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Chai Tea Cupcakes - Recipe with Pictures

Updated on October 26, 2015
Chai Tea Cupcake
Chai Tea Cupcake | Source

What is Chai?

Chai, or masala chai, is a spiced tea beverage usually prepared with strong black tea, milk, sweetener, and a mixture of aromatic spices, such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and star anise. Considered a traditional drink in South Asia, chai's unique flavor and aroma have led to its worldwide popularity. Not only is it palate-pleasing, this fragrant drink also has a lot to offer when it comes to health benefits. Made with a variety of wholesome spices, chai tea is said to help the body fight colds, relieve nausea, increase appetite and promote better digestion.

Chai Tea Cupcakes

Who said chai can only be served in a tea cup? The idea of putting savory spices, such as cardamom and star anise, in cupcakes might be odd to some. "I'm making desserts, not curry!" you may say. But hey, remember this: baking can be a lot more fun when you're not afraid to embark on a little flavor adventure. I've seen many variations of chai cupcake recipes out there. People seem to enjoy adding their own spins to these tea desserts. Even Martha Stewart has her own version of chai cupcakes in one of her latest recipe books. So I, a venturesome baker with a huge appetite for bold flavors, decided to give my chai tea cupcakes a nice little twist as well. In my recipe, I use cinnamon as the dominant spice, brighten up the aroma with grated orange zest, and add some yogurt to give my cupcakes an interesting texture. The preparation is quite straightforward and non-laborious. Plus, there's no need to look for all the spices one by one; simply cut open your chai tea bags and pour the powder into your cupcake mix. Sometimes, cheating is the way to go!

Please Rate This Cupcake Recipe

5 stars from 6 ratings of Chai Tea Cupcake

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 10 - 12 regular cupcakes
Grated Orange Zest
Grated Orange Zest | Source

***The grated orange zest is optional. I enjoy my chai cupcakes much better with it than without it, though. It goes very well with the chai spices, and also adds brightness and depth to the aroma of the cupcakes.***

Chai Cupcakes - Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp chai powder, (about 2 tea bags)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine or butter, (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk, (whole or low-fat)
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest, (optional)
Lining Muffin Tins with Paper Cups
Lining Muffin Tins with Paper Cups | Source
Chai Cupcake Batter
Chai Cupcake Batter | Source
Chai Cupcakes - Ready to Be Baked!
Chai Cupcakes - Ready to Be Baked! | Source

How to Make Chai Tea Cupcakes from Scratch

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, chai powder, ground cinnamon and salt. Stir together well with a whisk. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream sugar and margarine (or butter) until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg, yogurt, milk and oange zest. Mix together until well-combined.
  5. Put half of the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Beat together well. Then add the rest of the flour mixture, and beat together until well-blended.
  6. Line your muffin tins with paper cups. Fill about 2/3 of each cup with your chai cupcake batter.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove your chai tea cupcakes from the oven and muffin tins.
  9. Allow them to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Decorate with chai frosting (recipe follows).
Chai Tea Cupcakes - Cooling on a Wire Rack
Chai Tea Cupcakes - Cooling on a Wire Rack | Source
Chai Cupcakes with Frosting and Cinnamon Stick
Chai Cupcakes with Frosting and Cinnamon Stick | Source

How to Make Chai Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients - 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine or butter (softened), 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, 1 tbsp milk, 1/2 tbsp chai powder, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation - Beat together margarine and sugar until light and smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until well-combined. If your frosting is too thick and heavy, add a little more milk.

Chai Cupcakes - Calorie and Nutrition Info

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cupcake (without frosting)
Calories 198
Calories from Fat27
% Daily Value *
Fat 3 g5%
Saturated fat 1 g5%
Unsaturated fat 2 g
Carbohydrates 17 g6%
Sugar 20 g
Protein 4 g8%
Cholesterol 23 mg8%
Sodium 62 mg3%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

***These nutrition facts are based on the above recipe, using trans-fat-free margarine, regular yogurt and 2% reduced fat milk.***

© 2013 Om Paramapoonya


Submit a Comment

  • GmaGoldie profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 3 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

    Fascinating! I would have never thought of this and I love Chai Tea. Great idea! Thank you!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

    @khmazz - Glad you're going to try this chai tea cupcake recipe. Thanks a lot for dropping by :)

  • khmazz profile image

    Kristen Mazzola 4 years ago from South Florida

    This looks amazing!!! I love chai tea, I am going to have to give these a try! Thanks for sharing!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

    @Kathryn Stratford - Thanks. Glad you like this cupcake idea. Hope you give this recipe a try sometime soon. You won't be disappointed, I promise :)

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    This looks delicious! I haven't made cupcakes in many years, but if I were to make some, it would be this. I love the many flavors of chai tea, and the orange zest sounds like a fantastic addition! They look decadent, too. And the frosting looks so tasty.

  • Emma Harvey profile image

    Emma Kisby 4 years ago from Berkshire, UK

    We have so many different types of tea. Chai is one I need to put on the list for sure!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

    @Emma Harvey - Seriously? You've never had it? I thought chai would be somewhat popular in the UK. Well, don't forget to put it on your shopping list next time!

  • Emma Harvey profile image

    Emma Kisby 4 years ago from Berkshire, UK

    Oooh, these look lovely. You know, I've never tried Chai tea before but it sounds like the sort of thing I'd love. These cakes look very appealing - must give this a go.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

    @lindacee - Heh heh, sorry for making you hungry. Go bake yourself some chai tea cupcakes then! :)

  • lindacee profile image

    lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

    Super Hub. I really didn't know anything about chai tea (except I love it), so thanks for the explanation. I also enjoyed your yummy recipe, tutorial and photos. You've made me very hungry! I can see chai tea cupcakes in my immediate future!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

    @beingwell & Peggy W - Thanks a lot, guys, for your kind comments and votes :)

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

    I love chai tea and I believe that I have some in the house along with all sorts of other teas. Innovative way to use them as seasonings in cupcakes! Your pictures are great and thanks for sharing this recipe with us. Giving it 5 stars.

  • beingwell profile image

    beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

    Nice! This one's new om! What a unique way to enjoy chai! Voting up!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

    @randomcreative - I'm glad you're intrigued and would love to hear how your chai tea cupcakes turn out. Thanks for dropping by, Rose.

    @livingsta - Yeah, I can see how they might be great for winter days, but I can actually enjoy them any day, any time! heheee

    @bridalletter - I hope your son likes them. And thank a lot for the pin!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

    @Arun Kanti - You're very welcome.

    @chuckd7138 - You're welcome, and happy baking! Hope you enjoy your chai cupcakes.

    @vibesites - If you like aromatic spices, you will very likely enjoy these cupcakes. Hope you give this recipe a go soon!

    @akirchner - Yeah, I see what you mean about the aftertaste. I like chai but wouldn't say it's my most favorite tea. In fact, I prefer eating chai cupcakes to drinking chai tea! lol

    @PaisleeGal - Thanks a lot for your kind comment and vote. Glad you're going to try the recipe!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

    @The Dirt Farmer - Thanks a lot for stopping by. Really appreciate your vote and pin!

    @Theclevercat - Yeah, I love how we can see the tea powder in the cupcakes as well....kind of like tea confetti. lol

    @Angelo52 - They are delicious indeed! Hope you give this chai cupcake recipe a try sometime.

    @rebeccamealey - Thanks, Rebecca. So glad you stopped by.

    @Rajan Jolly - Thanks for your comment and vote, Rajan. Glad you found the recipe interesting.

  • bridalletter profile image

    Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

    I can't thank you enough for sharing such a wonderful recipe. My son will love it. I am going to surprise him with those on his graduation in May this year. Sharing on Pinterest. So excited, I bet they smell sensational!

  • livingsta profile image

    livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

    Your recipes are unique and easy to prepare. Chai cupcakes! Interesting. This must be delicious too, especially for an evening tea, on a rainy or winter's evening. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Votes up, sharing and pinning!

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    I love Chai tea, but I've never baked with it before. I'm intrigued now! I'll let you know if I give this a try.

  • PaisleeGal profile image

    Pat Materna 4 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

    Chai tea is a favorite of mine. I don't do lots of baking but think I will have to give these a try. Interesting hub . voted up

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 4 years ago from Washington

    I'm not a chai tea fan--I don't know why--the flavors just don't excite me and I always feel like I have an aftertaste in my mouth~ That said though, I know it's supposed to be "better" for you - and this might be a way to sneak it past me without me knowing! I love the orange zest addition...anything citrus is so delicious. Your pics (as always) are great and your instructions easy to follow. I might give these a try...especially for my daughter who loves chai tea~ If Martha can do it....go girls~

  • vibesites profile image

    vibesites 4 years ago from United States

    I love the speckles on the cupcake. I think I'm going to love the taste since I'm partial to aromatic spices. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Voted up and useful. :)

  • chuckd7138 profile image

    Charles Dawson 4 years ago from Bartow, FL

    I absolutely love chai, and I cannot wait to try making these. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  • ARUN KANTI profile image


    Thank you very much for the useful hub with interesting receipe

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Looks lovely and delicious. Thanks for sharing this different but interesting recipe.

    Voted up, interesting and shared.

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    The Chai tea cupcakes are quite intriguing. Fantastic instructions and photos! Voted awesome! Shared!

  • Angelo52 profile image

    Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Nice recipe. The cupcake ingredients are tasty as I am sure the finished cupcadkes are. Voted up and shared.

  • theclevercat profile image

    Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    These are beautiful... I especially love the way the powder appears throughout. Voted up!

  • The Dirt Farmer profile image

    Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

    This sounds yummy--and your top picture is so cute! Shared, pinned & voted up.