A friend of mine made wonderful vegan chai cupcakes for me a few months ago, and I couldn’t get enough of them! So I finally decided to satiate my craving and make my own vegan chai cupcakes, only this time they would have Fair Trade ingredients! The cupcakes almost taste almost like carrot cake, but they have a bit of a spicy kick. These cupcakes do take some time to prepare (an hour and a half or so), but if you have the time, I definitely recommend trying them out!
This is a link to the recipe I used:
My journey to make the best Fair Trade ingredient cupcakes took me to the Wegmans in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Most of the Fair Trade items I bought were in the organic and special food aisle. Divine Chocolate, Honest Tea, Wholesome Sweetners, and a handful of other Fair Trade brands can be found in this aisle. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is with the regular ice creams, however (Cherry Garcia being my forever favorite).
Anyway, back to the cupcakes. I substituted in Fair Trade ingredients where I could. For sugar, I used Wholesome Sweetners Organic sugar (and where the recipe calls for confectioners’ sugar, I put the Wholesome Sweetners sugar through a food grinder to make it finer). I also used Zhena’s Gypsytea Fair Trade Vanilla Chai tea blend for the batter. You don’t have to use the vanilla flavor; they also offer hazelnut and a spicier chai if you so desire. I was unable to find Fair Trade vanilla, however. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Wegmans does not stock Fair Trade vanilla, it just means I couldn’t find it.
I used the applesauce instead of eggs, as the recipe suggests for the vegan option, and I couldn’t tell the difference. Applesauce gives the recipe a bit more flavor, in my opinion, as cinnamon and apples go together like a hot day and lemonade. I also used vanilla soy milk (to go with the vanilla chai), and used margarine for the icing instead of butter. For an extra zing, I added a pinch more cinnamon than the recipe suggested. I like my cupcakes with a bit of a kick to them!
I highly recommend this recipe! It was not difficult at all to follow and very simple (and I am not the most experienced baker).
Next up on my Fair Trade cooking recipe list…Fair Trade ingredient Crème Brulee! Let’s see if I can locate some Fair Trade Vanilla first…Wholefoods anyone?
Contributed by Sarah DeMartino, Fair Trade Intern