Vanilla Chai Cupcakes*

The other night I walked into my baby sister’s room and looked at her walls. They are covered with pictures of boys and her idols, just like my walls were in high school. There are magazine cutouts of boys with no shirts (that I may or may not have checked out for a few long seconds…Taylor Lautner is sexay!!!), images of Lady Gaga with her boobies on fire, and pictures my sister and her friends being incredibly silly and having a blast. And I thought…when did I stop doing that on my walls? Oh ya, when I got my own apartment and brought boys back to it and thought they wouldn’t want to kiss me with David Beckham watching them in nothing but his Armani tighty whities.

And then I thought what would be on my walls today if I still did that? A picture of my KitchenAid Stand Mixer hard at work with a ball of dough? Jamie Oliver, shirtless, in his garden, next to his outdoor kitchen? Clorox cleanup wipes being used by my husband to clean…everything? Yes…yes those would be some of the things to grace my walls these days. I think I would also have some of my favorite food porn pictures…these cupcakes included! They were great, perfectly spiced and a break from chocolate is always welcomed!


Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes


For the cake:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 quantity chai spice mix (recipe to follow)
1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Chai Spice Mix
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the Vanilla Chai Buttercream:
2 stick (1 cup) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 quantity chai spice mix
1-2 tablespoons cold milk, if needed


For the cake:
Mix spices together in small bowl.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

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 over mix. Mix together the baking soda and vinegar and mix into the batter.

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

For the buttercream:
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 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.Then pipe onto cooled cupcakes with your favorite frosting tip.

TNCB Original

Pin It!

  Pin It

72 Responses to “Vanilla Chai Cupcakes”

  1. 1

    Eva — September 7, 2010 @ 1:50 am

    Ah! Your vanilla chai cupcakes look amazing.

  2. 2

    Paula — September 7, 2010 @ 3:49 am

    oh, I looove cupcakes!

  3. 3

    Christine — September 7, 2010 @ 8:14 am

    OMG! These look delish – I have to make them!

  4. 4

    ErinsFoodFiles — September 7, 2010 @ 9:24 am

    These sound delicious!

  5. 5

    megan @ whatmegansmaking — September 7, 2010 @ 9:34 am

    oh my, I can’t wait to try these. My husband loves spice cake, and we both love chai tea, so this seems like a great dessert for us. Now i just need a reason to make cupcakes! How about it’s tuesday…is that enough of a reason?

  6. 6

    Alison — September 7, 2010 @ 9:56 am

    Saw your recipe on FoodGawker next to mine. Looks fabulous! Love your site!

  7. 7

    TheKitchenWitch — September 7, 2010 @ 10:35 am

    MMMMM, nothing sexier than a picture of my man with a Clorox wipe in his hand! Well, okay, these cupcakes come close.

  8. 8

    Rella — September 7, 2010 @ 10:41 am

    These look divine!

  9. 9

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — September 7, 2010 @ 10:45 am

    These look incredible! I love the little flecks of chai spice (and, homemade spice – impressive!) in the frosting. Great job on these!

  10. 10

    Krystal R. — September 7, 2010 @ 11:36 am

    Awesome Jess, I can’t believe I won!!! I was laughing at your post on the part about the food porn pics. I totally picture a KA mixer with the chewy ooey gooey brownies…that’s hot! 😉

  11. 11

    Becki D — September 7, 2010 @ 11:43 am


  12. 12

    Barbara — September 7, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

    Beautiful cupcakes, Jessica. I love your chai spice recipe; I’m going to use it for lots of things!

  13. 13

    Josie — September 7, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

    Those look awesome – I’ve had a mild chai obsession lately – adding these to my “to make” list!

  14. 14

    Biren @ Roti n Rice — September 7, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

    These cupcakes look awesome. It must taste great too with that vanilla chai mix.

  15. 15

    tigerfish — September 7, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

    But I love chocolate, don’t give them a break! lol….ok….I love chocolate, the comes vanilla :)

  16. 16

    OohLookBel — September 7, 2010 @ 9:14 pm

    Heehee, a KitchenAid poster would be on my wall, too! I have some chai milk powder that would go perfectly in these cupcakes, so I’m going to steal the recipe. Thanks :)

  17. 17

    Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets — September 7, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

    I’m not married with a family yet, but I know what you mean other than that. It’s funny how much my interests have changed. These cupcakes look awesome. Wish I could get my frosting so perfect.

  18. 18

    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — September 7, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

    These sound like the perfect cupcakes for fall! And PS – I’m 29 years old and in a happy relationship with my bf, but I am not ashamed to admit that I have seriously considered hanging a poster of a shirtless Taylor Lautner on my wall…

  19. 19

    Monet — September 8, 2010 @ 12:11 am

    I adore chai lattes…and I know that I would adore these little beauties! I love the cinnamon stick on top. Such a cute addition. Thank you for sharing with me!

  20. 20

    delicieux — September 8, 2010 @ 12:15 am

    Mmmm these look so good and I love chai. Another thing to add to my ever growing must cook list.

    Maybe I’m odd, but I was never really into plastering my walls with posters. However, having said that (now that I think about it), now that I’ve met my lovely boyfriend our house is full of framed photos of us smiling and happy, along with my desk at work.

  21. 21

    ellecupcake — September 8, 2010 @ 12:16 am

    That was such a great post! And such a cute story about your little sister :) I definitley remember doing the same thing. Those cupcakes look absolutely amazing.

  22. 22

    Rosa — September 8, 2010 @ 3:50 am

    Cute cupcakes! One beautiful flavor!



  23. 23

    Jackie — September 8, 2010 @ 4:53 am

    Haha, gosh, I remember those days. I literally had my walls plastered with posters of a certain boyband of whom I dare not speak their name now. Nowadays I have photos of friends, but if I did have to have a pin-up… it’d probably be Ina Garter.

    Gorgeous recipe! The cupcakes are adorable =)

    Jax x

  24. 24

    Cakelaw — September 8, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

    These cupcakes on the wall sure would spice up things in the bedroom – literally with those chai spices. They look and sound delicious.

  25. 25

    Vanilla chai cupcakes | Love Cupcakes — September 8, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

    […] Find out how to make these vanilla chai cupcakes at The Novice Chef. […]

  26. 26

    Vanilla Chai Cupcakes « Cakeology — September 9, 2010 @ 10:28 am

    […] Chai Cupcakes September 9, 2010 by Cakeology Check out these gorgeous cupcakes by The Novice Chef.  Looking at them makes us long for crisp Autumn days when we can drink hot spiced apple cider and […]

  27. 27

    Kerstin — September 9, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

    Chai is my favorite and I love adding cardamom to everything – I can just imagine how much I would LOVE these!

  28. 28

    Jodi — September 10, 2010 @ 8:29 am

    these cupcakes look divine!! And I so loved your take on what would be posted on your walls. Thanks for my morning giggle!

  29. 29

    Brianna — September 10, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

    going in my little RECIPE BOOK as we speak,
    THANKS SO MUCH for sharing all of your WONDERFUl recipes

  30. 30

    chai me! « that's forking good — October 9, 2010 @ 4:28 am

    […] of cold-weather months before it actually feels cold, I give you vanilla chai cupcakes, courtesy of The Novice Chef. Nothing I’ve made thus far has made the house smell more incredible than these babies, and […]

  31. 31

    Vanilla Chai Cupcakes | gimme some oven — November 17, 2010 @ 10:35 am

    […] Vanilla Chai Cupcakes Recipe (Adapted from The Novice Chef Blog) […]

  32. 32

    Vanilla Chai Cupcakes | Pass The Sushi! — January 16, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    […] from […]

  33. 33

    Andi — January 16, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

    I just made these as mini cupcakes for work. They are a bite of pure joy!

  34. 34

    Brittney — January 22, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

    I just made these cupcakes and my husband said they were “hands down, the best cupcakes ever!”
    But I had one question – is the powdered sugar amount correct? I used WAY more than 2 cups, probably more like 1-1.5 pounds to get my frosting to a good consistency.
    Thanks for a great recipe, this is going in my arsenal of special treats!

    • Jessica replied: — January 23rd, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

      I am so glad y’all liked them Brittney! They are definitely one of our favorites! Sometimes with frosting the amount of powdered sugar can differ. Things like how soft your butter is can really affect how much sugar you will have to use to get the desired consistency.

  35. 35

    Vanilla Chai Cupcakes — March 4, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

    […] adapted from, Some More Please, seen on […]

  36. 36

    Trilogy Edibles - Karen — April 27, 2011 @ 7:56 am

    These are awesome and I used your recipe in my Treat Day Wednesday and linked back to your blog.

    Loved them!

  37. 37

    K. Gardner — May 5, 2011 @ 5:42 pm


    I love your blog. I made your red velvet cupcakes and they were delish! I am having a difficult time finding a delicious Vanilla or Vanilla Bean cupcake recipe. I find that Vanilla cupcakes have a tendency to dry out for some strange reason. Do you have any fool proof Vanilla cupcakes under your belt?

    What about butter cake recipes? That also dries out easily unless you get the boxed cake.


  38. 38

    Lex — July 12, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

    I made these last night for a wedding this weekend (I am a wedding planner and do some baking on the side!) I am not a big cake fan at all, but I LOVE THIS RECIPE! Seriously the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. Never going back to plain old vanilla and chocolate!!!

  39. 39

    P — August 2, 2011 @ 8:15 am

    these look amazing, bookmarking!

  40. 40

    heather chérie photography | mommy monday | vanilla chai cupcakes. — October 10, 2011 @ 10:32 am

    […] these look yummy?! What a great dessert for a fall party!  HERE is the […]

  41. 41

    Jaclyn Leong — October 31, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    OMG !! I tried this recipe today and it was to die for !! The best chai cupcakes I’ve tasted and I’ve also converted my friends and family to liking chai ! Definitely keeping this recipe :)

    • Jessica replied: — November 1st, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

      So glad to hear it Jaclyn! They are a favorite of my friends too!!

  42. 42

    Laura — November 1, 2011 @ 11:41 am

    I made these last night. Note: the recipe makes 12. I added a 1/2 tsp of salt since there was none listed. AMAZING.

    • Jessica replied: — November 1st, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

      So glad they turned out well Laura!

      Thanks for the update on how many cupcakes it makes. Despite every time I have made this recipe since…I never remembered to update the yield! I have updated it above now though thanks to you! :-)

      I have never added salt to these though…might give it a try next time. But really, I have never missed it!

  43. 43

    Lorna — November 4, 2011 @ 1:40 am

    These cupcakes are fantastic! Made them today, they are so light and scrumptious! I love chai latte, and vanilla in baking, so these ticked all my boxes! Thanks heaps 😀

    • Jessica replied: — November 15th, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

      So glad they turned out well Lorna! 😀 They are definitely one of my favorites!

  44. 44

    Dorota — November 12, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    mine didn’t quite turn out and I tried twice! They didn’t bake inside but were burnt on the top even though the temp. was correct, and they grew insanely much, and than they just collapsed. But the batter was so delicious that I only had enough of it for 10 cupcakes!

    • Jessica replied: — November 15th, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

      Hmmm. I wonder if something was wrong with your baking soda?

      If you read above, many other readers have tried out this recipe with awesome results. So I think maybe one of your ingredients was off? Or possibly our oven might be playing tricks on you?

      Either way, I’m sorry they didn’t work out right! I really hate when that happens :-(

  45. 45

    Kay Hiller — January 2, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

    Made these today. My photos are not as nice as yours, but the cupcakes taste wonderful anyway. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jessica replied: — January 2nd, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

      Oh yay! So glad you liked them Kay! They are one of my favorites!! 😉

  46. 46

    Sarah — January 3, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    What tip did you use?

    • Jessica replied: — January 3rd, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

      I use the large closed star tip from Bake It Pretty.

  47. 47

    Sarah — January 3, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

    Oh thanks! I can not wait to try these… they look AMAZING! :)

  48. 48

    CUPCAKES! « simmertainment — February 29, 2012 @ 11:05 pm

    […] Chai Cupcake recipe found at The Novice Chef […]

  49. 49

    Reggi — March 4, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

    I made these today as well. They turned out really well. I plan on saving this recipe for future baking projects. Definitely a nice change from chocolate. :)

  50. 50

    Patsy — March 6, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

    Do you think these will be okay without the cardamom? Or is there anything I could use in it’s place? I really want to try these but can’t see spending the $11 for a few ounces of one spice :)

    • Jessica replied: — March 7th, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

      Hey Patsy! I think it will still be tasty if you skip the cardamom…just not the traditional Chai flavor.

      If you happen to have a Fresh Market around you, they sell spices like cardamom in small batches for really cheap! Just a suggestion! :)

  51. 51

    Patsy — March 7, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

    Thank you! We don’t have A Fresh Market around here :( So, I tried it anyway and they were delicious yet they taste more like gingerbread cupcakes without the cardamom. That’s okay though my family thinks they are wonderful, thank you!

  52. 52

    Jae shin — April 3, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

    This cupcake is soooo yummy, I’m baking my 2nd batch now. This recipe made 1 dozen and I shared with my mother in law. Thank u!!

  53. 53

    Marie — April 13, 2012 @ 5:14 am

    I made two batches in the last few days, the first one without cardamom and with allspice instead which turned out great, but tasted just like a spice cake, and the second on I decided I needed to make with cardamom so I bought some and it turned out better than I imagined, the frosting is delicious, I could eat it all if I wanted to. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  54. 54

    Vanilla Chai Cupcakes — June 15, 2012 @ 12:35 am

    […] defended her dissertation today and cupcakes were definitely in order! I’ve been holding onto this recipe just for her because like myself, she loves chai tea lattes! I don’t consider myself the best […]

  55. 55

    Food #1: Trio of Cupcakes « s.e.m.times — June 15, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

    […] The recipe for the chai cupcakes (including frosting) can be found here. […]

  56. 56

    Nichole — August 17, 2012 @ 11:23 am

    Fabulously delicious cupcakes! I was looking for a vanilla cupcake – then I came across these and figured…hmm, Chai, why not!
    They are amazing!
    Also, I made a few simple revisions – I substituted the butter in the cupcakes for apple sauce (as a healthier alternative) and they still turned out very moist! I also used red wine vinegar as I didn’t have apple cider.
    Thanks for a great recipe!

  57. 57

    Isabel — September 7, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

    I made these last month and they were sooo good! My cousin came by 3 days later and tasted one and she LOVED it! She requested them for her bday this weekend. Thank you for sharing!

  58. 58

    Outlets and Inlets | Inky Twin Eats — October 13, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

    […] this cupcake. […]

  59. 59

    Danielle — November 21, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    I made these about a month ago and they were fantastic! They taste just like a chai tea latte. Thank you for the recipe!

  60. 60

    Chai Latte Cupcakes - White Lights on Wednesday — February 19, 2013 @ 10:47 am

    […] from A Spicy Perspective    ][    Buttercream from The Novice Chef   Makes 12 cupcakes   Ingredients: Chai Latte Cupcakes ½ cup unsalted butter ½ cup sugar 2/3 […]

  61. 61

    Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with White Star Cookie Toppers | Make Me Cake Me — May 21, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

    […] CHAI CUPCAKES WITH VANILLA CHAI BUTTERCREAM FROSTING – Barely tweaked from The Novice Chef Blog Makes one dozen cupcakes with a big swirl of […]

  62. 62

    Hannah — May 28, 2013 @ 3:06 am

    Can I use chai tea bags instead of chai spice mix
    P.s these look super amazing and I can’t wait to try them

  63. 63

    Judy — July 17, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

    Made these tonight, they are delicious

  64. 64

    vanilla chai cupcakes | Lauren Ashley — January 14, 2014 @ 10:11 am

    […] Christmas break, we found all of the necessary spices (there are a lot!) and got to work. I used this recipe and have to say, they turned out pretty good! They even got my grandma’s seal of […]

Leave a Comment