Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

July 15, 2010

When I first heard someone say “chai tea” I sort of cocked my eyebrow and thought to my self; “wait, what?”. Suddenly this phenomena of chai burst out of nowhere and at first I thought it was pretty funny. Technically ‘chai tea’ is a misnomer. In Hindi and a lot of other languages the word chai means tea. It’s not a type of tea, it’s the word for tea. So when someone says “chai tea” I hear “tea tea”. It’s kinda like when someone says “ATM machine” hehe

Then, I discovered the chai latte. And I fell in love. My favourite cafe serves these wonderful vanilla chai lattes sprinkled with cinnamon. I love the flavours immensely.

They remind me a lot of Indian desserts with cardamom and cinnamon, things my Mother makes. So I decided to try and replicate those flavours purely by taste. I have no idea how to make a chai latte, but I do recognise those spices. Today I experimented with a recipe I wrote up last night and amazingly it worked. The batter was incredible and the aroma when they came out of the oven! Amazing. I will share the recipe because it’s something that should be shared in my opinion. I think lovers of that “chai” flavour will love these.

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

(Makes 12)

100g butter

1 cup caster sugar

½ tsp vanilla bean paste

2 eggs

½ quantity chai spice mix (recipe follows)

1 ¼ cups plain flour, sifted

½ cup buttermilk

½ tsp bicarb soda

½ tsp apple cider vinegar (white vinegar is fine)

Chai Spice Mix

1 ½ tsp ground cardamom

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Mix spices together in a small bowl.

Vanilla Chai Buttercream

125g butter

½ tsp vanilla bean paste

3 cups icing sugar, sifted

½ quantity chai spice mix

1-2 tbs cold milk

Preheat the oven to 160C

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and beat in one egg at a time. Stir in half the quantity of chai spice mix. Fold in the flour and buttermilk alternately and stir until combined, don’t overmix. Mix together the bicarb soda and vinegar and mix into the batter.

Spoon into prepared cupcake cases and bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

To make the buttercream, beat the butter until it is creamy and very pale in colour. Stir in the vanilla and the rest of the chai spice mix. Slowly beat in the icing 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.

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve!

31 Responses to “Vanilla Chai Cupcakes”

  1. Leila Says:

    I’ve never tried a chai latte before but I do like cinnamon and these cupcakes look delicious!
    Would this recipe work the same as a 9-inch cake? What baking time would you recommend?

  2. somemoreplease Says:

    Leila, thanks for your comment.

    I would say 9″ would be too big, my rule of thumb is that batter for 12 cupcakes is enough for a 6″ or 7″ cake, and I would double the buttercream for two layers.

    Baking time for a full sized would be about 30-40 minutes? That’s just a guess but I’d keep an eye on it.

  3. Memoria Says:

    My mom wants me to make this haha. She loves chai tea and sweets, so I’m sure this tastes great! I’m bookmarking this recipe. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  4. helene Says:

    I will try your recipe out as I love chai. I have another recipe, not too disimilar to yours but it is iced with a cream cheese icing with the spice powder mixed into it. works well, makes the whole cupcake taste creamier. I think your spice mix will be great. Thanks

  5. […] Vanilla Chai Cupcakes adapted from here […]

  6. […] Adapted from: Some More Please […]

  7. Donna Says:

    Can’t wait to try these! Love your blog!

  8. JennyH Says:

    I think I just fell in love! These cupcakes look and sound like heaven in food form! I can’t wait to get my friend to make these!!!

  9. […] Found a website that basically gave me a recipe for the two things I love: chai tea and cupcakes. […]

  10. LivePaola Says:

    “Chai tea” sounds to you like “gelato ice cream” sounds to us Italians… Same phenomenon!

  11. traintogain Says:

    Vanilla Chai cupcakes?? How sweet would they be?? Yum, Yum, Yum!! Thanks for the recipe!

  12. lana Says:

    hello, could you tell me what is the pipe number you used? its just gorgeous!

  13. Mathurini Says:

    That sounds amazing!

  14. Andi Says:

    Oh, these look wonderful. I’m looking at the recipe from a States perspective, where some of our names are different and some things aren’t easy to get. I hope this helps any other Americans that come across this!

    Caster sugar is a finer version of granulated sugar. You can probably get it at Williams-Sonoma or other gourmet food shop.
    Vanilla bean paste you can find at Williams-Sonoma. I KNOW they carry it.
    Bicarb soda is known in the States as baking soda, and when you see it together with vinegar in a recipe, you can substitute baking powder for them both.

  15. Now that is mouth wateringly beautiful!

  16. lauren Says:

    these look fantastic! i just made some chai spiced buttermilk pancakes (the recipe is on my blog)

    i can’t wait to try these. cupcakes are my one weakness.

  17. Kita Says:

    These were awesome cupcakes. Everyone loved them and are saying that they want me to bring in more. Thanks for sharing the recipe 😀

  18. Michele Says:

    Hi..I am going to make these tomorrow and was wondering if I could adapt them to mini cupcakes and if so, how long would you recommend cooking them for? They look amazing! Thank you for any help!

    • somemoreplease Says:

      Hey Michele,

      They can definitely be adapted into mini cupcakes – I recommend maybe 10-15 minutes but keep an eye on them. As soon as they look set just lightly press the top and when they spring back they are done. You could also insert a toothpick to check if they are done. Good luck!

  19. Matt Says:

    Oh, come down off your high pedestal about the “chai tea” thing, jesus! You really need to cool it with the contrived idea that you are so wise and learned. Your average person knows no Hindi and really doesn’t care about the redundancy. They just want their tea. And they don’t have to be a self-proclaimed, self-obsessed aficionado ritualist to enjoy it.

    • somemoreplease Says:


      I’m fairly sure in my little space of the interwebs I can be as self-proclaimed and self-obsessed as I like, and yep – I’m a godamn snob when it comes to food.

      Glad someone finally noticed

  20. These are INCREDIBLE! I only changed one thing – added about 1/4 tsp of salt into the batter. I was nervous to bake them without any salt. They turned out wonderful! Thanks for your comment on my blog – I didn’t even realize these originally came from you! I updated my post to link to you – you definitely deserve credit for these, they are a hit with everyone who tries them 🙂

  21. zodiac signs Says:

    awesome , it looks great

  22. […] from, Some More Please, seen on […]

  23. […] from, Some More Please, seen on […]

  24. Heather Says:

    Hi! We are featuring these today in a roundup of exotic beverage flavored cupcakes! They look delicious!

  25. myra Says:

    this sounds so delicious and i want to try and make it…i’m not too good with the grams so i was wondering what exactly does the 100g of butter convert to in cups and same with the 125g of sugar.

    thanks for posting the recipe and hopefully you can help me with the conversion to cups if possible…thanks again in advance.

  26. myra Says:

    sorry….me again…i noticed my little error in the conversions needed.
    it’s actually the 100g of butter in the batter mix and the 125g of butter in the buttercream recipe

    thank you again.

    • somemoreplease Says:

      Hello Myra,

      I would use 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) for both the cupcakes and the buttercream.

      Good luck!

      • myra Says:

        thank you so much…i made these for Easter and it was a hit…and the aroma in the house was just so yummy.
        it tastes just like a soy chai latte from starbucks.

        thank you again for sharing the recipe =)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: