May 21, 2012

Chai Cupcakes

I love tea! I can’t start the day without a strong cup of English Breakfast, followed by an afternoon pick-me-up of Earl Grey and finishing the day with a cup of peppermint tea after dinner. When I feel like indulging I brew up a strong cup of chai tea with an array of spices including cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. I’ve been toying with the idea of experimenting with a chai cupcake for a while and thought this month’s theme of Tea at the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop would be the perfect opportunity to create it.

Quite a few recipes involved using the store-bought “Chai Mix” that I find overly sweet and fake tasting. I decided to make my own blend of spices to add to the batter and finished the cupcake off with cream cheese icing and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Delicious!

Chai Cupcakes
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 24

Chai Cupcakes
  • 230g butter, softened
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups self-raising flour
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
Chai mix
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
Cream Cheese Icing
  • 4-5 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 100g butter at room temperature
  • 250g cream cheese at room temperature
  • Cinnamon to decorate

Chai Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. Cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth in a large bowl.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift the 2 flours and chai mixture into a separate bowl.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Do not overmix!
  7. Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full with mixture and bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
Cream Cheese Icing
  1. Cream the butter and icing sugar together until well mixed.
  2. Add the cream cheese in cubes slowly until incorporated. Continue mixing for 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy.
  3. Spoon icing into a piping bag and pipe swirls onto the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon.



  • The chai cookies you and V got me were pretty AMAZING.

    How did you find the spice mix and chai-liciousness of the cupcake? Talk flavour to me baby!

    • Oh wonderful! I really want to try those cookies. Afternoon tea sometime soon? :)
      Not to sound up myself but the spice mix tasted AMAZING in the cupcakes. The balance was spot on – not overwhelming but still quite dominant. You knew immediately it was a chai blend flavouring. Very happy!

  • Your chai mix sounds lovely. Well done for making it yourself. I agree with you on the syrups. It took me ages to find a good chai tea.

    • Thanks Kyrstie! Making my own spice mix definitely made a huge different to the cupcakes. What is your favourite chai tea? I like T2′s blend.

  • I agree, a lot of the store bought pre-mixed chais are overly sweet. I love your version, which I bet tastes amazing in your gorgeous cupcakes!

    • Thanks Jennifer! I was very happy with the chai spice blend and it thankfully wasn’t too sweet or artificial tasting :)

  • So pretty! i would love to learn to decorate cupcakes like that!

    • Thank you!! A lot of practice and patience :) I am doing a blog post on how to decorate cupcakes soon. I’m no pro but hopefully there will be some useful tips!

  • Great post. I love chai but prefer to make my own mix at home, like you. They seem to put a ot of filler/sugar in those packaged mixes, which is a shame. Lovely cupcakes.

    • Home made is always best! Thanks Christina :)

  • Great cupcakes. Im obsessed with cream cheese frosting – would go perfectly with the spicy chai :) Thanks for joining the hop!

    • Cream cheese frosting is my favourite!! I look forward to participating in the hop again :)

  • Chai and cream cheese – divine! I never touch the mixes, fresh spices are so much better – and your icing looks perfect as usual. So glad you could join us this month!

    • Thanks JJ! I am definitely going to try and participate in the blog hop regularly – it’s a good way to try out new recipes :)

  • Such a pretty cupcake and nicely iced :)) It kinda looks like a nice chai latte in cake form :)

    • Yes I was trying to emulate the chai latte in cupcake form! I thought the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle of cinnamon kind of looked like the top of a chai latte :)

  • I don’t like tea but think I could handle these babies. Please send over 1 dozen :)

    • I was going to say please expect a sticky mess arriving shortly in the mail but it sounded gross… haha!

  • I love tea. I love chai tea. I love cupcakes… my gosh.. your cupcakes are brilliant! I will be making these this coming weekend for sure.

    I’ve been getting re-inspired to make more cupcakes for special ocassions after reading this book on Amazon, How to Decorate Cupcakes

    Thanks for the great recipe!


    • I’m trying to bring everyone’s favourite things together Katie! :)
      I want to brush up on my cupcake decorating skills, will check that book out.

  • I used this recipe this recipe to make a two-layered cake for my mother’s birthday and added some toasted coconut. This cake was amazing! It wasn’t too sweet and the cream cheese icing complemented it perfectly. I loved the way the spices mixed together and it really did taste like chai. Thanks so much for this recipe!

    • Not a problem Leigh, so glad it worked out well for you! It’s one of my favourite recipes :) xx

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