Chai Spice Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream


I have a horrible addiction to Chai Spice. Despite the fact that I’ve done absolutely nothing to beat it, it lingers. These cupcakes are everything that is right in the world blended with Christmas and topped with clouds of delight. Trust me. I know these things.

This recipe uses the spice combination that the brilliant Megan from What Megan’s Making uses in her Vanilla Chai Cupcakes but the recipe base is different. The caramel drizzle on top is completely optional, but delicious.


Chai Spice Cupcakes

Yield about 35-40 cupcakes (can be halved easily and still works well)


  • 3/4 tsp Cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp Cloves
  • 3-1/2 Cups Cake Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Canola Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract (Substitute with Vanilla Bean Paste for added depth)
  • 1-1/3 Cups Milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, sift the first five spices, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
  3. Add butter and mix for around three minutes until you have a crumble texture.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egs, sour cream, oil and vanilla.
  5. Add to the flour mixture until just combined.
  6. Slowly add the milk to the mixture until just combined. The batter will be liquid. I use a rubber spatula after to scrape the sides and bottom to make sure to fully mix the ingredients without over-mixing.
  7. Fill cupcake liners with around 1/4 cup of batter.
  8. Bake for 14-17 minutes. Check with a toothpick, if it comes out clean then they’re done.
  9. Set them on a cooling rack to fully cool before icing.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Yield about 24-30 Cupcakes (depending on piping/spreading)


  • 4 Sticks of Unsalted Butter
  • 4 Cups of Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Bean (Can be substituted with 1 Tbsp of extract)
  • 1-1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract


  1. Cream butter in stand mixer until smooth.
  2. Halve the vanilla bean with a paring knife and scrape the seeds inside into the butter.
  3. Mix the powdered sugar in using 1/2 cup at a time.
  4. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. If you’re going to spread using a knife, I recommend heating it slightly if it is too stiff.

6 thoughts on “Chai Spice Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

    • Thanks! It’s really delicious. It’s like a spice cake. The buttercream is so simple and rich. It’s not too sweet like some others. My husband likes to add about another 1/8-1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Let me know if you try it out, and thanks for commenting!

    • Let me know how they turn out for you! I’ve got a lot of friends who have these as their personal favorite!

  1. Yum! I’m thinking of starting to bake cupcakes and I think your recipe will be very helpful. You sounded like they are easy to make but I would have to try to find out.

    • This was actually one of the first cupcake recipes that I decided to try out. Now I make lots of cupcakes. Like, it’s what my friends all know me for. I’m actually fairly certain that it’s why I get invited to parties lol. Good luck and let me know if they work out for you or if you have any questions!

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