Chai Cupcakes

Chai Cupcakes are flavored with a medley of aromatic spices that evoke the essence of fall. Ginger, cardamom, and black pepper notes shine in both the cake and vanilla-chai frosting.

The weather is dipping into cooler temperatures this week, which means I’ll be cozying up to my favorite spicy beverage – spoiler alert! It’s not a Pumpkin Spice Latte (ha!).

Lately chai lattes are my hot beverage of choice. There’s something so comforting, almost healing, about their heady spices. I was inspired to use those same flavors in tender, buttery cupcakes.

Each of these little cakes were given a rose gold fondant leaf topper, along with lots of sprinkles. I found the sprinkle mix and cupcake liners at a home goods store, but there are many cute sprinkle mixes and cupcake liners to be found online.

You can find a similar sprinkle mix here, and gold baking cups here. The leaf cutter we used was from this set of Wilton pie cutters.

This recipe makes a dozen generously frosted cupcakes. The swirl of buttercream is piped with a large french star pastry tube.

A group of these gilded cakes displayed on a tiered pedestal is almost all the decoration you’d need for your Thanksgiving dessert buffet!

These cakes are buttery and tender, with all of the beautiful spiciness of a chai latte. It’s difficult to think of a more perfect cupcake for fall!

Chai Cupcakes

Heather Baird
Chai Cupcakes are flavored with a medley of aromatic spices that evoke the essence of fall. Ginger, cardamom, and black pepper notes shine in both the cake and vanilla-chai frosting.
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Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • Cupcake pan


Chai cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups 195g cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup 200g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup 113g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup 160ml buttermilk

Vanilla chai buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups 340g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cups 750g confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Milk or cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of ground black pepper


  • 3.25 ounce bottle of gold and pink sprinkle mix
  • Fondant leaves see blog post


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 liners.
  • Make the cakes: In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and black pepper. Whisk together until the spices are well-dispersed.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the sugar and butter on medium speed. Add the egg and mix until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and buttermilk alternately to the creamed mixture. Begin and end with flour. Bake the cupcakes for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick tester inserted into the centers of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  • Make the buttercream: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together until just combined. Add the extract and milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture thins slightly. Mix on high speed until fluffy, adding more milk or cream as needed until piping consistency is achieved. Add in the spices and mix until well-dispersed.
  • Transfer the frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a large French pastry tube. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes in a single swirl; top with sprinkles immediately. Add fondant leaves, if using.
  • Store the frosted cupcakes at room temperature in an air-tight cupcake keeper or under plastic wrap.
Keyword american buttercream, chai mix, confetti cupcakes
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5 years ago

I love chai! These cupcakes look so delicious!