Dirty Chai Sweet Potato MuffinCakes

8 Oct

These may be the last incarnation of this recipe for awhile, as they were practically perfect in every way (WITHOUT the spoonful of sugar!) (Sorry, I’m being Mary Poppins for Halloween so I’m practicing). My dear friend Erica, who is sugar-avoidant, had a birthday yesterday so I thought I would ramp up the earlier Sweet Potato muffins to something more closely resembling a cupcake. We called them muffincakes, which has the added benefit of sounding a smidge dirty. 

I should explain about the sweet potato filling. What I originally did was to bake 3 medium sweet potatoes at oh, 400 degrees. When they were done I let them cool, peeled them, and threw them in a food processor with about 6 prunes (you can use dates, I just hadn’t found any yet at this point in the story) and maybe a quarter cup of coconut milk. This yielded approximately 3 cups of stuff, which I used in two recipes. If you don’t need 24 muffins, I suggest using two sweet potatoes or one GIANT one, and adjusting the recipe accordingly. Or. . .just eating the rest of the sweet potato puree in some other way. Possibly mixed in with oatmeal. 

I did these with regular flour and eggs instead of egg substitute, because I was going for a light, fluffy, “cupcake” texture but of course the gluten-free, vegan options are still equally delicious. I also added some unsweetened chocolate for the birthday girl. I know this is a huge no go for many people with ED, and obviously I strongly recommend for those of you that you replace the cocoa powder with the original espresso powder. 

  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened dutch process or regular cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp allspice (I am still out of cardamom, but for real, use cardamom. I think it will take this over the top)
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1 1/4 cup sweet potato puree 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • Chopped pecans (to your taste)

Cream cheese filling (put all the things in the food processor)*: 

  • 1 cup whipped cream cheese (or vegan cream cheese)
  • 7 pitted dates
  • 1/4 tspn fresh grated ginger
  • Zest of one orange 

*You’ll use about half of the filling to fill the cupcakes. Then, you’ll add: 1/2 stick of butter, the juice of said orange, 2 tsps shredded coconut and whip with a hand mixer until smooth for the frosting. 


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, (or in a large bowl, using an electric mixer), beat together the sweet potato puree, applesauce, and canola oil. Beat in the egg. Beat in the coconut milk. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, slowly beating just until incorporated. Gently fold in pecans.
  4. Fill each muffin cup a third of the way. Smooth batter. Spoon 1/2 tsp of cream cheese mixture into center. Top with remaining batter. 
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Place muffin tin on a wire rack and let muffins cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove muffins from tin and cool completely.
  7. While muffins are cooling, make frosting. 
  8. Frost! 

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