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Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes

Dirty Chai Raisin Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

These gluten-free and vegan chai raisin cupcakes from South African Raisins are as beautiful to look at as they are fantastic to eat!

Course afternoon tea, Dessert
Cuisine American, british
Keyword Cupcakes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 12


For the cupcakes

  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds + 2 tbsp water
  • 90 g vegan butter 
  • 80 g coconut sugar
  • 100 ml plant-based milk
  • 20 ml coffee (1 tsp coffee + 20ml hot water)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g gluten-free plain flour 
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 70 g South African Raisins

For the frosting

  • 150 g vegan butter 
  • 300 g icing sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • plant-based milk, if needed

To serve

  • extra raisins
  • star anise
  • cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 160*Fan/180*C and line a cupcake tray with 12 cases.

  2. Whisk together the chia seeds and water and leave for 5 minutes to form a gel.

  3. Beat together the vegan butter and sugar until creamy and then whisk in the chia gel, plant-based milk, coffee, lemon juice and vanilla.

  4. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and cardamom to form a sticky batter.

  5. Fold in the raisins and divide between the cases. Bake for 20-22 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.

  6. Make the frosting by blending/whisking together the ingredients until smooth, add 1-2 tsp of plant-based milk if it’s too thick. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and serve with extra raisins, star anise and cinnamon.