Have you ever had a dirty chai?
I remember my first dirty chai like it was yesterday… I was at an internship in college and had gone to a coffee shop with one of my fellow interns. She ordered a dirty chai.
Me: Wait… “What is that?”
Friend: “A dirty chai??”
Friend: “It’s like a chai with coffee. I’m not exactly sure how they make it… I just know that it’s delicious!”
Okay, chai AND coffee??? To me that sounded like delicious in a cup. So, I ordered it and dang. Yeah. It was good.
A dirty chai is a chai tea with a shot of espresso added into it; so imagine a creamy coffee filled with spices like cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cardamom.
I’ve been in love with Dirty Chai’s ever since! They’re one of my favorite Fall or Winter drinks, when I’m wanting something extra spiced, hot, and filled with caffeine.
Since then, I’ve loved incorporating Chai flavors into my baked goods. Adding some instant espresso makes these gluten-free Dirty Chai Oat Muffins and takes them to the next level!
If you love Chai flavors, coffee, and healthier muffins, you’ve gotta give these a try.
I made these muffins a little healthier, for the best breakfast.
They’re made with less sugar (only 1/4 cup of brown sugar!), applesauce, and oat flour.
Then, they’re filled with all of the best Chai spices: cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and allspice. You can also use your favorite blend of Chai spices (if you already have a pre-made Chai spice blend).
Lastly, they are topped with a Chai spice glaze, which is totally optional but really seals the deal
A few tips and tricks…
For the sake of ease and to ensure your baked goods turn out and aren’t a crumbly mess, I recommend buying oat flour for muffins. Unless you have a high powered blender and can get your oats blended up as fine as the oat flour you can buy in a store. For example, my blender does a great job blending up oats, but my food processor does not blend my oats up fine enough.
You’ll also need to be able to make espresso. I love using an instant espresso powder like this Cafe Bustelo Espresso Instant Coffee and mixing it with milk. Using milk gives your muffins the best texture. And, adding espresso granules gives you the “dirty” Chai flavor.
Of course, you can leave the coffee out entirely and make these gluten-free Chai Muffins instead.
Other options? You can add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, pecans, or even white chocolate chips (if you want to make these extra sweet).
If you haven’t tried a dirty chai yet, go try one! After you’ve had said dirty chai (and are addicted for life) make these Dirty Chai Oat Muffins.
Let me know what you think in the comments, below. Hopefully I’ve converted a few of you to join in the dirty chai obsession with me!
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (skim, 2%, whole or almond)
- 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup applesauce (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup oat flour (certified gluten-free)
- 1/2 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- dash of cardamom
- dash of allspice
- 2 tbsp milk of choice (skim, 2%, whole or almond)
Preheat oven to 350. In a small mixing bowl, add your milk and microwave it till warm. Add your instant coffee granules and whisk together till incorporated.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together your butter and brown sugar. Add in your applesauce, vanilla, and milk and espresso mixture and mix together till smooth. Add your eggs and briefly blend them in.
To the same bowl, add your oat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and allspice and mix together till you have a consistent muffin batter.
Scoop your muffin batter into your muffin tin, filling each cavity about 2/3 way full. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the tops are springy to touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
In a small bowl, whisk together your powdered sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and allspice. Add in your milk and whisk until well combined.
Drizzle over your muffins and devour!
*I recommend storing these muffins in the fridge, in an airtight container and they will last about a week.