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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.

Chai Latte Cupcakes with Caramel Brûlée Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

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.

Chai Latte Cupcakes with Caramel Brûlée Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

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.

Chai Latte Cupcakes with Caramel Brûlée Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

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.

Chai Latte Cupcakes with Caramel Brûlée Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

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.

Chai Latte Cupcakes with Caramel Brûlée Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

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.

Chai Latte Cupcakes with Caramel Brûlée Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

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!

Chai Latte Cupcakes with Caramel Brûlée Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other chai and sweets? Here are a few ideas: 

Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Cupcakes

Chai Spiced Maple Sugar Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

Vanilla Chai Old Fashioned

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!

Watch our how-to video here:

Chai Latte Cupcakes with Caramel Brulée Frosting

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories Per Serving: 274 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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Watch the How-To Reel

Ingredients

Chai Spice

Cupcakes

Caramel Frosting

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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.
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Chai Latte Cupcakes with Caramel Brûlée Frosting | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are so delicious! They really do taste like little morsels of fall and winter & are the perfect spice blend. Me and my boyfriend devoured the first batch I made (yikes) & now I’m making 48 for my friend’s 40th birthday celebration… wish me luck!!

    1. Hey Holly,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and your comment, so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xT

  2. Hi! This sounds sooo good! Do the cupcakes need to be refrigerated after they are frosted? And also, is it ok to add the crème brûlée topping in advance (like the day before) or should you wait until just before serving? Wondering if will topping become mushy if it’s added way in advance. Thank you!

    1. Hey Karyn,
      Thanks so much!! These are great stored in an airtight container on the counter, unless your kitchen is super warm then the fridge is fine and yes I would wait to add the topping until ready to serve:) I hope you love this recipe! xx

  3. For Friendsgiving (a week earlier due to everyone’s busy schedules… actually who needs an excuse to have a get together ) came across this recipe and instantly wanted to try it. Just baked the cupcakes last night and the whole kitchen smelled the warming spices. Cupcakes came out and it was heaven. I had to try one while still warm. It was one of the best cupcake textures I have even had or made. And the taste was just perfect as what you have said. Warming, not to sweet and superbly moist. Also prepared the caramel crunch . Cannot wait to make the buttercream to pipe on the final touch. Thank you for this fun and seasonal recipe. I also have my eye on the chai bourbon chocolate cupcakes to try!

    1. Hey Virginia,
      Amazing!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it! Thanks so much for your kind message 🤍 Have the best weekend!❄️

  4. 5 stars
    Amazingly tasty, unique and beautiful cupcakes! Even worth the traumatic burn being too aggressive stirring the caramel 🙂 10/10 recommend.

    1. Hey Erin,
      Ohh no!! Sorry about the burn!! But, so glad to hear that these were enjoyed, thanks so much for making them! xx

  5. 5 stars
    These cupcakes were so good! However, I did make it into a 6-inch 3 layer cake and used the same frosting. Like you said, the frosting was super soft and the layers slid everywhere, but I just chilled it in the fridge and it worked out! I love that the cake wasn’t too sweet, so the sugar wasn’t overpowering. I’ve made caramel frosting before, and it didn’t work out well, but your recipe was super easy t follow and worked like a charm! Thanks so much! Abigail

  6. 5 stars
    I made these last year and brought them to a birthday party and they looked like I bought them at a bakery! Thank you for making delicious recipes so accessible! Making it again tonight to bring to our (Canadian) thanksgiving dinner.

    1. Hey Cassie,
      Happy Friday!! I am delighted to hear that this recipe turned out tasty for you, thanks a bunch for giving it a try!

  7. Darn! My batter curdled! I used room temp ingredients and whole milk plain Greek yogurt, since the recipe says greek yogurt is a substitute for sour cream. I do not recommend substituting. Not quite sure why it curdled. Any tips?

    1. Hi Lisa,
      So sorry, I have never heard of a cupcake batter curdling, I really am not sure why that would have happened for you! xx

    2. Mine curdled too! Idk what I did wrong?? Oh well, still made them and still taste great, just not the right fluffiness.

      1. Hi Morgan,
        So sorry to hear this. What part of the recipe curdled for you? I need a little more info to help you! xT

  8. 5 stars
    i made these a LOT last fall and pulled the recipe to make tonight- did the original recipe get altered? i don’t recall using sour cream or the brulee topping?

  9. 5 stars
    These were amazing! I added some corn starch to the frosting to make it a little easier to frost (it was a little thin before)

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      Happy Monday!! I am delighted to hear that this recipe was tasty for you! Thanks for making it:) xx

  10. 4 stars
    Made these for a second year in a row. This year the cupcakes fell in after baking. Did I overmix them? It seems hard not to, since there are so many ingredients to mix in separately.
    They do taste a bit better than last year!
    One suggestion is to only make half the amount of the chai spice mix because you don’t need it all, and not sure what to do with the leftovers! Make more cupcakes I guess.

    1. Hey Natasha,
      Happy Monday!! I am delighted to hear that this recipe was tasty for you! Thanks for making it:) I feel like its totally normal for cupcakes to fall in the middle after cooling! xx

    1. Hey Janette,
      You bet, that would work well for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xx