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Chai Cupcakes

You'll get a double dose of the spicy blend that's frequently used to flavor tea in these moist single-size cakes. Both the cupcake and frosting use the blend, which combines some of the best flavors of the season. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 dozen


  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup 2% milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons 2% milk


  • In a small bowl, combine the ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and pepper; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and 1-1/2 teaspoons spice mixture. Gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  • Fill 12 paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy; beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and remaining spice mixture until smooth. Add enough milk to reach desired consistency. Pipe frosting over cupcakes.
Editor's Note
Decorative cupcake liners can be found at
Nutrition Facts
1 cupcake: 377 calories, 14g fat (9g saturated fat), 54mg cholesterol, 209mg sodium, 61g carbohydrate (46g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

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  • Echo
    Dec 20, 2019

    Fantastic recipe: I like that before frosting they are like a spice bread or muffin, but after frosting they are balanced sweet/spiced. Made these for a support group and they were the top dish talked about: several people asked for the recipe. I substituted regular milk for unsweetened almond-coconut milk, which gave it a little bit of a heartier flavor. Accidentally added too much of the original spice mix to the cupcakes themselves but it blended in no problem. Will make again.

  • rllewis7
    Sep 12, 2016

    I found this recipe to have the perfect amount of spice and chai flavor! Very good.

  • ckowalski2015
    Nov 29, 2015

    Amazingly moist and so much chai flavor! I had no cake flour so I added two tablespoons of corn starch to my all purpose flour. Also skipped the added sprinkling of cinnamon on the frosted cupcakes - it was completely unnecessary. Do be careful to not overfill the cupcake liners though, as when the cupcakes rise too high they create a "mushroom-like" cap that can separate from the cupcake base when you remove them from the pan. In this scenario a little frosting will put the two parts back together, but it is best avoided from the start. I topped mine with a decorative mini-candy came (it is Christmas time after all) and some slivered pecans. These were a big hit with friends.

  • fnstlug
    Apr 25, 2015

    Very moist and deliciously spicy. Frosting is a little too sweet for me. P. S. I tried to make these into mini cupcakes and it did not work out well. The cupcakes are so soft and sticky that I had a lot of trouble getting them out of the pans. I made a couple normal cupcakes with cupcake liners and it was WAY easier.

  • Ballinrobe
    Jan 15, 2015

    This sounded so good but was so disappointing. The flavor just was not there and to add nuts and or, I don't see as helping so will not make again! I made the recipe as printed and did the cream cheese frosting.

  • johirzel
    Jan 1, 2015

    I was so amazed at how light and flavorful these are! The spices are just right. I also like allspice and add 1/2 t. of that spice. Great!

  • lahupe
    Dec 31, 2014

    To cooker69, Chia seeds are not the same as Chai. The spices in the cupcakes are the same spices used to make Chai Tea. Tea is not one of the ingredients although maybe you could substitute some of the liquid with Chai Tea. These were very good. I love the combination of the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves.

  • cooker69
    Dec 31, 2014

    where is the chia seeds or chia tea?

  • CookingMamaSupreme
    Nov 30, 2014

    The taste was good, but I found I needed a fair bit more liquid. The 1st batch turned into scones. The 2nd batch turned out perfect after adding extra milk.

  • kcudworth
    Sep 23, 2014

    I made these today and they were Fantastic!!!