Chai Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

I recently went to the launch of Budd Chai. It's a new "sticky chai" made by the talented team at Padre Coffee. What's sticky chai? It's basically a blend of black tea and chai spices, soaked in (the sticky part) honey.

Budd Chai is made with a base of single estate assam black tea, which is then mixed with traditional chai spices (cinnamon, star anise, cardamon, cloves, ginger and black pepper) and finished with 100% pure Australian native honey. It's bloody delicious and smells amazing.

I love to use chai spices in baking, but for something different, I decided to infuse some coconut milk with the sticky chai (almond milk also works well) and then bake it into these mini cupcakes. I topped the cupcakes with a classic cream cheese icing and a dusting of cinnamon powder (because you can't have a cupcake without icing!).

Chai Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Gluten-free | Nut-free


For the cupcakes:

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (or your milk of choice)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons Budd Chai
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour

For the cream cheese icing:

  • 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Cinnamon powder for dusting


  1. Preheat your oven to 170°C (fan-forced) and line a mini muffin tray with 12 paper or silicone mini muffin cases.
  2. Place the coconut milk, coconut oil and chai into a saucepan and heat on a low heat until the coconut oil has melted. Bring the mixture to the boil and then turn the heat off and leave the mixture to steep for about 5 - 10 minutes. Strain the mixture into a large bowl, squashing the mixture with the back of a spoon to get as much liquid out of it as possible. Discard what's left in the strainer.
  3. Add the rice malt syrup and egg to the bowl with the chai mixture and beat with a spoon until smooth. Add the brown rice flour and stir until everything is well combined. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake in the preheated oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
  4. To make the icing, beat the cream cheese, rice malt syrup, vanilla and lemon juice together with electric beaters until smooth. Taste and add more lemon juice if required. Once the cupcakes are completely cold, top them with the icing and a dusting of cinnamon. Store in the fridge.

Makes 12 mini cupcakes.