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This chai spice buttercream is luxuriously creamy and smooth with unbeatable spice flavor from cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and allspice. It’s everything we love about chai spice lattes in sweet frosting form and you can use it to garnish many baked goods such as banana cupcakes, pumpkin cupcakes, vanilla cake, and more.

chai buttercream swirled on cupcakes with cinnamon stick garnish

Is frosting the best part of a cake? Depending on the recipe, I could go either way but frosting is, undoubtedly, a fun accessory to add to our baked goods. And the frosting category on my website is growing! I pair a lot of my cupcake recipes and cake recipes with frosting and now I’m creating separate pages for most of the frosting recipes. Use the Frosting Recipes page to browse different options for pairing with your desserts– you can mix and match frostings and cakes/cupcakes to make your very own flavorful combination!

Chai Spice Buttercream

Chai spice lattes were the inspiration behind today’s frosting recipe. I always pair it with chai latte cupcakes, but there are so many other pairings for this spiced buttercream! In fact, readers have emailed me that they love it with pumpkin cupcakes and these gingerbread cupcakes. Yum!

chai buttercream in a glass bowl

How You’ll Make Chai Spice Buttercream!

This chai spice buttercream starts with this vanilla buttercream as the base. This is an American-style buttercream made with room temperature butter, confectioners’ sugar, creamy liquid such as heavy cream, milk, or half-and-half– plus vanilla extract and a little salt to taste. The chai spice variation is slightly increased, uses heavy cream for a rich and creamy consistency, and also includes spices– it’s unbelievable how much flavor dry spices can add to our frosting.

  • Make the chai spice mix first so it’s ready. A stand or handheld mixer is most helpful to get a smooth and creamy frosting consistency. After everything comes together, taste the buttercream and add another pinch of salt if needed.

Homemade Chai Spice Mix

A blend of 4 kitchen spices makes the delicious chai spice flavor we love. To make chai spice at home, combine cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and allspice. As the recipe instructs below, we’ll use this chai spice mix in the frosting and you can save a little extra for garnish on top. You could also use this chai spice mix in place of cinnamon in banana cake, banana bread, snickerdoodles, and star bread. We use these same spices when making chai spice donuts and chai spice bundt cake.

In Other Frostings: You could even add 3/4 – 1 teaspoon of this spice mix to cream cheese frosting or Swiss meringue buttercream. Add it when you add the vanilla extract. (Adding all of the chai spice mix before would be overpowering, so use only 3/4 – 1 teaspoon.)

chai spice mix in a white measuring cup
chai latte cupcake with a bite taken from it

What Tastes Best with Chai Spice Buttercream?

Browse my cake recipes and cupcake recipes for more flavor inspiration. The frosting recipe below is enough for 12-16 cupcakes, a thin layer on a quarter sheet cake, or a 2 layer cake. For a 3 layer cake, I recommend 1.5x the recipe to ensure you have enough for each layer.

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chai buttercream swirled on cupcakes with cinnamon stick garnish

Chai Spice Buttercream

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 34 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Flavored with robust spices, this homemade chai spice buttercream is luxuriously creamy, silky, and smooth.



Chai Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (345g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 5.56 cups (660-720g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 teaspoons chai spice mix (above)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • optional for garnish: cinnamon sticks


  1. Prepare chai spice mix: Mix all of the chai spices together. You’ll have 2 and 1/8 teaspoons. You will use 1 and 3/4 teaspoons in the buttercream and have extra for garnish. If you don’t plan to use the extra chai spice mix for garnish, just beat it all into the frosting– the extra spice flavor is wonderful!
  2. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add 5 and 1/2 cups (660g) confectioners’ sugar, the heavy cream, 1 and 3/4 teaspoons chai spice mix, the vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 2 minutes until combined and creamy. If frosting looks curdled or greasy, it’s best to beat in more confectioners’ sugar to smooth it out. Beat in up to 1/2 cup (60g) more confectioners’ sugar to smooth out if needed. If frosting seems too thick to pipe or spread, beat in another Tablespoon (15ml) of cream. Taste and beat in another pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
  3. Use immediately or cover tightly and store for up to 1 day in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting on medium speed for a few seconds so it’s creamy again. Adding a splash of heavy cream or milk will help thin the thawed frosting out again if needed.


  1. Piping Tip: I used (affiliate link) Wilton 8B piping tip in the above photos. This is one of my favorite piping tips and you can watch how to use it in our piping tips tutorial video.
  2. Quantity: This recipe is enough for 12-16 cupcakes, a thin layer on a 9×13 inch quarter sheet cake, or a 2 layer cake. For a 3 layer cake, I recommend 1.5x the recipe to ensure you have enough for each layer.

Keywords: chai spice buttercream

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I used the entire spice mix in the buttercream since I wasn’t going to decorate with it and wow! It was so amazing! I’m not even really into tea but my brother is so I made this for him, but now I may be a convert! Absolutely delicious!

  2. This looks amazing, Sally – definitely trying it sometime soon.
    Also…I love your measuring cup! Where is the set from?

  3. Hi Sally, remember in your “olden” blogging days you used to write that you liked frosting with a side of cupcake! 😛 you have the best frosting recipes. Warm wishes

  4. This is an excellent buttercream. I used it to top the vanilla cupcakes and reduced the prescribed ingredients by 2/3. That was ample to frost 7-8 cupcakes. I usually find most buttercreams to be too sweet for my taste, and this one was so to some degree. The spices help, however, and added an extra amount to my buttercream to deepen the flavor.

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