I’m pretty sure I can make a strong case for why these chai cupcakes should be considered a breakfast food. I mean, this is basically a cup of tea: chai spices, honey-sweetened, and topped with cream. Let’s ignore the fact that there are chocolate chips in these cupcakes, shall we?
Perhaps we can feign ignorance and refer to these sweet cupcakes as muffins (even though they are most certainly not). If I can play pretend with my toddler and make him believe that I genuinely enjoy eating his homemade spaghetti (which is actually just a bowl of miniature cars), surely you and I can pretend that these cupcakes are indeed muffins. Not that far of a stretch when you think about comparing spaghetti to cars.
If you’d really like to make this muffin thing a bit more believable, try reducing the amount of honey in the recipe. I’d much rather play pretend, though… have my cupcakes and eat them (for breakfast) too.
These cupcakes are very light, yet also rich. They’re sweet enough – not cloying in the least. A bit floral too, thank you, honey. A combination of flours (almond, coconut, and tapioca) make for a gluten-free and paleo-friendly cupcake with the perfect amount of moisture and crumb.
My favorite part about this cupcake? Other than the flavor and the aroma of the chai spices? The whipped cream topping. It looks like these cupcakes are wearing hats made of billowy clouds. Sounds fancy but looks rustic, though thanks to Pinterest, I’m pretty sure rustic is now fancy. Either way, the topping is very fuss-free.
Let’s talk a little more about this whipped cream “frosting”
I’m using the word “frosting” very loosely because this is basically just lightly sweetened whipped cream that I’m using as a frosting. I should probably just call this a “topping,” but then what would I call the bit of cinnamon and cardamom sprinkled on top of the topping? Er, on top of the frosting? The topping on top of the frosting.
Are you still with me?
Let’s stick to whipped cream frosting.
You can use heavy cream or coconut cream if you’re dairy-free.
I think using homemade whipped cream may just be my favorite way to “frost” cupcakes. It’s drama-free, not aggressively sweet, and all up in your face the way that buttercream can be, you know? It’s sweet in a subtle kind of way. The type of sweetness that has you wanting more, unlike regular frosting, that you secretly try to scrape off when no one’s looking.
Whipped cream + chai cupcakes are meant to be. They are food soulmates. An unlikely pair, but once you eat them together, you realize it’s the only way. Know that if you skip the cream, you deny true love.
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup tapioca or arrowroot flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground fennel
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ⅛ ground cloves
- ½ cup canned coconut milk
- ¼ cup softened butter/ghee
- 6 tablespoons raw honey
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup chocolate chips adjust to taste
whipped cream topping
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream or canned coconut cream if paleo/dairy-free
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar or honey if paleo
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well.
- Then add the wet ingredients to that same bowl and mix well.
- Spoon the batter into a cupcake pan (I suggest using parchment cupcake liners).
- Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool then top with whipped cream and sprinkle a bit of cardamom and cinnamon on top.
how to make whipped cream
- Pour the cream and sugar into a stand mixer (or use a hand-held electric mixer) and whisk on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes, or until you see peaks form.
- If you are making coconut whipped cream, be sure to place a can of full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator for several hours - this will cause the cream to separate from the milk. The cream is what you want to whip!