Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

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I absolutely love chai.  Ever since college, it is still hands-down my favorite drink to order at coffee shops. (And even lately – I’ve been experimenting with recipes making it at home!)  Whether it’s cool and iced in the summer, or warm and cozy in the winter, a good chai is definitely my “comfort” food of the warm drink world!

So when I recently saw some chai cupcake recipes popping up on the blogosphere, I knew I had to give them a try.  Then I also found out the theme for this week’s Holiday Recipe Exchange was vanilla, I figured this was the perfect week to try some vanilla chai cupakes – yum!

Unfortunately, to be honest, my first batch was a total disaster, thanks to accidentally adding just 1/2 cup flour instead of 1 1/4 cups flour. Arggggg.  But thankfully once I actually followed the recipe, they were extraordinary!  The vanilla and chai spice flavors are absolutely delicious, and the cupcakes came out with a perfectly light and fluffy texture.  Then once they were iced with this simple but rich cinnamon buttercream…look out.  Completely irresistible.  :)

So if you love chai, you must give these a try!



Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 cupcakes 1x


All of the goodness of chai in a DELICIOUS (and easy!) cupcake! You will love this Vanilla Chai Cupcakes recipe!



Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. chai spice mix (recipe below)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Chai Spice Mix Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • remainder of the chai spice mix
  • 1 Tbsp. cold milk, if needed to thin out the buttercream


Cupcake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a small bowl or plastic bag, combine the chai spice mix ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and beat in one egg at a time. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the chai spice mix. Fold in the flour and buttermilk alternately and stir until combined, don’t over mix. Mix together the baking soda and vinegar in a separate bowl, then add it to the batter and mix until combined.
  4. Spoon into prepared cupcake tins until 3/4 full and bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Buttercream Directions:

  1. 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 powdered sugar about ½ 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. (I used a 1M Wilton tip.)


I’ve mentioned this before, but an easy way to get perfectly sized cupcakes (and muffins!) is to scoop the dough into the muffin tins with an ice cream scoop.  I like this one.

Recipe adapted from The Novice Chef


Ali’s Tip:

I’ve mentioned this before, but an easy way to get perfectly sized cupcakes (and muffins!) is to scoop the dough into the muffin tins with an ice cream scoop.  I like this one.


Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Beanilla.

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58 comments on “Vanilla Chai Cupcakes”

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  3. Ali, 

    We love these tasty cupcakes.  I first made them in March 2012 (I’m a nerd, I date every recipe I try) and they have been the Go-To cupcakes ever since.  

    You inspired me to create vanilla chai waffles that are my husband’s favorite.

    Joyce in Maine

    • Thanks for your sweet words, Joyce! We’re so happy you love these, and the vanilla chai waffles you mentioned sound absolutely AMAZING! :)

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  6. Any ideas on making this into a loaf? I’m sending goodies to both in-laws for Thanksgiving and would love to add a sweet treat.