Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

How good do these vanilla chai cupcakes look?? They are so perfect for fall. They are full of cinnamon and spice and have the wonderful taste of chai tea – in cupcake form! They are light and cake-like, and the frosting is perfectly sweet and creamy. I made these cupcakes to celebrate the engagement of Mike’s sister Jess, and her fiance Brett. Aren’t they a cute couple?

They shared their celebratory cupcakes with some of our friends, and everyone loved them. Mike kept saying “the frosting to cupcake ratio is perfect!” (He’s an accountant, he thinks in ratios). Our other friend, Kevin, said (with his mouth full) “you need to rename these ‘Octoberfest Cupcakes’ because they taste like Fall!”. Suffice it to say the cupcakes were pretty much devoured, and I can’t wait to make them again.

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes


1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 quantity chai spice mix (recipe to follow)
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Chai Spice Mix
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 ts cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Vanilla Chai Buttercream
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 quantity chai spice mix
1-2 tbs cold milk, if needed


For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a cupcake tin or line with cupcake wrappers. Mix spices together in small bowl and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and beat in one egg at a time. Stir in half the quantity of chai spice mix. Sift together the flour and salt into a separate bow. Fold in the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately and stir until combined. Be careful not to over mix. Mix together the baking soda and vinegar and stir into the batter.

Spoon into prepared cupcake tin until 3/4 full and bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a center cupcake comes out clean.

For the icing: In a stand mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy. On low, mix in the vanilla and the rest of the chai spice mix. Carefully beat in the icing sugar about Β½ cup at a time. If the buttercream is too thick add 1-2 tbs of cold milk until the desired consistency is reached.Then pipe onto cooled cupcakes with your favorite frosting tip.

adapted from Some More Please, seen on The Novice Chef

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  1. Those cupcakes look incredible. I want to try that buttercream so badly!

  2. oh these sound amazing – I'm definitely saving this recipe!

  3. Ooh baby I want these! I must make them!! Maybe today πŸ™‚ Seriously they look amazing, I love the single cake plated with a dusting of chai spices. Beautiful, simple and most importantly, delicious looking πŸ™‚ Thanks for posting this one, its fall in a cupcake!

  4. These look incredibly delicious!

  5. I'm jealous you got to eat these- they look so delicious!

  6. These look delicious! And the frosting looks pretty good too.

  7. I had Chai cupcakes at the Farmers Market the other day! So so so good!

  8. These will be on my "to0do" list soon! Making my mouth water for one and I haven't even had breakfast yet! πŸ™‚

  9. What a great recipe Megan! As you say, perfect for fall with all those wonderful spices. I can't wait to make these!

  10. Yum! These look incredibly delicious and definitely speak fall! Between these cupcakes and the chai latte I'm in chai heaven! I wish we lived closer to each other so I could stop over and grab one of these from you. Hope you're doing well!

  11. Me and my sister would love these!

  12. I love things that taste/smell "like a season." Seriously.

  13. These look so good! I would love them~!

  14. megan — these look amazing! I'm sure your newly engaged love birds enjoyed them too!

  15. I'm always on the hunt for new cupcake recipes. Looks great!

  16. Im so excited that you shared this because I have all the ingredients in my cupboard! Love your photos too.

  17. Im so excited that you shared this because I have all the ingredients in my cupboard! Love your photos too.

  18. OH, I must try these!! I love a nice hot chai latte on a cool rainy fall day πŸ™‚ I have everything BUT the cardamom — I hope my grocery store has it!!!

  19. Fall flavors are the best and these cupcakes look like they won't disappoint.

  20. Wow- these are totally gorgeous. The frosting is like perfect. I bet the couple really appreciated the gesture. And a great flavor for fall too. Hope you have a nice weekend (am looking forward to seeing your other baked goods!!!!0

  21. These look perfectly delicious! Well done!

  22. I don't have a huge fall recipe repertoire yet. But I have a feeling I will after this fall as I bookmark a bunch of blogger recipes to try out. Like this one. Yum!

  23. I absolutely love the flavour of chai spices. These would be awesome with some chai tea.

    YuM! : P

  24. I love Chai tea but I have never had bake goods with chai flavor. It looks really good. I'm an accountant too and I'm very particular with icing/cake ratio too.

    I'm new to your blog, I found it thru Foodbuzz. I look forward to reading more and perusing your dessert recipes

    ~ Lea

  25. I'm loving these flavors, Megan. Very fall.

  26. Love your blog.

  27. I love anything with chai spices in it and love the fact that your recipe doesn't require using chai tea. These look so delicious that I'm saving the recipe. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  28. Lovely little cupcakes- I can only imagine how delicious they were! Chai is such a wonderful dessert flavor. πŸ™‚

  29. Love the sounds of these and you did a beautiful job on the frosting as well. πŸ™‚ Looks like your cupcakes are straight out of a gourmet bakery!

  30. Oh boy, these look tasty! I've thought tinkering with chai in baking but I always wonder whether to use the spices straight or brew tea and incorporate that into the recipe.
    I wish someone had made me cupcakes when I got engaged!

  31. Wow! These look truly yummy! I can’t wait to have it in my dining table. My kids will surely love this one and ask for more. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I probably do this every week end.

  32. Ooh… These cupcakes look fantastic! I love chai spices… Especially in the fall and winter.

  33. Love this flavor combo. I'm not sure if I've made cupcakes with apple cider vinegar before. Interesting! They look so good!

  34. The chai mix is totally a new combination for me. I should try this one to know what it tastes. Thanks for the recipe. But I think it taste yummy with the cinnamon flavor.

  35. hi Megan!!
    Hey these Chai muffins are EXCELLENT! thanks for allowing Mike to bring some in and share!!!

    This weekend I made your Apple muffins and the Apple Crisp – BEST apple crisp I've ever made! And I made it for a friend who had foot surgery – her hubby loved the muffins apparently — thanks for helping us all find wonderful tried-n-true recipes!!
    keep on sharing! I'll be reading!!
    Julie Jacobs

  36. Julie – Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I'm glad you liked them πŸ™‚ I love sending food with Mike – you guys are good taste-testers πŸ™‚

    And I'm so glad you liked the Apple Crisp and muffins! Your comment made my day πŸ™‚

  37. Julie – Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I'm glad you liked them πŸ™‚ I love sending food with Mike – you guys are good taste-testers πŸ™‚

    And I'm so glad you liked the Apple Crisp and muffins! Your comment made my day πŸ™‚

  38. These were AMAZING! The flavor was just perfect. My husband hates icing, but he was spooning it out of the bowl and into his mouth faster than I could frost the cupcakes!

  39. Emily – I'm so glad you liked them! Thanks for taking the time to stop back and let me know. Glad your husband liked the icing as well – that's my favorite part πŸ™‚

  40. Holy crap fantastic! My recipe is making its way around the world *happy face* πŸ˜€ Glad you enjoyed it so much

  41. bettenoir – I'm sorry I didn't even realize this recipe originally came from you! Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe. I updated the post to give you credit πŸ™‚

  42. Great cupcake recipe! Chai is such a lovely combination of flavors – perfect for a fall cupcake :).

  43. chai is one of my fav flavours!! in cupcakes…wow! i need to go make myself a batch (even tho it's not fall here haha)
    thanks for sharing!

  44. chai is one of my fav flavours!! in cupcakes…wow! i need to go make myself a batch (even tho it's not fall here haha)
    thanks for sharing!

  45. I think I will be baking these for a going away party in a few weeks.

  46. Is there a way to substitute for apple cider vinegar?

  47. Saiema – Unfortunately I'm not sure if you can substitute for apple cider vinegar. I tried to google it, but found nothing conclusive. Maybe try white vinegar? Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!

  48. I just made these, and they're delicious… except for one factor. The icing. I used powdered sugar in the icing instead of icing sugar. I was confused because the icing ingredients called for it. Just a heads up! Crunchy icing isn't really good.

  49. DaintyJulie – I'm not sure what you mean about the icing. Icing sugar is the same thing as powdered sugar (also called confectioner's sugar). The icing should not be crunchy at all. Glad the cupcakes were good though!

  50. Megan, these look so good. My daughter & I just started a new mom/daughter blog and I think we'd like to do a post on chai recipes and link back to this page/recipe on this blog. I am also a life coach and you commented on one of my other blogs once. This new blog is going to be fun. Check us out.

  51. Megan, I know it has been forever since you made these but do you know if you used unsalted butter or salted butter? Also, I used just white vinegar the last time I made them instead of the apple cider vinegar and they were great. Thanks. Love your blog. Making the tuna noodle casserole as we speak. Slainte.

  52. Jennifer – Unsalted – I almost always use unsalted butter in any baking. Glad you enjoyed them when you made them – hope you like the tuna noodle casserole as well! πŸ™‚

  53. These look great! I'm going to make them this weekend for mothers day. Thanks for sharing.

  54. I made these for a pumpkin carving party. They were a huge hit!

  55. These are pretty cool little cupcakes. My sister and I made them today. The only thing is they are sooooo rich! We’ll definitely be sharing them so that we don’t eat them all. I’m thinking a cream cheese icing would also be good with these.

  56. Hi Megan, So glad I found your blog. Ok, I’m going to a job interview tomorrow and am taking these with. I ran out of confectioners, but blended down granulated. It’s a bit crunchy, but still tastes great!! I’m still not satisfied by the time these guys are cool and ready to frost, I’ll run to the store and redo the frosting. Also, I added a little orange extract to the frosting, just to punctuate that Fall feeling. Thank you, thank you!!

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  58. Absolutaely yummy, light cakes. My buttercream was too sweet for me so I added about 2 oz cream cheese which made it perfect. Thanks for the fun fall desert.

  59. Pingback: Chai Spice Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream | Kitchen Corner

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