Gluten-free carrot rice cupcakes with chai latte frosting

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Are you still looking for a sweet recipe for the Easter holidays? Now I have a gluten-free yet tasty recipe for you. 🙂

Carrot cakes or muffins are quite well known to everyone. But have you ever tried the ones made of rice flour? With a super delicious chai latte frosting on top?

The first time for me to get in touch with the Indian Marsala Chai was during my trip to India a few years back. At each crossing, on the adventurous country roads, on the crowded markets … everywhere in every city I could not miss the hawking: “Chai… Chai… Chai …”, shouted in a melodious and pleasant rhythm. The Chai boys were carrying a large pot and some aluminum cups with them, slowly walking barefoot through the crowd. Once someone gave a signal that he wanted to have a cup of Chai, the Chai boy poured the spicy tea zippily and elegantly into a cup and handed it to the thirsty customer.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

My first time to drink Chai was during a long train journey from Chennai to the Periyar National Park, where you can watch rare wild animals and birds. Aiming to experience India closely, we booked a night train. The ride took us nearly fifteen hours and it was an unforgettable experience. 😉

Obvioulsly, the train had already had a long life. To make things even more adventurous, it was without a single door or a window. Many young Indian passengers were simply hanging on the door jamb while the train was traveling through the darkness.

We had booked the better category with bunk beds in a cabin. But we could not fall to sleep. In this windowless and doorless train, all this noise made by the friction of the wheels on the tracks, and also the noise of the wind was so present that we could impossible fall asleep.

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Every few minutes I heard the hawking of a Chai boy. Back and forth I was rolling in the hard bed and trying to fight against my sleeplessness, in vain. Then I decided to order a cup of chai from that hard-working Chai boy. As soon as he poured the brown broth into our mugs, a comforting aroma of cardamom and cinnamon rose up to our noses. It smelled incredibly delicious. I took a sip, it was hot and unbelievable sweet! The tea was so sweet that I could not finish drinking it. But the alluring scent had been imprinted in my memory.

The Chai-Boy walked the corridor up and down, repeating the magic word “Chai… Chai … Chai …” in such a calming melody that it sounded almost like a gentle meditation mantra to my ears. Perhaps this “Chai mantra” actually had a meditative effect. I soon fell asleep, unimpressed by the unmistakable sounds from all directions…;-)

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

For this recipe I decided to go for the Spice Chai of David Rio. The Chai teas of  David Rio are in my opinion the best chai latte blends on the market. These are based on the recipes from the Indian Marsala Chai, yet have many exciting variations. If you do not have this at home, you can simply use a blend of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger powder. And increase the amount of icing sugar to 150 grams.

I wish you lovely Easter holidays! 😀

Ingredients (15 pieces):

For the dough:
300g carrots (finely grated)
250g rice flour
200g almonds (ground)
150g brown sugar, fine
120ml vegetable oil (such as canola oil)
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
50ml cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
15 paper baking cups for cupcakes

For the chai latte frosting:
80g butter at room temperature
250g cream cheese at room temperature
100g icing sugar
50g Chai Latte mix (e.g. David Rio Chai Spice)
1 tablespoon milk

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (top- and bottom-heat).
  2. Clean and peel the carrots, then grate them finely. In a mixing bowl, mix the rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon powder. In another mixing bowl mix the sugar, eggs and oil until creamy with a hand mixer.
  3. Add the dry ingredients slowly to this, mix well. Add the cream and mix until you get a smooth and creamy consistency. Now add in the carrots, almonds and vanilla extract, mix briefly.
  4. Spread the batter into the paper forms. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Chill the cupcakes completely.
  5. For the Frosting: Mix the Chai Latte with the milk. In a mixing bowl blend the butter, cream cheese and icing sugar with a hand mixer until creamy. Add the Chai Latte, mix again shortly. Pour the cream into a piping bag and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then spread on the chilled cupcakes.
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