entertainingfoodFood & Drink

Kait Turshen’s Dirty Chai Mini Bundt Cakes (Vegan, Gluten Free, Allergen Free)

by Grace Bonney

One of the most frequent requests I get from readers is to highlight more vegan, gluten free or allergen free recipes. Kristina does a fantastic job of meeting these requests for a wide range of food types, but when I meet someone who specializes in an area like this, I jump at the chance to showcase a recipe that works for people who find themselves with limited dining options.

Enter Kait Turshen. Kait has had a lifetime of health issues that she discovered were tied to not one but thirty different food allergies. Rather than focusing on the things she couldn’t eat, Kait chose to turn her personal dietary challenge into a new business, Bubble Girl Bakes, that would provide safe and delicious food for people suffering from allergies or food limitations that left them missing their favorite baked goods. Today she’s sharing a delicious recipe that is not only only vegan-friendly, but gluten free, allergen free and refined sugar free. Inspired by Starbucks’ ‘Dirty Chai’ drink (a Chai latte mixed with an espresso shot), Kait created these adorable mini bundt cakes that deliver a serious shot of flavor without the troublesome ingredients that can cause problems for some.

In addition to devoting her professional life to allergen-free baking, Kait is also a taking part in Fare Walk for Food Allergy, a walk to raise money for Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) which works to ensure the safety and inclusion of individuals with food allergies while relentlessly seeking a cure. I feel lucky to know Kait personally outside of her baking life and will be joining her on the walk in a few weeks. If you’re interested in joining the walk to raise funds, or are able to support the cause, you can check out Kait’s Bubble Girl Bakes Team Page right here. Thanks so much to Kait for sharing this recipe with us and to all of you who’ve been patient and persistent with your requests for more allergy-friendly recipes! xo, grace

Photograph by Danielle Bass

About Kait: After spending the majority of her adulthood plagued with fatigue, nausea, anxiety, depression, bloating and weight fluctuation, Kait discovered she had thirty food allergies. Unable to find a bakery in New York City that catered to her unique dietary needs, Kait decided to just start baking on her own. A few burned batches and dry loaves later, she perfected gluten-free, allergen-free, vegan versions of classic sweet treats. With a renewed approach to baking and cooking, Kait felt like a new (energized!) person. She’s thrilled that gluten free, allergen free eating doesn’t have to be unsatisfying, tasteless, or bland- it just takes a little creativity, adjustment, and patience along the way. Kait chronicles her gluten free, allergen-free cooking adventures on her blog, Bubble Girl Bakes and you can find her on Instagram right here.

Food photography and styling by Maxwell Tielman

The full recipe continues after the jump…

Kait’s Vegan, Gluten Free, Allergen Free Chai Bundt Cake


-2 cups Bubble Girl’s gluten free flour mix (see recipe here)
¾ cup beet sugar (or non-refined sugar of choice)
2 chai tea bags (contents only-discard bags)
1 package quick rise yeast
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup warm water (110̊-115̊)
6 tablespoons palm oil shortening, melted
¼ cup applesauce, unsweetened
1 tablespoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 325 and grease a mini bundt cake pan. Without a mini bundt cake pan in your pantry? A classic donut pan or muffin tin works too!

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix until well blended.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine water, melted shortening, applesauce, and vanilla and mix well.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Cover with a towel and let sit for 10 minutes.

Spoon batter into each cake mold, approximately ¾ full. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack for remainder of cooling. Once cakes are completely cooled, drizzle with Chocolate Coffee Glaze. Makes 12 mini bundt cakes.

Chocolate Coffee Glaze


½ cup vegan chocolate chips
2 tablespoons palm oil shortening or allergy friendly oil
½ tablespoon instant coffee


Combine ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Stir mixture well and microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Stir mixture until a thin glaze consistency is reached. Microwave for an additional 15 seconds, as needed.

Kate’s recommended brands for ingredients:

NOW Foods Beet Sugar
Yogi Chai Rooibos Tea
Spectrum Organics Shortening
Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks

Suggested For You


  • I hate to be that person but please research the devastating practice of harvesting palm oil. It’s so environmentally destructive and also is the main reason that orangutans are going extinct. Find an alternative because palm oil “farming” is absolutely awful.

  • My daughter has an auto-immune disease to protein in food. I love seeing recipes that I can make for her. I will definitely try this one out, sounds yummy! There are so many more options today than even a couple of years ago, makes my life easier! This one is going on my Pinterest board. Thanks.

  • Thank you for introducing Kait and Bubble Gum Bakes.

    As a mother of a child with severe multiple food allergies, I really embrace and appreciate people like Kait who understands what I go through every day and provides great support. I’ll check Bubble Gum Bakes website!

  • I’m gluten free and egg free so finding baked goods is really tough as you mentioned! Cannot wait to try these. Thanks Bubble girl ;) !!

  • The recipe looks yummy – but beet sugar is a refined sugar. Much of the everyday, ordinary sugar sold in western Canada is beet sugar and it is as refined as cane sugar and chemically identical. You can see how beet sugar is made here: http://www.lantic.ca/refining-process/beet.php?lg=en

    Just FYI for anyone avoiding sugar, beet sugar isn’t an option.

  • Hi Kait!

    I’m spending my Saturday night baking your dirty chai mini bundt cakes and they are delish! What a treat! You should try out Taza Chocolate coffee mexicano as a possible glaze; they are a Gluten/Dairy/Soy free Mexican style of chocolate! Everything is organic/vegan friendly, and very minimally processed, I’m obsessed with all of their products! I tried it out on my cakes and it came out awesome!

  • I agree with Abi and Nicole… Palm oil is extremely unethical and unhealthy. To be honest, I am very disappointed to see it listed among the ingredients of home-made recipes that are supposed to be healthy.

    Normally (but quantities will need to be readjusted) olive oil, coconut oil or some other kind of non-dairy spread (Earth-Balance in the US, Pure in the UK) can do the job.

  • I’d like to echo the concerns about palm oil- an incredibly destructive ingredient that should be avoided if at all possible!

  • This recipe just completely rocked my world! Thanks for introducing Kait’s kick ass blog. As someone who is still in the middle of figuring out all of my food intolerances (gluten and several kinds of beans are out, but there’s definitely still something going on in GI world…) this was exactly the happy ray of hope I needed to see on a day that included a near melt down at the grocery store because of all the things I couldn’t eat. These little bites of deliciousness are definitely going to sneak into my diet of almost 100% fermented and sprouted food!

    • Hi Everyone,

      I just wanted to address some of the concerns about the palm oil. Kait’s recipe mentions that you can easily substitute in oil of your choice, but coconut oil is a tree nut, so it’s one of the major allergens Kait has to avoid. In addition, the brand she suggested (Spectrum) works with a family-owned sustainable palm forest, so she’s done her best to find an ethical source of this particular oil. That said, if the use of palm oil is an issue and coconut oil is not an issue for your allergies, you can most definitely substitute it in this recipe. Thanks for your concern :)


  • Kait and Grace- the recipe looks awesome!! For the tea, if I use loose leaf as opposed to bag tea, what quantity chai would you recommend?

  • Grace, thanks for the extra information about Spectrum Naturals. As the mother of two children who each have multiple food allergies, I can tell you and other D*S readers that it’s really difficult to find ingredients that not only are safe to eat but allow you to create something that tastes good. It’s even more difficult when we try to make sure we live our values AND cook or bake something that is safe to eat and delicious.

    For those who say “Find a non-palm oil alternative,” from my own experience I can say that Spectrum Naturals is the ONLY thing I can use as both shortening and butter substitute that my entire family can safely eat. One kid is allergic to dairy, the other to coconut. Earth Balance (which includess palm oil as an ingredient) also includes corn, sunflower and pea protein, all of which are off-limits in my house. Both kids are allergic to nuts.

    So before people pass judgment, it would be nice if they’d step back and consider that maybe, just maybe, we know certain things aren’t ideal, but it may be all we’ve got.

    Thanks for bring Kait and her recipes to my attention.

  • Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for all of your kind words :) Just wanted to answer a few of the recipe questions.

    As for a yeast substitute, you can sub in an additional 1/2 teaspoon of baking plus 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. The acidity of the lemon juice will cause the baking soda to release carbon dioxide bubbles, in turn helping the batter to rise.

    Addressing the loose leaf tea question, you can absolutely use! The measurement would be 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons (adjust to taste).

    Thanks so everyone for reading!
    Kait aka “Bubble Girl”

  • Double check the info on the coconut being a tree nut. I don’t think a coconut is really a mut just like a pineapple is not really an apple.

  • Coconuts are *not* a tree nut botanically speaking. If one has a true allergy to tree nuts y’all should know that Coconuts are fruits. NOT nuts.

    The FDA, in order not to create “confusion” in people who see the word coconut to mean it is actually is a tree nut, decided to rule that anything containing coconuts be labeled as a “tree-nut”. Even though it is not an actual tree nut. Coconuts are botanically fruits the way lychee nuts are asian fruits.

    The FDA is Weird but this is true.

    ..So if you are someone who is allergic to coconuts, it’s not because you have a tree nut allergy. It’s because you’re allergic to coconuts. :D

    I happen to one of those people who is allergic to coconuts, but not allergic to tree nuts, and happily eat them when I can. :)