It is fall! I love Brendan Brazier’s Thrive books and when I heard he was teaming up with world-renowned culinary experts—including Chef Susan Feniger and Chef Matthew Kenney, Registered Holistic Nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos, and adding Thrive Kitchen to the Thrive Forward series, which is all FREE, I was excited! To say I am intrigued by all the plant-based information out there is anunderstatment. On the day it launched I logged in to check it out and one of the first things I came across was muffins and cupcakes. For those who know me know I am a baker at heart and use to bake ALL THE TIME. I still bake but still learning all the ins and outs of plant-based, healthy, and vegan baking I don’t make the elaborate crazy decadent desserts all the time like I use to. I loved the layout of how anyone who wants to try it can just pick it up, go through the list picking what they want to add, tweaking it to make them their own. There are also two full recipes already made up. I wish I would have found something like this months/years ago. So with that I decided I would tweak an upcoming recipe I idea I had on my list and follow the guide. I decided to make Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chai Frosting. If you are looking for a clean plant-based pumpkin muffin these are great. Top them with a little chai frosting and they are a perfect fall cupcake! What muffins and cupcakes will you make using the basic Thrive Kitchen Muffin and Cupcake Basics?
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chai Frosting
Makes 12 standard cupcakes
1 egg (1 TBSP ground chia or flax and 4 TBSP water)
1/2 c pumpkin puree
2 TBSP coconut oil
1/2 c almond butter (Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter or MaraNatha Caramel Almond Butter)
1 c almond milk (used So Delicious Unsweetened Almond Milk Plus)
1/2 c coconut palm sugar (Navitas Naturals)
1 c plus 3TBSP flour of choice (used organic brown rice flour)
1 c oats, gluten free oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
*Updated I like to make these as muffins adding cinnamon and or pumpkin pie spice. Sometimes we add cacao nibs, chocolate, or dried cranberries. They are also delicious drizzled with nut butter (the girls love PB&Co Dark Chocolate Dreams on these)
2 cups raw cashews (soaked 4 hrs)
2 TBSP raw agave
5 Tbsp coconut milk, or non dairy milk of choice (used So Delicious Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp chai spice (see below for blend I made)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place ground chia in a small bowl and add warm water and mix with a fork. Set aside for gel to form.
In a large bowl mix together pumpkin puree, almond butter, coconut oil, coconut palm, almond milk, and vanilla. When chia has formed a thick gel add it to the mixture. Add flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until well incorporated. Grease muffin tins with coconut oil for muffins or line with cupcake liners for cupcakes. Drop in batter and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cook on a cooling rack. If making muffins enjoy! If making cupcakes add all frosting ingredients to high power blender, or food processor, and blend until thick and smooth. Frost cupcakes. Enjoy!
I made this Chai Spice Blend to have on hand for fall and winter.
Chai Spice Blend
4 tsp ground Cardamom
4 tsp ground Cinnamon
2 tsp ground Cloves
1 tsp ground Nutmeg
1 tsp ground Pepper (used White Pepper)
1 tsp ground Ginger
Mix all spices together and store in an airtight container.