Skip to main content

Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes

pumpkin chai cupcakes

As a lover of food, I heart Thanksgiving. To me, it is a holiday dedicated to the celebration of all the delicious Fall flavors. While pumpkin is the official mascot of Fall, I have noticed a new flavor popping up as well. Masala chai is a beverage originating in India prepared by brewing tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices. Chai spice mix doesn’t have an official recipe, different spice mixes are made in different areas. The spice mix generally includes ginger and cardamom as the base. Other spices that are added include cinnamon, star anise, peppercorn, clove, all-spice, and nutmeg. There is something so warm and soothing about these spices that I just can’t get enough of.

The pumpkin chai cupcakes are moist and delicious but not overly sweet. The chai tea concentrate adds a hint of spice to the cupcakes, but if you can’t find it, you can always just use water. These cupcakes are perfect on their own or they can be paired with chai spiced frosting for a sweeter, more decadent option. If you wanted to serve the cupcakes as a side dish, add ½ cup of craisins to the batter before baking and call them pumpkin muffins! These can also be made in a mini cupcake pan for a cuter presentation.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 36 cupcakesServings


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon or Jamie Geller Hawaij for Coffee
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pureed pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup chai tea concentrate such as Oregon Chai or water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chai Spiced Frosting

  • 2 lbs. confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 to 10 tablespoons chai tea concentrate, e.g. Oregon Chai
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line cupcake pans with 3 dozen cupcake liners.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, eggs, oil, chai tea concentrate, and vanilla. Mix until smooth.

4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and mix on low until smooth.

5. Distribute the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each one halfway.

6. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until the cupcakes spring back to the touch. Allow to cool before frosting.


1. In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle, combine confectioners' sugar, shortening, vanilla, and salt.

2. Slowly add the chai tea concentrate, and mix on low until smooth and creamy.

3. Mix in the spices.

4. Frost the cupcakes.