After I returned from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, I wanted to create something that would meld western desserts and Indian flavours. A flavour I chose was chai. Indian masala tea, or chai, is one of my favourite things to drink. I love the way we make it at home with ginger and lemongrass. We’ve had Chai Macarons on our menu, but these Chai Cupcakes are my absolute favourite. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it.

  • Serves


    (Yields 24 mini cupcakes)
  • Cook Time


    (Plus 10 minutes for frosting)


For The Cupcakes

  • 200 gm castor sugar
  • 150 gm flour
  • 110 gm butter
  • 80 ml chai (tea made with milk and no sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs

For The Frosting

  • 225 gm icing or confectioners’ sugar
  • 100 gm butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • ¼ tsp fresh grated ginger


For The Cupcakes

  1. In a bowl, beat the butter, castor sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until well incorporated.
  3. Sift together the flour and baking powder.
  4. Add the chai and mix with a spatula.
  5. Fold in the sifted flour.
  6. Line the cupcake moulds with liners and pipe in the batter into cupcake liners until three quarters full.
  7. Bake the cupcakes at 175 degree Celsius for 15 minutes or till a skewer, when inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean.
  8. Let the cupcakes cool down completely before demolding them, and only then proceed to frost with the buttercream frosting.

For The Frosting

  1. Whisk the butter in a bowl until smooth.
  2. Add the cardamom powder, cinnamon powder, freshly grated ginger, and whisk.
  3. Gradually add in the icing sugar and whisk until well-mixed.
  4. Finally pour in the milk and beat to incorporate well.
  5. Keep beating till the frosting is light and fluffy. It will take around 5 minutes.
  6. If the frosting is not used right away, cover it with cling wrap and refrigerate to prevent it from drying. 

Pooja Dhingra

Pooja Dhingra

Pooja Dhingra is the founder of Le 15 Patisserie and Cafe in Mumbai. She opened her first café in Colaba in 2016 called Le 15 Café. Armed with a degree in hospitality from Cesar Ritz Colleges, Switzerland and a Patisserie Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu, Pooja returned home with the single goal of creating Parisian-style culinary experiences in India. She has been featured in national dailies and is a regular in fashion and lifestyle glossies not just for her abilities in the kitchen, but also as a dynamic businesswoman and inspiration to women – she was selected by Forbes India for their ‘30 Under 30’ achievers list for 2014 and the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list.

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