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chai spiced apple cupcakes with chai tahini buttercream

nothing goes together quite like apples, chai and tahini. the apple cupcakes are tart, sweet, perfectly moist with a hint of chai spice. the tahini brings a rich nuttiness to the butter cream, perfectly complementing the sweetness of the sugar and spiciness of the chai.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cooling Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Celebrations, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 cupcakes


  • cupcake liners
  • stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • heavy bottom pan


chai spiced apple cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 c all purpose flour (300g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp chai spice (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, browned and cooled (113g)
  • 1 c light brown sugar, packed (220g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 c granny smith, pink lady or honeycrisp apples, peeled and chopped (see notes)
  • 1/2 c whole milk yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

chai spiced tahini buttercream

  • 1 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c tahini, well stirred
  • 2 1/2 - 4 c powdered sugar, sifted (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tsp chai spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt


chai spiced apple cupcakes

  • To make the brown butter, melt butter in a clear heavy bottom pot. Once the butter starts to foam, whisk continuously until brown bits start to form. Remove from heat, pour into clean bowl, skim the foam from the top and cool to room temperature (20-25 minutes).
  • Line 12 ct muffin pan with cupcake liners and preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chai spice. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat browned butter and sugar until smooth and well combined (3-4 minutes). Add eggs, beating well after each one until well combined. Add vanilla and almond extracts, beating until well combined.
  • In this order (dry ingredients, yogurt, dry, yogurt, dry), add dry ingredients to the wet alternating with the yogurt. Slowly beat each time until JUST combined. A few flour streaks is okay! Gently fold in the chopped apples until most pieces are combined into the batter.
  • Using a 2" cookie scopp with trigger release or a large spoon, fill each cupcake liner 3/4 to the top. Place muffin pan into preheated oven and bake at 350F for 22-25 minutes. Tops should be golden brown and a tooth pick inserted into the center should come out mostly clean.
  • Let cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Genlty remove the cupcakes and cool completely before frosting (45 minutes).

chai spiced tahini buttercream

  • In a stand mixer, with paddle attachment, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. On the lowest speed, beat in the tahini with butter until well combined. Add powdered sugar, a generous tablespoon at a time, beating slowly to combine. After adding about half the powdered sugar, add in the chai spice, salt and vanilla bean paste. Beat until well combined. Add the remaining half of the sugar, a generous tablespoon at a time, beating until well combined. Once all the sugar is added, beat frosting on med-high until smooth. Using a frosting bag with your desired tip, pipe frosting onto each cupcake.


apples: the apples baked better when chopped into smaller pieces. any combination of the listed apples works well in this recipe. 
powdered sugar: if piping onto the cupcakes, its best to use at least 3 cups of powdered sugar. this gives the frosting some structure. If spreading with a palette knife, 2 1/2 c is just fine.
chai spice
This is my personal favorite chai mix. If you have a chai mix you like, feel free to use it in this recipe.
3 tbsp ground ginger 
2 tbsp ground cinnamon 
1 tbsp ground allspice 
1 tbsp ground cardamon 
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg 
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves 
Place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well to combine. Store in a spice jar or small mason jar. 
Keyword apple cupcakes, celebration, chai spiced apples, tahini desserts
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