I first made these cupcakes, based on a delicious vegan cake recipe from the blog Nora Cooks, for my sister-in-law’s birthday. I’d set out to bake a two-layer cake, but scrapped that plan when I couldn’t locate a second springform pan. I prepared one 9-inch cake and a dozen cupcakes instead. The batter is unbelievably tender, featuring oil, mashed banana, chocolate chips, and boiling water, which adds moisture and binds everything together. Made with black tea leaves, the chai frosting (chai means tea in Hindi and Urdu) from Food52 is salty and sweet. Unlike the batter, the frosting contains butter and milk, so feel free to substitute with a vegan variety. Click here for the recipe, published in my latest column in The Knockturnal.