Thursday, November 4, 2010

Market Spice Tea Cupcakes

Does anyone else remember when vegan cupcakes took over the world? I do– it was 2006, I was living in Norfolk, VA, in an apartment that with a dining room that resembled a barn, a big ass kitchen and a porch perfect for southern evening beer drinking. I had quite a few vegan friends, and it seems like there we were, all minding our own business, living our lives, and then: BAM!!! Within the course of a few weeks we had all become masters of the vegan cupcake. There were cupcake clubs at the office. There were personalized cupcakes for everyone’s birthdays. There were 20 different kinds of vegan cupcakes at office potlucks. Sweet Abandon opened. Annie made a super cute batch with gummy sharks riding "butter cream" waves. I made Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes with sugar skulls. The small wonders were everywhere.

So congrats, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, if your intentions were to have Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the Word (literally), well, in our little corner of the world, you succeeded. Of course, once Veganomicon came out, the cupcake craze died down a little, but I think for all of us in 2006 that used VCTOTW as a springboard for cupcakery, the sweet treats will always have a place in our hearts.

I haven’t made cupcakes in quite a long time, but walking through Market Spice Tea at the market a few days ago, I picked up a new stash of their original (orange cinnamon) tea. It’s the perfect fall tea, with orange and cinnamon and clove, you just can’t go wrong. I also had the idea it might be really good in cupcake form. So I busted out my batter splattered copy of VCTOTW and got to work modifying.

Market Spice Tea Cupcakes  
(modified from VCTOTW golden vanilla cupcake recipe, page 33)

1 1/4 cup vanilla soymilk

2 market spice tea (cinnamon-orange) bags
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
¾ cup sugar
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 Tbs cornstarch

In small saucepan, heat soymilk over low heat. Steep the tea in the soymilk for about ten minutes, until soymilk is a light chocolaty brown. This should reduce to 1 cup. Remove tea bags and chill in fridge until cool. (I just left mine in the fridge overnight)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place super cute cupcake liners in cupcake pan. Pour the soymilk tea in a medium mixing bowl and add apple cider vinegar to the soymilk and whip briskly with a fork. Set to the side for ten minutes so it can curdle. After it curdles, mix the soymilk, oil and sugar together and whisk until smooth. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients ¼ cup at a time and whisk until batter is smooth and all ingredients have been incorporated. Scoop ¼ cup batter into each cupcake liner and bake for 20-22 minutes. Let completely cool and lightly frost.


Orange Butter Cream from VCTOTW. Halve the recipe and replace lemon zest with orange zest, as these are not cupcakes that you want a huge pile of sugary fluffy icing on. It will kill the subtle flavors of the cupcakes. Top with sugared ginger baking chips from the ginger people.

Serves: 12

Prep time: 30-40 min
Cook time: 20-22 min
Soundtrack: Kermit Ruffins– Live at Vaughan's


  1. Market Spice Tea is the best tea on the planet. Man - I miss the Pacific Northwest and wish I lived closer to those cupcakes... They sound super perfect!

  2. you'll be on the left coast soon enough, and then i'll be wicked jealous of all the veg places you'll have by you. :)

  3. Oh dear heck. Those look just crazily delicious and now I'm sad that I somehow missed the vegan cupcake craze.

  4. I love that tea and am so glad you introduced me to it! Also glad I will be able to stock up when I'm there for Thanksgiving!! Perhaps these cupcakes can make an appearance too :)

  5. it's never to late to join the cupcake craze! and Dee, yes, well make. :)

  6. do you think you could substitue the oil for apple sauce...reduce the calorie count a little?

  7. mmm... no clue actually... i try not to eat sweets very often. but i like a challenge so will see what i can do.