In case your fall treats aren’t spiced enough, try these tasty Chai Pumpkin Cupcakes! These little cakes, made with a blend of chai and pumpkin spices, are topped with a light and fluffy whipped cream cheese, and might even remind you of your favorite morning latte!
Oh, it’s time for us to let our best, basic selves out.
Let’s just dive into these cupcakes, shall we?
JUST TAKE ME TO THE CHAI PUMPKIN CUPCAKES ALREADY!
If you’d rather skip my (pretty darn helpful) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this deliciously easy pumpkin cupcake recipe, just scroll right on down to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card!
It’s that time people!
If you weren’t keeping up this week, we’ve finally come to the wonderful season of chai and pumpkin spice everything!
I decided these two favorite fall flavors needed to come together to create the amazing chai-spiced pumpkin cupcakes!
Bake up a batch of these scrumptious goodies to “wow” your friends and family this season – or just keep them for yourself.
If you’re looking for fall cupcake ideas, your search is over! Just don’t forget to grab some cute fall sprinkles for a fun finishing touch!
What is Chai Spice Made Of?
So we know that chai lattes and such are delicious, but what exactly is chai spice?
Chai (Hindi for “tea”) is a mixture of many different spices, most famously known for their presence in tea-based lattes. Chai spice recipes can have varying ingredients, but my favorite easy chai spice recipe is the one that I use for this fall cupcake recipe.
Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper are all you need!
Expand to more than just your Starbucks order! Use my chai spice recipe to add a cozy, autumnal taste and feel to many of your favorite foods.
What is Pumpkin Pie Spice Made From?
Many people assume that allspice and pumpkin spice are interchangeable, but they’re actually not the same thing! Pumpkin pie spice includes allspice with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
Basically all the cozy flavors of fall, and the ones most commonly blended and put in pumpkin pie filling.
So, though they seem very similar, and can be used in a lot of the same recipes, pumpkin spice and chai spice are different!
A pumpkin spice blend does not include cardamom or pepper, which are both key ingredients in chai recipes.
What Frosting Goes Best On Pumpkin Cupcakes?
In my opinion, all cupcakes deserve a good cream cheese frosting. That is especially the case when it come to fall flavored cupcakes like these.
There’s no cozier treat than a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting!
When it comes to the chai pumpkin spice cupcakes, I decided a whipped cream cheese frosting was the answer. The heaviness of the spice needs a little bit of a lighter sweetness on top, one that doesn’t overwhelm the flavors inside the cake.
It’s basically a cream cheese flavored whipped cream, which is definitely a good flavor all around! And it kinda looks like the top of a cute chai latte, right?
Can I Turn This Recipe Into A Layer Cake?
Yes, you can! I recommend following the recipe for my Pumpkin Layer Cake for ingredient amounts, then just add in the additional spices to inject the chai flavors.
A double- or triple recipe of the frosting recipe will make more than enough to fill, frost, and decorate a lovely cake!
Tips for Baking Perfect Cupcakes
If you’re looking for the best cupcake recipes, you know I’ve got you. These chai pumpkin cupcakes will blow your freakin’ fall-lovin’ mind.
Though these cupcakes are already amazing, there are ways to make sure your chai pumpkin cupcakes will turn out to be your most perfect cupcake recipe yet!
- Use good quality ingredients such as real vanilla extract, rather than imitation vanilla. Trust me, you’ll be able to tell the difference!
- Avoid over-mixing or under-mixing your batter. These mistakes can result in tough cupcakes or one that is too crumbly or flaky. For a desirable texture, mix your cupcake batter until the ingredients are just combined – meaning just until there are no lumps of flour.
- Use a trigger ice cream scoop to portion out your cupcake batter. Baking your cupcakes all at the same size ensures that they will all reach the same level of doneness.
- Bake your cupcakes in the center of your oven. If you have multiple tins, rotate them halfway through baking so they come up evenly.
- Bake with the High-Low Method. Place your raw cupcakes into a 400 degrees F oven for 5 minutes, then reduce the temp to 350 degrees F for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cupcakes are done according to the recipe directions. This gets you perfectly domed cakes every time!
- Frost the entire top of your cupcakes. Frosting your cupcakes helps them retain moisture and keeps them from getting dry before you eat them!
LOOKING FOR MORE DELICIOUS PUMPKIN DESSERT RECIPES?
- Swirled Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
- Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Salted Caramel Pumpkin Ice Cream
- Bourbon Caramel Pumpkin Roll
- Mini Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecakes
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING PUMPKIN CUPCAKES:
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Chai Pumpkin Cupcakes
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar packed packed
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whipped Cream Cheese
- 4 ounces block cream cheese cold
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream cold
- Preheat oven to 40 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, vegetable oil, and sugars until smooth and combined. Whisk eggs in one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture in two additions, folding gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the baking cups, filling each about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
- Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking for 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Whipped Cream Cheese
- In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium-low speed for 20-30 seconds, until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add vanilla and beat until fully combined.
- With mixer on low speed, drizzle cold cream down the side of the bowl in a steady stream. When all cream has been added, whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Pipe frosting on cooled cupcakes. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar or seasonal sprinkles.