chair shots though so what could we use instead? Aww 😍 I definitely love to make the above. Lol 😂 mine won’t look as good as yours, definitely will use sprinkles and vanilla frosting.
    Splendid photography as always and saved to my WordPress saved collection for sure and sorry I haven’t commented in ages ahh feel so bad. Also my blog is public so now you can read. xxxx

    Like

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