Paleo Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Every once in awhile, I find myself craving coffee cake. I didn’t grow up eating coffee cake all that often, but I absolutely love it and find myself fantasizing about that trademark cinnamon sugar streusel every now and again. Of course, trying to make a paleo version of this classic poses a few challenges. How do you make a coffee cake that tastes just as buttery and sweet without butter or sugar?!

Truthfully, I don’t notice much difference in the taste of baked goods made with coconut sugar versus granulated sugar. In fact, I would say I like the taste of coconut sugar almost more, especially in this recipe, because it has the same depth of flavor as brown sugar, which gives these muffins a nice caramel-like sweetness. I also love the flavor of chai and have been playing around with different ideas for chai-flavored desserts. Because coffee cake already has cinnamon in it, the chai spice simply incorporates an added kick from cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice.

While these muffins are perfect to go with your morning coffee, I also love to have one for dessert. Of course, you can always double up and have one for breakfast, and one for an after-dinner treat! Warmed up with a pat of butter or even just on their own, these muffins are great for any time of day and even on the go.

What’s in these muffins:

  1. Chai Spice: I absolutely love the bold flavor of chai and found this recipe for chai spice that is fabulous! The first go-around when I made these muffins, I went a little overboard with the chai spice and much prefer using half chai spice and half cinnamon to flavor the coffee cake and streusel in the recipe.
  2. Unsweetened Applesauce: I know what you’re thinking, “eww applesauce?”. I too was worried at first about whether about how it would affect the flavor or texture of these muffins, but it gives the muffins a phenomenal texture! Keeping the muffins from drying out, it is essential to this recipe and yet, you would never know it was there unless someone told you!
  3. Coconut Sugar: Virtually all of my recipes replace granulated sugar with coconut sugar, but aside from the fact that it keeps this recipe refined sugar-free, coconut sugar has a caramel-like sweetness that plays off of the spices in these muffins perfectly. Although many people have not heard of coconut sugar, it is relatively easy to find at your local grocery store. Central Market, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and other stores all carry it for around $5 a bag.
  4. Oat Flour: I absolutely love baking with oat flour. Not only is it really affordable, but it has both great texture and flavor. I originally tested this recipe with gluten-free flour but texturally, it did not taste nearly as good as this does with oat flour, which keeps these muffins light and fluffy. If you have trouble finding oat flour, you can make your own by processing rolled oats in a food processor, although it is more difficult to achieve an ultra-fine consistency this way and I prefer buying oat flour to ensure that it bakes properly.
Paleo Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Paleo Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp chai spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Streusel Topping

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chai spice
  • 2/3 cup oat flour
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin by lining it with cupcake liners or spraying liberally with nonstick spray.
  2. In a small bowl, prepare the crumb topping by combining the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, oat flour, cinnamon, chai spice, and salt using a fork to mix everything into a loose mixture that resembles wet sand. Set this aside in the fridge and move on to making the muffin batter.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the oat flour, cinnamon, chai spice, salt, and baking powder and whisk together.
  4. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted and cooled coconut oil, apple sauce, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and vanilla. Then, incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and use a spatula to mix the batter into a smooth consistency.
  5. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way with the prepared batter. Take the streusel crumb out of the fridge and sprinkle the topping over each muffin so that the top of each one is fully covered.
  6. Bake the muffins for 15-17 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the muffins without any residue. Note, if you make bakery-style muffins using large muffin cups, you will need to add a couple of minutes to the bake time.
  7. After they are done baking, place the muffins on a wire rack to cool and then enjoy!

Notes

You can store these muffins at room temperature or in the fridge for up to five days.

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Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 muffin
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 162Total Fat: 5.7gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 20.8gFiber: 1.9gSugar: 8.5gProtein: 3.1g

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