Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes

September 10, 2020
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea
These fluffy and soft Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes are a fun, tasty way to bring the warming spices and smell of fall into your home. Think pumpkin spice latte in a cupcake form!

Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes

These Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes are a delicious flavor battle between two classic flavors----Pumpkin + Chai. Together, however, they are even more PERFECT! Made with a soft, fluffy, + moist plant-based vegan base, these cupcakes are filled with bold pumpkin flavor and warm spices in every bite. Paired with a fluffy chai buttercream, these cupcakes are the epitome of comfort during the cooler months ahead. Gluten-free + vegan options available.

Two Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes on a plate.

Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes. What else is there to say about these cupcakes? They live up to their name in every way----SO easy, yet so delicious! My ideal chilly day involves a steaming mug of tea, a warm sweater, and one (or two) of these Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes! What could be better at this time of year?

When it comes to the Fall season this year, I'm intentional about creating incredible flavor with seasonal Fall ingredients, especially when it comes to using the almighty versatile pumpkin.

Although pumpkin flavor isn't a new invention that was created in the food space, I wanted to re-create new ways that it could be introduced with bold flavors. And so the Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes were born!

Honestly, eating these fluffy cupcakes was the best part after making them. Haha.

I know that many people LOVE cupcakes. I actually think that they are highly consumed as much as cookies and cake if I’m guessing right.

But these cupcakes are definitely a killer combo, I might add.

Pumpkin + Chai are just AMAZING together. Period. Once you've tried them, you'll want to make them again and again because of how warm and fuzzy they make you feel on the inside.

Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes on a wooden board.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes

The main component in this simple Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes recipe is the delicious pumpkin flavor and the chai flavored buttercream. To make your cupcakes, you’ll use:

  • All-purpose flour – Creates a nice airy, fluffiness to cupcakes, BUT cake flour can be substituted and used as well.
  • Almond Milk – Makes things nice + soft; Sub with your fave plant-based milk.
  • Pumpkin – The epitome Fall flavor. Rich + Savory subtle flavors. I use 100% organic pumpkin puree in the can, NOT pie filling. There’s a difference!
  • Vanilla – A great addition of flavor and marries everything together.
  • Agave – A light sweetener; sub w/ maple syrup.
  • Homemade Chai Blend – The best fall spices known to man, in my opinion. So easy to make and mix together.
  • Spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Allspice – the best combo of Fall flavors (creates Pumpkin Spice blend).
  • Powdered Sugar – The base of your buttercream.
  • Apple cider vinegar -- Mixed in with the milk to act as an acid agent for the leaveners to activate.
  • Baking Soda + Baking Powder -- Very important leaveners for your cupcakes.
  • Unsalted Butter -- Creates a beautiful fluffy, velvety buttercream from the fat within it's ingredients. See notes for an entirely vegan option.

Wooden board topped with Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes.

Are these Cupcakes Vegan or Regular or BOTH?

These cupcakes are vegan with a regular buttercream simply because I try to minimize dairy as much as possible for my health, but of course, you can choose to make these entirely vegan or entirely regular---it's up to you! Just substitute the ACV for a large egg at room temp.

Personally, I LOVE the velvety-ness of regular buttercream. Therefore, I don't mind consuming a bit of dairy for that reason. Haha. But for our plant-based vegan friends, we always have an option to suit all the dietary requirements to keep those bellies happy!

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Blend

One of the essential elements of these Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes is the actual pumpkin spice blend. It is very simple to make, plus, you can make a larger batch and save some for baking!

To make homemade Pumpkin Spice, combine these spices:

  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • ground ginger
  • ground cloves

That’s it! This delicious blend is perfect for lattes, cookies, cakes, pies, pudding, or all things pumpkin.

Pumpkin Chai Cupcake on a marble countertop.



To come out with a soft, moist, fluffy cupcake, I’ve noticed that mixing All-Purpose Flour + Cake Flour, really does justice!


Yes! This has been my trial and error moment when it comes to baking! I tend to fill my batter with most recipes to the brim, but I’ve recently gotten into the habit of pacing myself!

Over-filling makes a huge mess later and doesn’t allow your baked goods to come put perfectly, especially with cupcakes. So, filling it ¾ths of the way is key!


One other pet peeve of mine when baking is when you’re ultra-confident at the amazingness of your batter (the taste and aroma is there), yet after it bakes—-it becomes flat or sunk in once it touches air. The solution?

Start by baking the cupcakes at a higher temp for the first 5 mins (maybe 400 degrees Fahrenheit) then lower it to the standard 350 degrees Fahrenheit temp for the rest of the time.

Then once they are done, turn off your oven, BUT leave them in for about 5 minutes with the oven door slightly open so that they don’t sink right away (this is especially a good rule of thumb for cheesecake bites!).

Fork grabbing a piece from a Pumpkin Chai Cupcake.


I know that this is a common mistake, especially for those of us who aren’t daily bakers. Ensure that your ingredients (flours, etc.) are fresh and haven’t been sitting there for months improperly sealed, etc.

Also, ensure that your leaveners (baking powder + baking soda) are fresh. This is super important and often is the culprit in flatter baked goods.


While using cupcake liners are a huge lifesaver when making it easier to remove your cupcakes after they are ready, ensuring that you not only use high-quality liners, but that you also lightly spray the inside of your liners with a cooking spray HELPS A TON! Don’t you just hate when your cupcake inevitably gets stuck on one of those cupcake liners?


Last but not least, always ensure that your batter is JUST RIGHT. With cupcakes, your batter should be slightly thick and not extremely watery. This allows them to come out fluffy and not too wet.

Therefore, always slowly add in the wet ingredients (while mixing) to ensure that your batter isn't too crazy liquid-y to the point that it looks like your scooping up milk. When it doubt, throw it out and start again. Trust me, it's best that way!

Wooden board topped with Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes.

What About the Pumpkin?

When it comes to the pumpkin flavor, I use the pumpkin from the can specifically for pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling (I use the organic version from Libby’s).

What You’ll Love Most About These Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes!

  • Very easy to whip together. Literally, one-bowl needed for cupcakes.
  • Warm and comforting with EVERY SINGLE BITE.
  • Super soft + fluffy on purpose.
  • Loaded with delicious Fall/Winter spices.
  • Comes with a dairy-free, vegan, + gluten-free option.
  • Makes for the perfect sweet treat for adults + kids alike.
  • Did I mention-----just delicious?

Pumpkin Chai Cupcake missing a bite.

Tell Me About These Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes

  • They are easy to make! (I promise!). This recipe is simple and can be made with pantry staples for the most part!
  • Texture. The most memorable cupcakes are airy and fluffy, and this Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcake is no exception. You will be delighted by its tempting texture, which is soft, uber fluffy, and moist.
  • Flavorsome. Need I say more? If you are a chai latte lover, then this is for you!
  • Time-saving! This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, you will be enjoying them in no time!

Line of Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes on a countertop.


The Best Healthy Sugar Alternatives + Substitutes list is all about finding better ways to enjoy your favorite sweets without compromising your healthy lifestyle. For those who follow a vegetarian and/or vegan lifestyle, this lists offers a few great ideas to incorporate healthy sweeteners into your diet.

Feeling Everything Pumpkin? More Delicious Pumpkin Recipes!

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats Vegan, Gluten-free and only takes 5 minutes to whip together while you allow the refrigerator does the rest overnight. This recipe boasts of its creaminess, thickness from the thickly cut oats used, and generous Fall flavors which reminds you of the traditional pumpkin spice latte.

Spicy Brown Butter Pumpkin Rigatoni- This Rigatoni is the perfect way to enjoy a good plate of creamy pasta for the entire family. Enjoy pasta that comes completely loaded with pumpkin flavor married with savory spices, a nutty brown butter flavor, and of course with the amazing texture of rigatoni.

One-Pot Cajun Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta The perfect way to enjoy a good plate of creamy pasta much like the classic Alfredo version, but without the dairy and cheese (all Vegan), completely loaded with pumpkin flavor married with cajun seasonings, and of course with the amazing texture of Pappardelle noddles. This recipe is easy to make, satisfying, and is sure to be your family’s next staple Fall-inspired comfort food.

Vegan Pumpkin Chai Latte Made with only a handful of ingredients and is the perfect warmth + coziness to any day. Literally whipped together in a few short minutes, this homemade latte comes fully dairy-free, vegan, + gluten-free. Enjoy this coffee-free cup of goodness every morning.

Of course, we have other pumpkin recipes that you can find on our site by searching "Pumpkin" at the top of the site!

Platter of Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes.


If you're loving these Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes, then you'll definitely want to try the following cupcakes:


If you make this Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes, tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea!

Pumpkin Chai Cupcake missing a bite.

Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes

September 10, 2020
5 from 1 vote
These fluffy and soft Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes are a fun, tasty way to bring the warming spices and smell of fall into your home. Think pumpkin spice latte in a cupcake form!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Serves: 12 cupcakes



  • 1 ½ cups organic all-purpose flour (See Notes!)
  • 1 ½ tsps baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend, homemade or store-bought
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup 100% organic pumpkin puree (NOT Pie filling!)
  • 3 Tbsps Agave syrup (See Notes!)
  • ½ cup Almond milk + 1 Tbsp! (You can use your fave plant-based milk!)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsps vegan butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 4-5 cups organic powered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temp. (See Notes!)
  • 1 teaspoon chai spice blend (See Notes!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2-3 Tbsps organic Heavy cream (See Notes!)



  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prep the 12-cavity cupcake pan with liners + spray.
  • In a measuring cup, add the milk and apple cider vinegar, mixing until combined and let it sit for 10 minutes until everything "activates".
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and sea salt. Set aside.
  • Add the Milk-ACV mixture, vegan butter, pumpkin puree, Agave, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and using a rubber spatula, mixing until everything is combined (and smooth) and no lumps are visible. NOTE: DO NOT OVER-MIX!
  • Scoop the batter into each cupcake cavity ( about ¾ full) and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for the FIRST 5 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for another 11-13 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.
  • Once done, turn the oven off and keep cupcakes inside with the oven door slightly open for about 2 minutes before taking them out. NOTE: This keeps the cupcakes from "deflating" from the sudden change in temp.
  • Let them cool COMPLETELY before frosting.


  • Simply beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand-mixer) on medium-high speed, until smooth and pale. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, chai spice blend, salt, and milk, continuing to mix on medium-speed until you reach the desired consistency----smooth and fluffy. NOTE: Add more milk (1 tablespoon at a time if too thick) or powdered sugar (for more thickness).
  • Add buttercream to a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with additional chai spice mix, if desired. 
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Best kept if stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days (unfrosted) and 3-4 days when frosted. Also, can be frozen for up to 6 months when unfrosted and thawed.
  • GLUTEN-FREE VERSION: To make these cupcakes GF, I recommend using a GF Flour Blend (Bob’s Red Mills has a great version!). **NOTE: If the cupcake mixture is too ‘thin + runny’, simply add additional GF flour, ¼ cup at a time.**
  • SWEETENER: If you choose to opt out of Agave, you can always substitute with maple syrup or pure can sugar as well.
  • PLANT-BASED 'BUTTERMILK': Add ½ cup of Almond milk (or your fave plant-based milk) + 1 teaspoon lemon juice (instead of ACV) and let sit for 10 minutes, until it slightly thickens and "activates".
  • MAKE AHEAD: You can always bake these cupcakes the night or day before and let them cool, tightly wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. The buttercream frosting can also be made prior and tightly wrapped and stored in the fridge as well. When ready to serve, let cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, frost, and enjoy!
  • VEGAN OPTION: To make these cupcakes entirely vegan, simply substitute the butter in the buttercream with vegan butter. Also, substitute the heavy cream with Almond milk (or your fave plant-based milk).
  • CHAI SPICE BLEND: 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon allspice, ½ teaspoon cardamom, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.


Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 2102IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg


Tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea




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