Do you love chai lattes as much as I do? I guess you probably can't answer that without knowing the exact amount that I love chai lattes. The only way I can quantify it is to simply say that I love them a lot. As in...a LOT a lot.
So I decided to spice up (ha) my regular banana bread recipe and call them chai muffincakes instead, since they're based on a muffin recipe but iced like a cupcake. If you leave off the icing, they're really just muffins and can be eaten with relatively less guilt for breakfast. (Not that I'd judge ANYONE for eating the iced version at any time of day....just saying.) But it's always fun to dress up baked goods, and the chai icing rounds out the chai latte flavor so nicely.
I made these pretty potently chai-spice-filled, but of course everyone's palate is different - so feel free to adjust the spices to your own taste. And they were so divine. One of my friends joked after gobbling his down that he felt like unhinging his jaw so he could just eat it all in one huge chai-filled bite. In what was probably very lucky for his overall digestion, that did not happen. But that should speak for itself and should tell you how wonderful these were!
Chai Latte Banana Muffincakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 ripe bananas, mashed well
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (make sure it's gluten-free!)
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup chestnut flour (can substitute sorghum flour if desired)
2/3 cup white rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground pepper (more or less to taste)
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cardamom
2 - 3 tbsp. non-dairy milk
1 8-oz package non-dairy cream cheese substitute
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 cup powdered sugar (you can add more if need be)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cardamom **I recommend making the icing first so you can chill it in the fridge while you make the muffincakes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
Combine the olive oil, applesauce, and sugar. Beat in the eggs, and then the mashed bananas until the batter is fairly smooth (your odd chunk of banana or applesauce is fine). Add the vanilla extract and stir to blend. You can beat with a handmixer, but it works just fine if you mix by hand, too!
In a separate bowl, measure the gluten-free flours and mix them together with the baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, and cardadmom until well-blended. Add about one quarter of the flour mixture at a time to the wet ingredients, stirring well each time. Finally, add 2 - 3 tablespoons of non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Almond Plus Milk ) and mix well.
Pour the batter into the lined muffin pan and place in the oven immediately. Bake for about 18 - 22 minutes. When a toothpick or knife comes out of the tallest part of the muffin clean, it's done! Remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
When the cupcakes are completely cooled, slather them with Chai Latte "Cream Cheese" Icing (see below). Eat them! Store in the fridge (because of the icing) but let warm to room temperature before serving, if possible; they'll be much softer and enjoyable.
Chai Latte "Cream Cheese" Icing
Cream the faux cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. Add the powdered sugar in small batches, mixing well. Finally, add the spices and adjust them to your own taste.
Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes before using. Store any leftover icing in the fridge.