Dirty Chai Cupcakes

Dirty chai cupcakes

Yields 12

If you are a fan of Chai tea and dirty (coffee spiked) Chai lattes, this is a way to incorporate those wonderfully earthy flavors into your baked goods.


For the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk

For the espresso buttercream:

  • 220 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder


For the cake:

  1. Make Combine the ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves in a small bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.
  3. Next, add the egg and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and a teaspoon of the spice mixture. Gradually add flour, alternating with milk, to creamed mixture beating well after each addition.
  5. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 180C for roughly 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For the espresso buttercream:

  1. Whisk the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved then set aside.
  2. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered a few tablespoons at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more.
  4. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and mix at medium-high speed until it is completely incorporated.
  6. Dollop or pipe the icing onto the cupcakes and decorate with coffee beans and cocoa powder.