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Chai Cupcakes

Chai Cupcakes – Light and fluffy cupcakes that blend warm spices with chai tea. Topped with a homemade cream cheese frosting, these cupcakes are perfect for fall!

Chai Cupcakes

I love chai. Whether it’s a chai tea latte, chai macarons, chai scones, or anything else with these flavors, I am always a fan. After making an amazing batch of spice cupcakes a few weeks back, I decided that I wanted to make a variation on the recipe that used chai tea in it. The chai tea really added such a great flavor that I know you are going to love!

Common Questions About Making Chai Cupcakes

What are chai cupcakes?

Chai cupcakes are a simple spiced cupcake infused with chai tea and topped with a cream cheese frosting.

How many cupcakes does this recipe make?

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

How long do chai cupcakes last?

These cupcakes last up to two days when stored in a refrigerated airtight container.

How can I decorate chai cupcakes?

I used a sprinkle of cinnamon and an anise star but you could also use a chunk of cinnamon stick or a drizzle of salted caramel sauce.

How can I make the perfect cupcakes?

  • Follow the recipe – While I totally understand dietary restrictions, if you plan on making changes to the ingredients, I cannot guarantee the recipe will work.  If you are facing this problem, I will gently suggest that you may want to consider finding a cupcake recipe on a site that specifically develops for the diet you are on such as a keto baking website or vegan baking website.  Too many times have I seen recipes for wrong for people because they started to adjust the recipe too much.
  • Don’t over-mix the cupcakes – If you want to keep cupcakes light and airy, avoiding over-mixing is key.  Mix until just barely combined.
  • Let the cupcakes completely cool before frosting – This is a classic mistake that people constantly make (including me).  Your cupcakes are done baking, you are ready to sit down and eat one so you touch the cupcake and say “this is most definitely cool” even though it’s only been out of the oven for like, 5 minutes.  Wrong.  Your frosting will just slide off the cupcake and it’ll be really sad.  To be safe, I’d say give them 1-2 hours before frosting.
  • Don’t over fill the cupcake liners – If you overfill the cupcake liners, you will definitely have some overflow which isn’t pretty and elegant.  Stick to filling each liner about 3/4 full.
  • Spin the cupcake tin halfway through cooking – An oven’s heat is generally not terribly even so a simple way to make sure all of the cupcakes cook all the way through is to spin the pan about 1/2 way through baking 180 degrees.

Ingredient Notes –

  • Milk helps steep the tea to add more chai flavor but it also adds moisture to the cupcakes.
  • Steeping the milk with chai tea bags adds extra chai flavor to the cupcakes.
  • Flour is the main dry ingredient in our cupcakes – make sure to measure correctly so you don’t end up adding too much flour (no one wants a dry cupcake).
  • I love the flavor of light brown sugar with chai, but feel free to use granulated white sugar if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Baking powder helps the cupcakes rise.
  • I’m using a homemade chai spice blend, but feel free to use homemade or store bought.
  • Vegetable oil adds moisture to the cupcakes and helps keep them from drying out.
  • Eggs bind the batter together so the cupcakes don’t crumble apart.
  • Vanilla enhances the flavor of the chai.
  • Butter and cream cheese are the perfect combination for the frosting – make sure they’re both fully softened or you’ll end up with lumps in your frosting.
  • Powdered sugar gives our frosting structure and sweetness. If your frosting is too dry, feel free to add 1-2 tablespoons of milk, or until you achieve your desired consistency.

Looking for more cupcake recipes? Check these out!

Yield: 12 Cupcakes

Chai Cupcakes

Chai Cupcakes

Chai Cupcakes - Light and fluffy cupcakes that blend warm spices with chai tea. Topped with a homemade cream cheese frosting, these cupcakes are perfect for fall!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


For the Cupcake

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon chai spice *(see notes)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar


For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Place the milk and chai tea bags in a small saucepan set over medium heat. When the milk starts to steam, remove it from the heat and set it aside to steep for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and chai spice.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the chai milk (make sure to remove the tea bags first), vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk just until no large lumps remain.
  6. Divide the mixture between the muffin tins and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy - about 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the mixer as needed.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla followed by the powdered sugar.
  3. Once all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated, turn the mixer to high speed and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy - about 1 minute.
  4. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with your choice of tip.
  5. Frost the cupcakes as desired and top with a sprinkle of chai spice, if desired.
  6. Store any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.


* I used a homemade chai spice blend but feel freee to use store bought or mix together 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, pinch of cloves, and pinch of black pepper.

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