Chai Tea Cupcake Recipe

Posted April 21, 2012 by Stephanie

I kind of have a slight addiction to Starbucks. I’ve heard all the arguments against: caffeine isn’t great for you; the drinks are sugar bombs; and you can save hundreds of thousands of dollars if you just don’t go–but I love the sugary-sweet drinks they pass for coffee.

One of my girlfriends shares my Starbucks love and we’ll often gleefully head out, braving the rain and lineups just to get our hit. This week she confessed that sometimes she’ll refrain from ordering a drink for a while so that when she tastes it again it tastes like the first time. The drink in question: the chai tea latte.

When she told me, I knew that I would be baking her a batch of chai tea cupcakes for her upcoming birthday. Chai tea lattes happen to be one of my favourite drinks too, so I know why she’s obsessed. These chai tea cupcakes are delicious. A soft, moist cake is flecked with spices and topped with creamy vanilla frosting. They’re so good they almost taste like you’re biting into a chai tea latte.

What could be better than a birthday cupcake in the form of your favourite drink? Bonus points if you pop the cakes into tiny jars for safe keeping during travel. Happy Birthday Mary!

i am cupcake, i am chai-flavoured: i am chai tea cupcake!

Chai Tea Cupcake Recipe from
yield: 4 cupcakes in a jar


  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 chai tea bags ( you can get these from most superstores but my friend recommends the Prana Chai tea.


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup icing sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a small pot, heat the milk up and steep the tea for at least 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and remove the tea bags. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In another large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the apple sauce and mix until just combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the chai milk and ending with dry.

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and fill each spot with 2 tablespoons batter. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a couple of crumbs clinging to it. Cool completely before frosting.

In a large bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add 2 tablespoons of the icing sugar and combine throughly. Mix in the vanilla and cinnamon. Add the remaining sugar and mix until frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too stiff or dry, beat in up to 2 teaspoons milk, a teaspoon at a time.

Assemble: Slice the domed parts of the cupcakes off. Place one cupcake in your jar and top with frosting. Add another cupcake, bottom side down and close the jar.

**If you want to make regular cupcakes, line your muffin tin with liners and fill 3/4 full.


  1. Becca says:

    bookmarked. yes.

  2. Patti says:

    Sounds delicious – thanks for sharing! On my first date with my fiance, he had a chai tea latte from Starbucks so I’ll definitely have to make these for him. :)

  3. Mary says:

    Thanks so much, Steph! I was so excited when I saw them! They are indeed deeeeeeelicious! love them! You’re the best!

  4. Olga says:

    Whoohoo…..I craved Chai frapacinnos with vanilla during my third pregnancy, when a lil girl popped out (I HAD TWO BOYS) I named her Chaila!!!! Her first bday is in two weeks…..guess what kind of cupcakes she is getting!!! Thanks for the recipe!!!!

  5. mary says:

    I love chai tea. all those spices! yum.. thanks for sharing. i’ll be making these in the near future (I just made some banana nut bread cupcakes). great photography, as always!

  6. molly says:

    these are so cute! what size/where did you get these jars?

  7. This has my sweet tooth going crazy! I love chai tea as a hot drink, but I would have never dreamed of it turning into cupcakes. Thanks for sharing!

  8. jlgirl says:

    You have the most beautiful photography!

  9. I made these last night. Kick ass recipe! Easy, quick and absolutely delicious. Thank you so much!

  10. Making a homemade chai tea cupcake can really quench the thirst for a latté version at Starbucks. The results look very lovely and appetizing especially while the cakes are in their small jars. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Hannah says:

    Could you do this with other flavours or tea?

    1. lef247 says:

      I’ve done Earl Grey Cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting using tea bags.. it’s awesome! I once tried Mint tea with Lime frosting trying to do a “mojito” cupcake. some liked it, some didn’t…

      1. Hannah says:

        Sounds nice! White tea would probably be too subtle but I wonder what an Oolong one would be like?

  12. Cat says:

    Really nice cupcakes and I love chai tea, the only advice is I actually made quite a watery chai tea and it made the cupcakes quite heavy. I think you use minimal water on the chai tea. Lovely cakes.

  13. Skye says:

    Love your blog! I was directly here via your Stone Bowl Bibimbap recipe. Few things that made me go wow: your photographs are absolutely amazing! I love the lighting and the clarity and the color; the personality and relatibility in your writing style; and lastly, the range of your recipes! These Chai Tea cupcakes look delicious, and it’s too bad my oven is broken. :/

  14. Alex says:

    I just made these and they were DELICIOUS! I didn’t have any applesauce, but they still turned out great. The frosting is also quite tasty. My mom, who doesn’t usually like new food, has fallen in love with these, although, that’s probably due to the fact that my family drinks chai everyday.

  15. Corrin says:

    How many regular sized cupcakes will this make?

    1. steph says:

      I’d say 8-9. Hope that helps!

  16. Julie Iampieri says:

    I followed this recipe exactly and it only made 5 regular size cupcakes…barely. However, they are DELICIOUS and totally worth the effort! I made them tonight, only problem was I didn’t have any cloves so I substituted allspice instead, but they were still absolutely fabulous! I’m going to double the recipe tomorrow when I have more energy and see if it works. (I know with baking you can’t always assume that doubling a recipe will have the same result…I’ll let you know how it turns out!) :)

  17. Alex says:

    Do you think you could substitute greek yogurt instead of using the applesauce in the recipe??? Sounds like the applesauce is used to moisten the cupcake, which I know yogurt is often used for. These look AMAZING.

    1. steph says:

      Hi Alex,

      I haven’t tried, but it sounds like it could work. Let me know if you give it ago and you’re successful!

  18. Steffanie T says:

    Stellar Idea!! Cant wait to try this – I can just smell the Christmas Presents.

  19. Thomas says:

    Great post! Have nice day ! :) srlri

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