As we are slowly but surely approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are all looking for comforting meals and desserts (obviously!) to devour while chilling under cozy blankets. Cinnamon, pumpkin bread, hot chocolate, apple pies, and soups are basically what I’m thinking about all day long.
I’m a big chai lover, I basically drink chai all year round, even if I enjoy it more when it’s cold outside. I especially like to spice my morning oatmeal with chai spice spices or cook it with chai tea and some almond milk. Top with almond butter, banana, and raisins and drizzle with maple syrup: best breakfast ever. Please try it!
This incredibly moist applesauce cake is infused with chai flavors in two ways: ground spices and chai tea. Plus, it’s topped with salted caramel glaze. This cake is really irresistible, not too sweet, and it has all the warming flavors of fall I could think of, except maybe pumpkin!
The cake dough might sound familiar if you have been following this blog for a while. It’s inspired by my baked orange donuts. The combination of almond meal and rice flour results in a very moist and rich texture.
I replaced some of the liquid with applesauce for a moister, stickier texture and increased a little bit the amount of coconut oil to make the cake denser. Don’t try to lower the amount of coconut oil; the cake won’t be as soft, and you know cake calories don’t count, so there’s no reason to do this. Did I mention everything is made in one bowl?!
Small apple chunks are also added to the dough because who doesn’t like soft and gooey apple chunks in a cake? For best results, use soft apples like golden delicious or russet.
The salted caramel glaze is made with only 4 ingredients plus a pinch of salt: coconut sugar, coconut cream, brown rice syrup, and vanilla. Combine everything in a saucepan and let simmer until it thickens and get a nice caramel color.
Depending on how long you let it simmer, the caramel glaze will be more or less thick. I let it simmer for about 10 minutes, and the consistency was already pretty thick.
This is the perfect cake to cook on a cold weekend. It will make your house smell wonderful, get you in the holiday spirit, and, more importantly, you will have a delicious cake to eat for dessert or breakfast. I won’t blame you.
As always, let me know in the comments if you try this recipe, and tag @fullofplants on Instagram if you take a photo!
- 1 packet chai tea
- 1 cup water
- 1 and 1/2 cup white rice flour
- 1 and 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 apple peeled and cut into very small chunks (golden delicious or russet)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, grease and line with parchment paper a 9-inch square pan.
- Start by making the tea: heat one cup water over medium heat with 1 packet chai tea. Before it starts to boil, remove from heat and let sit for about 10 minutes. Discard the tea packet and set aside the tea.
- In a large bowl, mix together the white rice flour, almond flour, arrowroot, coconut sugar, baking soda, baking powder and spices.
- Pour in the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, applesauce and 1 cup chai tea.
- Whisk until everything is well incorporated, some clumps may remain, it's okay. Stir in the apple chunks and mix again. The batter will be fairly thick.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely for at least 1 hour.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut sugar, coconut cream and brown rice syrup.
- Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time to make sure it doesn't burn. The mixture will become darker and thicker. Remove from heat once it can coat the back of a spoon.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and sea salt and pour on top of the cake. Top with pecan nuts or chocolate chips.
- Since the cake is very moist and sticky, I recommend making big slices, they will hold together better, avoid 1-inch slices please! Keep the cake covered at room temperature, or in the refrigerator for a firmer texture.
- If you are in a hurry and don't have time or patience to make the caramel glaze, you can replace it with a simple expresso sugar glaze: in a bowl, mix together 1 and 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons almond milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp expresso powder.
About the Author
Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.
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