Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes

I think Halloween is soon.  I can’t tell since stores started selling candy corn in July.  Ju-ly.  No joke.  And since you’ve all been so good at staying out of the candy, I think you deserve an adult treat. It’s so nice that you’re saving the candy for the kids.  I have personally not eaten 2 bags of candy corn, an entire bag of those caramel apple lollipops, and a container of those honey pumpkins.  I resisted them all.  Oh, those wrappers over there?  Yeah, I live in the country and I have a baaad rat problem.  I’ve seen rats running around this place with caramel stuck in their whiskers.  Honest!  Someone should really tell them it’s a bad idea to eat that much candy in a week.  Something tells me they have a stomach ache.

So, like I was saying, I deserve some cupcakes.  Last year, I made y’all honey caramel corn to keep your sticky fingers out of the candy bowl.  (P.S. I like pumpkin now!)  This year, I thought I’d make you moist pumpkin cupcakes with chai buttercream.  The cupcakes are full of pumpkin flavor—I crammed a 1/2 cup of pumpkin into just 4 cupcakes! And the chai buttercream idea I stole from Jenna at Eat, Live, Run.  I love to start my day with her chai shakes (I add a handful of baby spinach and love it even more).

I hope y’all have a wonderful (and safe) Halloween.

5.0 from 12 reviews
Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes
Makes 4 cupcakes.
For the cupcakes:
  • 7 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the chai buttercream:
  • 1⅓ cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 chai tea bag + 2 tablespoons boiling water (or 2 teaspoons chai concentrate syrup)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with 4 cupcake liners.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, sugar and vegetable oil. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Don't overmix.
  4. Divide between the cupcake liners and bake for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. While the cupcakes cool, pour the boiling water over the chai tea bag and let steep for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add the brewed tea (or chai concentrate syrup) and mix well. Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool and serve.



  1. Ann from Montana says

    Beautiful cupcakes and recipe sounds wonderful….BUT, I think I apply the same rationale to cupcakes that you do to donuts…6 are a “serving” for 2…oh, but I am only 1 so I guess 4 would be fine…Cheers!! and thanks for the recipe.

  2. says

    These little guys are gorgeous! I love chai lattes with soy milk. Heaven.

    Also – thanks for reminding me to go pick up some of those caramel apple lollipops before they’re gone! Love those suckers.

    BA DOMP. chhhhhhh

  3. says

    I have a little pumpkin puree in the fridge from muffins, so I’m in the process of making these right now. They’re out of the oven (perfect rising!) and cooling to be frosted. Brilliant idea to use tea. Thanks so much!

  4. says

    I loooove Chai. Know the only thing better than Chai? Chai mixed with pumpkin…..in a CUPCAKE!! (I have the best ideas, right?–okay I”m totally stealing your thunder)

    And I have the same rat here at my house. But, he goes all out and eats the fun-size Snickers bars. Weird.

  5. says

    These sound great. I love the combination of chai and pumpkin–that sounds perfect together. I also love the way you piped them as well, so unique.

    I worked at a bakery where I made TONS of cupcakes a day–so I’m a little worn out from making them–but I have to say, you make me want to get in the kitchen and bake up a batch! :)

  6. says

    Haha oh Tina you crack me up girl! I have always loved chai so I can’t even imagine the addition with the pumpkin. Sounds sinful and something I’d like to dig my hands into instead of candy. Or uhhh maybe before I dig into some candy.

  7. says

    Made these tonight – they are great! Didn’t have any nutmeg in my apartment so I left it out and the cupcakes turned out fantastic. Recipe made 6 cupcakes. I also swapped out the chai frosting for cream cheese frosting and I think the cream cheese/ pumpkin combo made the cupcakes delicious. Thank you for the recipe!

  8. Amy Murphy says

    Made the cupcakes just a bit ago, substituting Stevia in the Raw for the white sugar, and they came out WONDERFULLY! Can’t wait to get the buttercream icing made later tonight and see how they taste at that point. Love the pumpkin flavor. The last pumpkin cupcakes I made were good, but these are definitely my favorite of the year!

  9. Amy Murphy says

    For whatever reason, when I left my first comment, it wouldn’t let me rate the recipe. Trying again for the rating!

  10. says

    Now I know what I can do with all my leftover pumpkin that’s sitting in the can. I’m gonna make these. ANd being of Indian origin, I LOVE CHAI! :-) I love the cake itself uses oil, and you just used butter for the frosting. Nice.

  11. April says

    These cupcakes are completely yummy! My whole family loved them and I was even told that this was THE BEST dessert I’ve ever made (and I’ve made a lot of desserts!). Thanks for a great recipe.

  12. sally says

    I just made these but the frosting came out way too melty and soft even though I let the tea sit to cool down. What can I do?

  13. Sheila kalajdzic says

    I just made some this morning. I made the icing a little different and I used applesauce instead of pumpkin. They turned out great! Thanks so much for sharing the small batch recipe. :)


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