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Chocolate Bourbon Chai Latte Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting. Extra chocolatey cupcakes made with bourbon, chai spice, and rich chocolate pieces. Each cupcake is frosted with the most delicious creamy butter pecan frosting and finished with a sprinkling of toasted brown sugar pecans. Soo much here to love! You can’t beat these cute little bite-size pecan pie cupcakes. They’ll be the hit of your Thanksgiving dessert table!

Chocolate Bourbon Chai Latte Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting |

Yes, you can make a pecan pie this Thanksgiving – OR, you can step outside of the norm with these fun chocolate pecan pie cupcakes. Both are good, but cute cupcakes are so much more fun.

Plus, I personally think these are actually better than pie. These have a lot of yummy elements that all work so well together – they’re delicious!

When it comes to the Thanksgiving dessert table, I like to have classic dessert flavors, but something besides just pies. I have fun every year coming up with new desserts. Desserts with similar-ish flavors to the classics, but with different twists, or in different forms.

Chocolate Bourbon Chai Latte Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting |

It’s fun! Years ago I made pecan pie cupcakes that to this day are one of my favorite desserts on the site. But they’re involved. So this year I wanted to try a fresh idea, but still with pecan pie as the inspiration.

And then I came up with these. They’re kind of like chai latte meets yummy chocolate pecan pie. And the frosting just makes them even better.

Chocolate Bourbon Chai Latte Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting |

The details

You need vanilla, chai, and a good amount of warming autumn spices, plus butter and chocolate. And then, of course, the pecans and bourbon too!

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 my homemade 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 to decorate.

Chocolate Bourbon Chai Latte Cupcakes with Butter Pecan 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 bourbon, sweet chocolate, and brown sugar – all wafting throughout your kitchen.

Chocolate Bourbon Chai Latte Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting |

Now the frosting

It’s my go-to brown sugar frosting with bourbon-toasted pecans.

First, melt the brown sugar together with butter and cream, then mix with powdered sugar and vanilla. Next, toast the pecans with brown sugar, bourbon, and salt, chop, and sprinkle over each cupcake.

You can also stir the pecans into the frosting.

Chocolate Bourbon Chai Latte Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting |

The frosting makes it hard to say no to a second cupcake. Each bite is filled with sweet chocolate bourbon chai-spiced cupcake and light, fluffy frosting with a crunch from the pecans on top.

Oh my gooosssh, SO amazing.

These are the perfect Thanksgiving cupcakes! My best advice is to bake these up this weekend. Because, of course, you’ll need to test out the recipe before Thanksgiving Day. Take any extras to neighbors to share and then make these again for Thanksgiving. This weekend can be a little pre-taste test party!

Chocolate Bourbon Chai Latte Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting |

Looking for other Thanksgiving desserts?? Here are my favorites: 

Molten Chocolate Crackle Pie

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Brown Sugar Maple Cookie Pie

Lastly, if you make these Chocolate Bourbon Chai Latte Cupcakes with Butter Pecan 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!

Chocolate Bourbon Chai Latte Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 15 cupcakes
Calories Per Serving: 380 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Chai Spice


Butter Pecan Frosting


  • 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.
    2. To make the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 15 cupcake molds with paper liners. Bring the milk to a gentle boil in a small pot. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags, cover, and steep 10 minutes.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the coconut oil, brown sugar, vanilla, bourbon, and eggs until combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 teaspoons of the chai spice mix (or more to your taste). Stream in the chai milk, beating until just combined.
    4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pan. 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.
    5. During the same time, line a baking sheet with parchment. Toss the pecans with 1 tablespoon bourbon, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 -2 teaspoons chai spice, and a pinch of salt. Bake 8-10 minutes, until toasted. Once cool, chop.
    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.
    7. Grab the cooled butter mixture from the freezer and add the remaining 1 stick butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar to the bowl. Beat together until well combined, adding more sugar as needed.
    9. Frost each cupcake and sprinkle with pecans.
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Chocolate Bourbon Chai Latte Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting |

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  1. 4 stars
    I made these cupcakes and they turned out pretty good, I wish the addition of the chocolate chunks was included in the actual recipe. Having gooey chocolate pieces would have elevated the cupcake and made them excellent. I did make them for a shorter amount of time, 17 minutes. I probably could have pulled them at 15.
    The icing came out very good, I did not melt the stick of butter when mixing at the end with powdered sugar and vanilla, just used a softened stick.
    I love HBH recipes, but it is frustrating seeing ingredients used in photos and them not being included in the recipes. I have also noticed that some ingredients in other recipes are listed in the ingredient list but not in the written instructions.

    1. Hi Kimberly,
      Happy Sunday! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was delish! The chocolate chunks are not needed for this recipe:) If an ingredient is ever missing from the list I always try to fix it as quickly as possible. We are human over here so we do make mistakes:) Thanks again for trying so many recipes! xx

  2. 4 stars
    Made these cupcakes for a friendsgiving get together.
    They taste wonderful, but they came out dry, following the recipe exactly. I also baked them a few minutes less.

    There are no chocolate pieces in the ingredients list or instructions in the recipe for them; I didn’t even know she used chocolate pieces until I watched the video on her instagram.

    I will absolutely make these again, but I’ll add the chocolate pieces to my taste; I am absolutely not a baker, so I’ll have to do some research on how to decrease that dryness.

    Still one of the best cupcakes I’ve had!

    1. Hey Samantha,
      Amazing!! I love to hear that these cupcakes were enjoyed, thanks so much for making the recipe and sharing your feedback! xx

  3. 3 stars
    I also ended up with very dry cupcakes. I did check at 15 min and watched carefully. My frosting was also runny. I added extra powdered sugar but it was getting so sweet. I started to frost and the frosting was running down the side so I put the frosting in the refrigerator for a bit and that helped. I have to say the taste is excellent for both the cake and the frosting. Just need to figure out the dry cupcake. Maybe adding in the chocolate bits helps?

    1. Hi Gisela,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback. You could definitely add some chocolate chunks to the cake and then use a touch less flour. For the frosting, I would start with less cream next time. That should help! xx

    2. My daughter made these and the cupcakes were too dry to eat. Sadly, we tossed them. The flavors were great, though, so I made the recipe on my own. Took the cupcakes out 7 minutes early as they seemed completely done already. Daughter’s frosting was too runny as well. When I made it, it was perfect. Maybe try it again?? The final product is worth the trials!

  4. 3 stars
    The frosting was amazing, although I had to add way more powdered sugar than the 2-3 cups in the recipe. Like other commenters have said, the cupcake itself was extremely dense and dry and I didn’t even bake it the full time specified in the recipe. I’d totally make this frosting again with plenty of powdered sugar on hand but with a different cake recipe.

    1. Hey Cheryl,
      Amazing!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Sorry to hear about the actual cupcake, I’m not sure what would have caused this for you! Is it possible the batter was over-mixed? Happy Holidays!❄️

  5. 4 stars
    I’m not sure if I over mixed the batter but they came out very dense, any ideas why? I followed the recipe thoroughly. Flavor was good and really enjoyed the frosting

    1. Hi Ashley,
      Thanks so much for trying this recipe!! So glad you enjoyed the flavors here:) Did you mix by hand or with an electric mixer? It’s easy to over mix using an electric mixer. Is it possible you just needed to reduce the bake time? Let me know! xx

  6. Hi/ I loved the recipe yet like many who have commented mine too were dry.
    How can we adjust?

    The icing was fabulous!! I will use it again.

    Thanks again and happy holiday!

    1. Hi Sherry,
      Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was a winner! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I would try reducing your bake time next time! xx

  7. I made these for Thanksgiving and my frosting came out a little watery, not sure where I went wrong but I did add a little bit of flour to thicken and more powder sugar. Any other suggestion is greatly appreciated if that happens again.

  8. 5 stars
    First time baker braving this recipe- everything was great! Any tips for making Icing? Every time I make it, it seems to get grainy.

    1. Hi Taylor,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Did you make this specific icing? Did all of the sugar dissolve in step 6? Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

  9. 4 stars
    The frosting is DIVINE!! Will absolutely be revisiting these recipe for the frosting part! Cupcake batter was quite dense and yielded dense/dry cupcakes, but I think the flavor combo is lovely and worth trying again with some tweaks! Thank you for this yummy recipe!

  10. I’m hoping to make these this weekend. Reading through the recipe, the ingredients list 3 tbsp bourbon and the instructions say to mix into the batter but also the pecans get toasted with 1 tbsp. I just wanted to clarify if you used 3 tbsp in the batter and an additional 1 for the pecans or divided it 2 for the batter and 1 foe the pecans?

    1. Hey Brittany,
      Sorry for any confusion, you are going to use 3 tablespoons of bourbon in the batter and then 1 tablespoon to toss the pecans with. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  11. I’ve made several of these HBH recipes and I must say probably I won’t be making anymore. What is shown in the videos and pictures doesn’t seem to be the recipe that is shared online? Not sure where the disconnect is? Is it measurement issues? Altitude vs non-altitude? I’m baffled why the adjustments for altitude are not given for baking recipes. I am an experienced cook and have been able to determine what is going to work vs not for some things but these cupcakes for example, were not moist, as others have said, even after adjusting for a shorter cook time. I was able to make adjustments to the frosting and it was great. I only melted 1/2 stick of butter with the brown sugar and used 1/4 cup cream. I chilled until it was thick then whipped in the remaining butter(1.5 sticks) then about 4 cups powdered sugar. Chai Spice was good.

      1. Hey Emily,
        Sure, vegetable oil will be just fine for you to use here! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope it’s delish! xx

    1. Hey there,
      Sure, whiskey should also work for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  12. 5 stars
    Hands down, the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. Mine turned out a bit dry, because I desperately need a new oven🥴, so, made again and lessened the baking time. But seriously the frosting makes these a complete winner!!

    1. Hey Rhonda,
      Amazing!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it! Have the best weekend!❄️

    1. The picture shows chopped chocolate going into the batter, but it’s not listed on the recipe. Should there be chopped chocolate in the cupcake batter? TIA

      1. Hey Jennie,
        The chopped chocolate is not necessary, but if you have some and want to add it go for it! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

    2. Hey Natalie,
      Thanks so much!! It does, but if you are worried about it, you can use milk in place of the bourbon. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

    3. 5 stars
      This recipe is outstanding and highly recommend it to everyone! But if you google “alcohol in baking” you’ll find that the research is showing it takes about 3 hrs of boiling alcohol to reduce its potency. Hope this helps clear up confusion. Baking it will not cook it off.

      1. Hey Colleen,
        Wonderful!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

    1. Hey Erica,
      I’ve never made this as a cake, but I would start checking for doneness at 45 minutes. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx