These moist, light cupcakes are loaded with vanilla flavor from both homemade vanilla extract and vanilla beans.
The smooth, creamy frosting is flavored with a variety of fresh, fragrant spices including allspice, ginger, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and even a hint of black pepper.
More cupcake recipes:
Vanilla Cupcakes with Chai Frosting
- 2-1/4 cups sifted cake flour
- 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, 1 stick
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
For the frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 to 3-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
For the chai spice blend:
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
- Measure the sifted flour and add the baking powder and salt. Sift together one additional time and set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy.
- Stir to combine. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the butter-egg mixture, beating well after each addition.
- Halve the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the batter. Stir to combine.
- Spoon the batter into the paper-lined muffin cups and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back readily when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
- While the cupcakes cool, place the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Beat at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add all the spices (see recipe notes) and combine thoroughly.
- Refrigerate for 10 minutes before frosting the cooled cupcakes.
- Store cupcakes in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving (about 10 minutes out of the fridge).