Easy Chai Latte Cupcakes Recipe – Cinnamon Spice Dessert


Sweater weather is here and that means it’s also (un)officially chai latte season! My love for chai flavors knows no bounds and these Chai Latte Cupcakes are everything I love, rolled into one festive seasonal dessert. This time of year, I crave the peppery spice of chai that seems to warm you up from within. This recipe not only does that, it celebrates my creativity in transforming one of my favorite beverages into a magical dessert perfect for your next fall celebration or gathering.

Not only am I sharing the recipe for these cupcakes, I’m also sharing an exclusive recipe for my perfect Chai Spice Mix used for the incredible buttercream frosting in this recipe. Creating your own spice mix is ​​way easier than you think – plus, you can totally customize your mix to your specific tastes… not to mention, you’ll save a little money too! And, if #PSL is more your speed, you can absolutely make your own Pumpkin Pie Spice too!

In my new cook + craft book, Everyday Celebrations From Scratch, I’ve shared how to create an extra special touch to these cupcakes (or any others) with some beautiful chocolate butterfly toppers but you could easily add any seasonal decorative design like pumpkins, bats, or ghosts to take these cupcakes to the next level . I’m sharing the step-by-step process but feel free to put your own personal spin on the recipe.


What You Need to Make These Chai Latte Cupcakes

Photo by Natalie Vaitkevich / PEXELS

For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 chai tea bag
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons Chai Spice Mix (recipe below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mild-flavor oil, such as sunflower oil, or any other vegetable oil of choice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the chai spice buttercream (makes 3 cups):

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chai spice mix (recipe below)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons half and half, room temperature

For the chai spice mix, combine all ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

How to Make Chai Latte Cupcakes

  1. In a small pot, heat the milk to just under a boil. Add the chai tea bag and steep for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the milk is flavored with the tea. Allow the milk to cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 12-cup muffin pans with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, chai spice, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, stir in the eggs one at a time until each one is combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  5. Stir the chai-flavored milk, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add in half of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  7. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the chai milk. Stir in the rest of the flour mixture and mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
  8. Scoop the batter into a prepared muffin pan.
  9. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Chai Spice Frosting Instructions

  1. Attach the paddle attachment to a stand mixer and mix the butter on medium speed until softened.
  2. In another medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and Chai Spice Mix.
  3. Slowly add in the powdered dry mixture to the butter mixture with the mixer on low. Stir in the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of the half-and-half. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the frosting is lighter in texture and has a spreadable consistency, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add more powdered sugar if the frosting is too thin, or more half-and-half if it’s too thick.
  5. Frost your chai cupcakes!

Additional Tips For Making Chai Cupcakes

  • Make them mini! Use a mini cupcake pan and bake for 11 to 13 minutes at 325 degrees.
  • Sprinkle more of the spice mix onto the finished cupcakes for additional chai spice flavor.

Recipe and photography by Maria Provenzano. Craving more seasonal inspiration? Snag her book for more colorful ideas or check out more From Scratch with Maria with her Chai Spiced Snickerdoodles, Slowcooker PSL and Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal Cream pie.

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