Chai Latte Cupcakes with Caramel Brulée Frosting. Autumn in a sweet cupcake, and so good! Extra sweet, chai-spiced cupcakes made with warming spices and brown sugar. Each cupcake is generously frosted with the most delicious creamy caramel-like frosting. Then finished off with a sprinkling of salted caramel brulée candy. Sooo much to love here! You can’t beat these cute little latte cupcakes.
It’s fall, it’s Friday, and I’m sharing my favorite cupcake of the season…well so far anyway! Look, I know I’ve been overly excited about fall this week, but today’s recipe is my favorite. The second I made these, I knew I was going to love them so much.
If a cupcake could scream fall, this cupcake would be screaming it loud and clear. I know, cheesy, but as I said, I’m excited, and well, I really love fall.
Here’s the quick story
Every single fall there are a handful of things I truly crave and get excited over. A good bowl of broccoli cheddar soup, homemade soft pretzels, all the sweet apple desserts, and a warming, steaming latte.
Latte’s just say fall to me. And while everyone mostly thinks of pumpkin spice lattes, I love a good chai latte equally as much.
Last October I created a pumpkin latte cupcake, that was a big fall favorite. But this season I wanted a chai cupcake…with a slight twist…to make it even more exciting. Enter the caramel. It may be a little over the top, but I’m ok with it, these cupcakes are so good.
To make these chai latte cupcakes…
You need vanilla, chai teas, and a good amount of warming autumn spices. Plus butter…lots of butter, and well, sugar.
For the cupcakes, I knew I really wanted the chai flavor to shine. To achieve this, I used a mix of steeped chai milk and a whole lot of chai spice. The chai spice mix is key, it really brings the aromas of fall into the kitchen and into each cupcake.
Before you start the cupcake batter, make the chai spice mix. It’s a blend of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, all-spice, cloves, and the tiniest bit of black pepper. You’ll be using half of the spice mix in the cupcake batter, and the remainder for the frosting.
Next, make the batter. Bring some milk to a gentle boil, then add a few chai tea bags and allow the tea to steep in the warm milk.
While the tea cools, mix up the batter, then stream the chai milk into the cupcake batter until just combined. Divide the batter up between the cupcake molds and bake.
The smells coming from the oven will have you so excited. It’s like fall in the air, with cozy scents of chai mixed with hints of sweet sugar wafting throughout your kitchen.
Each cupcake is so soft and perfectly sweetened.
The brown sugar “caramel” frosting
This is the perfect frosting for these cupcakes. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and the rich, warming flavors of caramel pair so nicely with the chai.
The brown sugar melts down adding hints of warm molasses and really deepens the flavor to create an icing that’s perfectly rich and caramel-like. And when you add a touch of vanilla and sea salt? Well, it’s hard to say no to a second cupcake. I highly recommend slathering on more icing than you think your cupcake will need.
Lastly, the caramel brulée
This last step is optional but so good…the caramel brulée candy. It’s going to get very hot, so just make sure to be careful when handling this. This is that extra special fall touch to these cupcakes. It’s very easy to make and requires just two ingredients, sugar, and flaky sea salt.
Simply melt granulated sugar on the stove until it turns deep caramel in color, then spread the caramel out over a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle the caramel with sea salt and let sit for a few minutes. And then? In almost no time at all, the caramel has hardened. It can then be easily smashed into small shards for sprinkling over your latte cupcakes. Again, be sure you’re being careful when handling this!
Frost each cupcake and then sprinkle with the caramel brulée candy. I love adding a cinnamon stick for cuteness.
These cupcakes are delicious. Each bite is filled with sweet chai-spiced cupcake and light, fluffy frosting. Best kind of autumn weekend cupcake!
Looking for other chai and sweets? Here are a few ideas:
Lastly, if you make these Chai Latte Cupcakes with Caramel Brûlée Frosting be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Chai Latte Cupcakes with Caramel Brulée Frosting
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories Per Serving: 276 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1 cup milk
- 2 bags chai tea
- 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1. To make the chai spice. In a shallow bowl, combine the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, all-spice, cloves, and pepper. Reserve the chai spice blend for the cupcake batter and frosting.2. To make the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 24 cupcake molds with paper liners.3. Bring the milk to a boil in a small pot. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags, cover, and steep 10 minutes.4. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and sour cream, beating until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 teaspoons of the chai spice mix. Stream in the chai milk, beating until just combined. 5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Transfer to the oven and bake 22-25 minutes, until the tops are just set, and no longer wiggly in the center. Remove and let cool.6. To make the frosting. Melt together 1 stick butter, brown sugar, and cream in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Add a pinch of salt. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl in the freezer (or fridge for longer) for 15 minutes or until cool to touch.6. Grab the cooled butter mixture from the freezer and add the remaining 1 stick butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and 1-2 teaspoons chai spice to the bowl. Beat together until well combined, adding more sugar as needed. 7. Frost each cupcake and sprinkle with Caramel Brûlée (recipe in notes). Add cinnamon sticks, if desired.
Caramel Brulée: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium pot, cook 3/4 cup sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a heat-proof spatula until the sugar has melted and turns a golden caramel, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread in a thin, even layer and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Let sit 5 minutes. Once hardened, crush the caramel into small pieces/shards with the back of a spoon.