Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

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!

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Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

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:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.

In a small bowl or plastic bag, combine the chai spice mix ingredients. Set aside.

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.

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

Buttercream Directions:

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.)

Recipe adapted from The Novice Chef

All images and text ©

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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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57 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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