Chai Cupcakes

Makes 14 cupcakes



  • 2 cups (10 ounces by weight) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chai mix, premade or use the recipe below
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1.8 ounces) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk


  • 5 cups (22.3 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon chai spice mix, premade or use the recipe below
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chai Spice Mix:

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper


  • Sprinkle tops of frosting with chai spice mix
  • Halved cinnamon sticks


Chai Spice Mix:

  1. Mix all of the spices together and set aside.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 heaping tablespoon of the chai mix together.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugars together for 3 minutes on medium speed.
  4. Add in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  5. Alternating 3 times, add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the sugar mixture. Beat on low speed to incorporate. After the last addition, beat an additional 30 seconds until smooth.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake 17–19 minutes. A wooden skewer inserted into the center should come out mostly clean. A few moist crumbs clinging is fine.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the cupcake tin for 5 minutes.
  8. Move the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.


  1. Place butter and cream cheese into the bowl of a standing mixer and whip until creamy, approximately 2–3 minutes on medium-high speed.
  2. With the mixer running on low speed, add half the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time, mixing until sugar is coated with the butter.
  3. Beat in 1 tablespoon chai spice mix, then add 2 tablespoons milk and the vanilla extract. Beat until incorporated.
  4. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar. If the frosting is too thick, add additional milk, a teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip for approximately 5 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  6. Frost the completely cooled cupcakes.
  7. For garnishing, place the remaining chai spice mix into a fine mesh sieve and dust the tops of the frosting and insert a halved cinnamon stick.

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