Here’s the next best thing you can do with some good old chai spice. Believe it or not, this is a pumpkin-free recipe! HA! But you could totally make it with pumpkin. Just sayin.
Back story: A few weeks ago I was in the checkout line at Whole Foods and saw on the cover of some magazine a headline for a butternut chai bundt cake. Not wanting to spend any more time in the store than necessary (because that’s just fiscally irresponsible) or hold up the people behind me, I decided I’d remember the name of the recipe and Google it later. Surprisingly, I remembered. Even more surprisingly, Google turned up empty. I scoured the Whole Foods website, blog, app… NOTHING! At first, I was a little disappointed, but then I just said forget it, I’ll figure it out on my own. And what a sweet success this was!
Did you know you can take any old recipe for bundt cake (or a loaf bread!) that calls for a puree of some kind (like maybe, I dunno… pumpkin, heh) and swap out the flavors? It’s super simple but something I’d never really thought of before. Especially not when it comes to winter squash. I mean, I’m all for butternut squash, but I’d never thought to put it in dessert. But thank you, Whole Foods for the genius idea!
I opted to make this one light and healthy since the holidays are rapidly approaching and none of us needs any assistance or additional temptation to pack on the winter pounds. Well that and, you-know-who is off sugar and dairy (and meat) for the foreseeable future… and since I wouldn’t eat all of anything I bake by myself (and mostly since he’ll totally mope if I don’t share with him) I decided to accommodate this month’s eating restrictions. Good thing I did too, because guess who walked in the door right as these went into the oven? He was all too excited and then all too disappointed when they weren’t ready to eat before he had to go back to work (if he had his way, there’d be no photos to share!)
Aaaaaaany who, these are definitely vegan and sugar free and totally delicious. They make a great option for using up any leftover roasted butternut squash you may find yourself not knowing what to do with. The icing is also really simple and actually really good! I’ve been trying my hardest to figure out a decent sugar-free icing option for muffins and cakes, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner! (After 2 prior failed attempts, I legit had to stop and be like, God, seriously… Please figure this out… AND TELL ME! Then BOOM! Jesus and coconut cream for the win! Who says He doesn’t care about the little things we care about? 😉
These make great individually-portioned desserts that will surely save on the hassle of cutting! They look so cute all plated up and placed at everyone’s seat at the table! If, however, you’re partial to one big beautiful bundt cake in lieu of the minis, or if you don’t have a mini bundt pan, just double this recipe and you’re good to go. The baking time will probably be about double, as well, but keep your eye on it!
Here’s to sweet new recipe success and happy, healthy fall baking!
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ⅛ tsp fine sea salt
- 1½ tsp chai spice (I used my own blend)
- 2 tbsp flax meal dissolved in 4 tbsp water
- ⅔ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsp coconut milk
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup butternut squash puree
- 2 tbsp coconut cream
- 1 tsp maple syrup, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
- ¼ cup toasted, coarsely chopped pecans, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 6-cavity mini bundt pan with melted coconut oil. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, leaveners, salt, and chai spice, then set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flaxmeal and water until dissolved. Add the remaining wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir using a rubber spatula to incorporate into a smooth mixture. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared mini bundt tin, about ⅓ - ½ cup per cake.
- Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cakes comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cakes cool, make the icing by whisking together the coconut cream, maple syrup and cinnamon, adjusting flavors to taste. Keep in mind the more maple syrup you add, the thinner the icing will be. If you're using chopped pecans, lightly toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat until just fragrant. Drizzle icing over cooled cakes, top with pecans, and serve.