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Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting…autumn in a sweet cupcake, and so good. Extra pumpkiny, chai-spiced pumpkin cake cupcakes made with warming spices and brown sugar. Each cake is generously frosted with the most delicious creamy cinnamon brown sugar frosting, and finished off with a sprinkling of chai sugar. Sooo much to love here! You can’t beat these cute little latte cupcakes.

side angled photo of Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting

I’ve been waiting to share these cupcakes for weeks…and weeks. Originally, I was going to share a version of this cupcake back in September. The first version didn’t include any pumpkin. But then, me being me, I began to play with the addition of potential ingredients in my head. I started to wonder about adding pumpkin to my chai cupcakes. Once the idea of a pumpkin chai latte cupcake was in my head, there was no going back.

It sounded way too good and way too perfect for fall. I had to make these cupcakes.

But not in September, because we all know how I feel…apples in September, pumpkin in October and November. So, here we are today in mid-October. We have a couple of weeks left before Halloween and about a month and a half before Thanksgiving. It’s the heart of fall and the perfect time for the sweetest little chai pumpkin latte cupcakes. Or at least that’s my thought, I hope you guys are all on the same page!

And really, it’s Friday (whoop, whoop). Fridays need something sweet, and today that something is going to be these cupcakes. I couldn’t love them more. If you could see me, I am smiling ear to ear. Something about these cupcakes, they’re just fun and make ya feel good…cheesy, but true.

overhead photo of Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcake batter before baking

To make these Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes…

You need pumpkin, vanilla, and a good amount of warming autumn spices. Plus butter…lots of butter.

For the cupcakes, I knew I really wanted the pumpkin flavor to shine. To achieve this, I used a whole lot of pumpkin, and a whole lot of chai spice. The chai spice highlights the sweet flavor of the pumpkin, while also adding that extra special touch that makes these little pumpkin cakes better than any other. And if you’re curious about the inspiration to mix pumpkin with chai? Well, of course…Starbucks.

We all love their pumpkin spice latte and we all also love their chai latte. Combine the two and you get the very best of both.

overhead photo of brown sugar mixture before making the frosting

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 other half is mixed in with the sugar to make a chai sugar. The chai sugar is used for topping each cupcake.

Now, make the batter, it comes together in no time. This is a one-bowl kind of cupcake batter. Once poured into molds just bake and wait patiently. The smells coming from the oven will have you so excited. It’s like Thanksgiving, with cozy scents of pumpkin mixed with hints of sweet sugar wafting throughout your kitchen.

Each cupcake is incredibly moist, so soft, and perfectly sweetened. The secret is truly in all that pumpkin. It makes for the best sweets.

Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes before frosting

On to the frosting…

This frosting is everything and has to be one of my favorites. I drew inspiration from a few of my older recipes, but especially from these sweet brown sugar cookies and also these butter pecan frosted fudge brownies.

There are two simple secrets to this frosting.

One, use a mix of brown sugar and powdered sugar. Powdered sugar adds practically zero flavor. The brown sugar adds hints of warm molasses and really deepens the flavor to create a frosting that’s perfectly rich and sweet.

side angled photo Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting

The second secret, vanilla and cinnamon swirled throughout. SO GOOD. Think creamy, buttery, and hinted with brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Honestly? It’s addicting, and you should slather on more than you think your cupcakes will actually need. Because people always want more.

It’s the perfect pairing with the warming chai spices.

side agnled photo of Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting

Now, frost, decorate…and eat.

I didn’t do anything fancy here. I simply dolloped a generous swirl of the brown sugar frosting, then sprinkled with that sweet chai sugar. Finish off each cupcake with a cinnamon stick (my favorite fall decoration has got to be cinnamon sticks) to mimic our favorite fall beverage…that pumpkin spice latte.

And that’s it. Honestly, these are really pretty simple to put together. The frosting is a little annoying because you do need to melt the brown sugar on the stove, then let it cool before using, but it’s all still very easy.

And so very good. Each bite is filled with sweet pumpkin and light, fluffy frosting. Best kind of autumn weekend cupcake.

side angled photo of Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting with bite taken out of cupcake

I know it’s hard to believe, but Halloween is two weeks from Saturday and Thanksgiving is only getting that much closer. I’m thinking ahead and already planning to include these on my Thanksgiving menu.

My recommendation? Bake these cupcakes this weekend, then again on Halloween. Then one more time in November. Yes, these cupcakes will be perfect for Thanksgiving too! Fall is always such a short season, live it up while it’s here and enjoy every sweet minute of it…preferably with a cupcake in hand!

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

Cinnamon Swirl Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Butter Bread

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Pumpkin Pie

Chai Spiced Maple Sugar Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

Vanilla Chai Old Fashioned

Lastly, if you make these Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar 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!

Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 16 cupcakes
Calories Per Serving: 313 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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Chai Spice

Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes

Brown Sugar Frosting


  • 1. To make the chai spice. In a shallow bowl, combine the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, all-spice, cloves, and pepper. Divide the mix in half. Mix one half of the spice blend with the granulated sugar and set aside for topping the cupcakes. Reserve the remaining chai spice blend for the cupcake batter.
    2. To make the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 16 cupcake molds with paper liners.
    3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand-held mixer) beat together the coconut oil, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, and pumpkin until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and remaining chai spice. Mix until smooth and no lumps remain in the batter.
    4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pan. Transfer to the oven and bake 18-22 minutes, until the tops are just set, and no longer wiggly in the center. Remove and let cool.
    5. To make the frosting, melt together 2 tablespoons butter, the cream, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute or until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl in the freezer (or fridge for longer) for 15-20 minutes or until cool to touch.
    6. Grab the cooled butter mixture from the freezer and add the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, the vanilla, and the powdered sugar to the bowl. Beat together until well combined. 
    7. Frost each cupcake and sprinkle with chai sugar. Add cinnamon sticks, if desired.
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  1. Hi! I’m very excited to make these cupcakes for the upcoming fall season. I have on hand a Chia seasoning mix already. How many tsp/tbs would I add in of this mixture rather than using each indv ingredient? Thanks!

    1. Hi Margaret,
      Sorry, I am honestly not sure, that is a lot of math that I could very easily get wrong especially with how I split the mix in step 1. I would just follow the recipe as is for best results:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

    1. Hey Kelly,
      Amazing!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so excited it was enjoyed! Hope you’re having a great weekend! xx

  2. Love these cupcakes! When do you put the cinnamon in the frosting? I just skipped it both times I made it as it tasted great

    1. Hey there,
      Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I am glad to hear that it was enjoyed! Sorry about that, you can add the cinnamon in step 5. 💐xxT

    1. Hey Barbara,
      Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have the best weekend:) xx

    1. Hey Rachna,
      Awesome!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed. Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Leah,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Hi, my name is Lola and I wanted to tell you that my family loves this recipe and they always come out so moist. But the only problem is my dad wants this recipe for his birthday on March 31st in cake form and I’m only 13 so I don’t know how to make this cupcake recipe into a cake recipe at all or in time for my dad’s birthday on the 31st. So my question for you is can you please try to transform this cupcake recipe into a cake recipe for me.

    1. Hi Lola,
      I would just use any cake pan you like, an 8 inch square pan would be great and bake for 45-60 minutes. Let me know if this helps!! Happy Birthday to your dad! xTieghan

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you so much Tieghan, I will definitely let you know how it works. I bet it will turn out great like all of the recipes I’ve tried with my mom from your page.

  4. 5 stars
    These cupcakes were FANTASTIC! We made half of them regular size, and the other half we made into mini cupcakes. I honestly loved the minis so much, they were the perfect bite (and you could have a lot of bites and not realize how many you ate 🙂 ) It was a really balanced recipe, with the pumpkin and the chai, it wasn’t too sweet.

    I had a quite a bit of leftover chai sugar spice, which I just used to make french toast and WOW–I would definitely recommend saving your extra spice if you have any for that purpose; it was so good.

    1. Hey Amanda,
      Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am glad to hear that it was enjoyed. Have the best weekend!! xTieghan

  5. TLDR: make these!
    I’m obsessed with HBH, when I bring a recipe to my husband, he doesn’t even have to ask, it’s from HBH. Without knowingly this, my pastry chef coworker offered to make me a treat after my daughter was born. I googled a couple things and just sent these words to her: Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes. She coincidentally pulled up this exact recipe, from my fave, HBH. It was destiny! They were delicious! And while trying to man a newborn, they were pretty much breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

  6. 5 stars
    I made these for a Christmas party I threw last night. They were a massive hit. They are quite possibly the best cupcakes I’ve ever made (and I’ve made a lot of cupcakes!). The rich sweetness of the frosting was balanced out by the more earthy muted flavors of the cupcakes. I baked the cupcakes 2 weeks in advance and froze them un-frosted to save on prep time. Thanks so much for this recipe! I will definitely be making these again!

    1. Hey Tracy,
      Wonderful! Love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for making it! Have the best week:) xTieghan