Skip to main content

Chai Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Filling and Cinnamon Buttercream

Chai Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Filling and Cinnamon Buttercream

These Chai Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Filling and Cinnamon Buttercream taste so creamy and buttery, but they are actually vegan! Spiced with chai and pumpkin pie flavors, they are anything but boring.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 12Servings


Chai Cupcakes:

  • 1 scant cup non-dairy milk
  • 4 black tea bags or 2 tbsp loose black tea
  • 1/4 cup dark or spiced rum
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or plain non dairy yogurt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch to 1/8 teaspoon ground white or black pepper

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

  • 1/2 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, you want plain pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch (cornstarch would work too)
  • 1/4 c sugar or maple syrup or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoon spiced rum

Cinnamon Buttercream:

  • 1/4 cup nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
  • 1/4 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
  • 1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoon non-dairy milk


1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line muffin pan with cupcake liners. 

2.  Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until almost boiling. Add tea bags, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then squeeze all the excess milk from the tea bag/leaves and discard. Measure the tea mixture, and rather than top off with milk, top off with rum, so the mixture equals 1 cup of liquid. (This is why you can even start off with a little bit less milk then add as needed). 

3.  In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and the tea mixture until smooth. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and all the spices into the wet ingredients. Mix until smooth. Fill cupcake liners and bake about 20 to 22 minutes until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool. 

4. To make Pumpkin Pie Filling: Combine everything but the vanilla and the rum in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until well combined and smooth, then cook until it just starts to boil, stirring frequently. The mixture should smooth out even more and then thicken to a thick, custard-like consistency. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and rum. 

5. To make the Cinnamon Buttercream: Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined. Add the sugar and cinnamon and beat for another about 3 minutes more. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the non dairy milk. Beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy. If it is too dry add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. 

6. To assemble:  Put the pumpkin pie filling in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Using your pinky finger, poke a hole in each cupcake. Fill with as much pumpkin pie filling as you can, leaving a nice round dollop of filling on top of the cupcake. Fit a separate piping bag with a star tip and fill with the cinnamon buttercream. Pipe little star flowers all around the pumpkin. Garnish with a sprig of something green.

Recipe adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World