Soft and moist chai latte cupcakes prepared with chai tea, chai spices, and topped with whipped chai buttercream. This simple cupcake recipe tastes exactly like your favorite coffeehouse chai latte drink.
Yield: 14 cupcakes
Chai Spice Mix
2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 bag chai tea
1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk, at room temperature
1 and 3/4 cups (200g) cake flour* (spoon & leveled)
3 and 1/2 teaspoons chai spice mix (above)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature*
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120g) sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature
Chai Spice Buttercream
1 and 1/2 cups (345g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
5–6 cups (600-720g) confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons chai spice mix (above)
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
optional for garnish: cinnamon sticks + mix the remaining chai spice mix
- Prepare chai spice mix: Mix all of the chai spices together. You’ll have 5 and 1/2 teaspoons to use between the cupcake batter, buttercream, and garnish.
- Steep the tea*: Bring milk to a boil or heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Pour over tea bag and steep for 20-30 minutes. This chai milk is the milk you’ll use in the cupcake batter. This can be done the day before and refrigerated overnight. Make sure the chai milk is room temperature before adding to the cupcake batter.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2-3 liners – this recipe makes 14-15 cupcakes. Set aside.
- Make the cupcakes: Whisk the cake flour, 3 and 1/2 teaspoons of chai spice mix, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamed, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the egg whites on high speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour and mix in the chai milk *just* until combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be slightly thick and smell incredible!
- Pour/spoon the batter into the liners. Fill only 2/3 full to avoid baking over the sides. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For around 35 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 5 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, the heavy cream, 1 and 3/4 teaspoons chai spice mix, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick. Add another pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
- Frost cooled cupcakes and serve. I used Wilton 8B piping tip, stuck a cinnamon stick in some of them, and sprinkled with a mix of the remaining chai spice mix and a pinch of granulated sugar.
- Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.