These Chai Latte Cupcakes are super fluffy and are packed with tons of flavour from both the buttercream and the sponge. They are dark, spiced and deliciously warming which make them perfect for cosy indoor baking, especially during autumn or winter. Pair one with a hot drink (perhaps a chai latte!) and you've got a match made in heaven!
Ingredient Tips & Equipment Information
- Make sure all your ingredients (particularly the butter and eggs) are at room temperature before you start baking.
- I really recommend using light brown soft sugar if you can, as it gives the cupcakes a lovely caramel flavour. But if you can't get hold of it, you can use golden caster sugar or regular caster sugar (superfine sugar) instead.
- I used unsalted butter for the buttercream, for the cupcakes I used a baking spread (I like Stork).
- Although I provide cup measurements, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients out using digital kitchen scales*. It is the most accurate way to measure ingredients and will ensure the best results. Digital scales are very low cost and can be purchased for around £12 ($16.50) .
- For teaspoon (tsp) and tablespoon (tbsp) measurements, please use measuring spoons* and not the type of spoons you eat with. Again this will ensure accuracy and provide the best results.
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make Chai Latte Cupcakes
Start by warming up the milk, add the chai spiced tea bags to it and leave them to brew for around 10 minutes. Before removing them, squeeze them out as much as you can. To make the cupcakes, start by whisking the light brown sugar and butter together.
Then add the eggs and vanilla, and whisk them in. Next, add the tea infused milk, self raising flour, bicarbonate of soda and all of the spices.
Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and bake them for 20-25 minutes until they are golden on top and a skewer comes out clean. I let them cool completely. To make the buttercream, mix together butter, icing sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves, cardamom and the tea infused milk.
How long do the cupcakes last for and can they be frozen?
The cupcakes will last for 2-3 days in an airtight container in a cool place. You can freeze both the cupcakes and the buttercream (but do not freeze the cinnamon sticks and star anise). To freeze them separately, wrap the cupcakes well in cling film or put them in an airtight container. The buttercream can be frozen in a sealed tub. To freeze them decorated, freeze the cupcakes on a plate until frozen solid, then carefully wrap in cling film. Remove the clingfilm when you take the cupcakes out of the freezer to defrost, as if they defrost with it still on it could damage the buttercream.
Can you make the cupcakes with plain/all purpose flour?
Self raising flour, which is very commonly used in the UK where I am based, already contains a raising agent and a little salt too. Therefore if you want to swap it for plain or all purpose flour, you will need to add some additional baking powder and also a little salt if you like. Some people like to add salt to cake recipes and some don't, so I'll leave that up to you as it won't affect the bake. The general advice is to add 2 teaspoons baking powder (a measuring teaspoon, not the kind you stir your coffee with) per every 200g plain or all purpose flour. So for this recipe you'd need to add 2 teaspoons baking powder. Please note, I have not tested this recipe using plain or all purpose flour.
Can the cupcakes be made gluten or dairy free?
Yes! For gluten free you can replace the self raising flour with a gluten free self raising flour blend. If you only have a gluten free plain flour blend, you will need to add baking powder. The general advice is to add 2 tsp baking powder per 200g flour, so for this recipe you'd need to add 2 teaspoons baking powder. You may also like to add ¼ tsp Xantham Gum for better texture. For a dairy free version, use a dairy free baking spread for the cupcakes and the buttercream, and a dairy free milk for the tea infused milk.
What is a chai latte?
A chai latte is a tea based drink that's infused with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger. Frothy milk is then added to create a creamy drink. Although lattes are usually associated with coffee, a chai latte does not contain coffee. The drink originates from India, where it is commonly enjoyed without milk and known as "masala chai", which translates to "mixed spice tea". The word "chai" means "tea", so when you say "chai tea", you are in fact saying "tea tea"!
More tips for making the Chai Latte Cupcakes:
- I used a Wilton 1M nozzle to pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, but you can use any nozzle you prefer or spread it on with a spoon.
- The star anise and cinnamon stick decorations are optional (and although technically edible, you won't want to eat them!), you can decorate with the cinnamon sugar only if you prefer.
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- Cupcake tin
- Mixing bowls
- Cooling rack
- Kitchen scales
- Electric hand mixer
- Piping bags
- Wilton 1M Piping nozzle
- White cupcake cases
- Chai tea bags
*I earn a small amount of money if you buy the products after clicking on the links. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting The Baking Explorer!
Chai Latte Cupcakes
For the chai tea infused milk
- 150 ml Milk whole or semi-skimmed
- 4 Chai tea bags
For the cupcake sponge
- 90 ml Chai tea infused milk
- 135 g Butter or baking spread softened, unsalted
- 135 g Light brown soft sugar
- 2 Eggs large
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 200 g Self raising flour
- ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Ground ginger
- ¼ tsp Ground cloves
- ¼ tsp Ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp Ground nutmeg
For the buttercream
- 2 ½ tbsp Chai tea infused milk
- 200 g Butter softened, unsalted
- 400 g Icing sugar
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp Ground cardamom
- ⅛ tsp Ground cloves
For the cinnamon sugar
- ½ tbsp Demerara sugar
- A generous pinch of cinnamon (approx 1/16 tsp)
- To make the chai tea infused milk, warm up the milk until it is hot but not boiling, take it off the heat and add the chai spiced tea bags. Leave to brew for 10-15 minutes. Before removing them, squeeze them out as much as possible
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases
- In a mixing bowl mix together the butter and sugar, ideally using an electric mixer, until smooth
- Add the eggs and vanila extract, and whisk them in
- Add the self raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg, and whisk together gently
- Then mix in 90ml of the infused milk
- Divide the mixture the cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are golden on top and a thin skewer inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let them cool completely on a wire rack
- Make the icing by mixing together the butter, icing sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves, cardamom and tea infused milk. For best results use an electric whisk. If the buttercream is too stiff you can add a little more milk
- Pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake using a piping bag fitted with your chosen nozzle. Or spread on with a spoon
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place, and eat leftovers within 3 days