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Chai Ginger Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

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These ginger cupcakes blend the cozy flavors of chai’s warming spices. Think ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of star anise—all the good stuff for the holidays. For a little something special, it has sweet candied ginger bits for that perfect balance of sweet and spicy with a frosting that is not cloyingly sweet.

Ginger Cupcakes with Chai Cream Filling

About this Recipe

This is a cupcake recipe I first published here eleven years ago. I came up with it on a rainy day when I was sipping a warm cup of chai. As I inhaled the spicy aromas, my thoughts drifted toward something festive to do, and I was really into cupcakes then. I thought of how I could punch up a cupcake with chai and ginger flavors.

Mascarpone Frosting

I am very particular about the frosting on a cake. I do not like overly sweet frostings, so I often gravitate toward light and creamy frostings. I love mascarpone because it whips up nicely and takes flavoring so well. The frosting I use here is mostly mascarpone, with a little cream cheese for structure and that hint of tanginess.


For the Cupcakes

  • All Purpose Flour – your basic, everyday flour for baked goods.
  • Ginger – uses both fresh ginger and candied ginger, adding a lot of flavor and a delicious, chewy texture.
  • Cardamom Powder – a traditional Indian spice for sweets, pairs beautifully with chai.
  • Milk – I like to use whole milk, but any kind of milk will work, including plant-based milk.

For the Cream Filling

  • Milk and Tea – steeping the tea in milk forms the chai base.
  • Mascarpone Cheese – a mild, creamy cheese provides the thickness for the filling
  • Chai spices: cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, saffron. You can use a teaspoon of premade chai spice mix, or even store-bought.
  • Bourbon – optional, gives it a bit of oaky flavor enhancement. Replace with the same amount of milk if you do not want to use bourbon.
Ginger Cupcakes with Chai Cream Filling

Mascarpone Frosting

  • Mascarpone Cheese and Cream Cheese – mascarpone whips up very light and mild, while the cream cheese gives it some structure and a hint of tanginess.
  • Powdered Sugar – the sweetener stiffens the frosting to hold shape.
  • Vanilla – rounds out the flavor of the frosting.
  • Ground Ginger – gives it that extra gingery kick
  • Salt – Adding salt to sweet things helps enhance the flavors.

Ginger Cupcakes with Chai Cream Filling

Chai Ginger Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

Chai Ginger Cupcakes have the comforting warmth of chai spices, a masala chai cream filling, and a velvety ginger-mascarpone frosting.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 12
Calories 535 kcal


Ginger Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup candied ginger finely chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom seeds
  • ¾ cup milk

Chai Cream Filling

  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp black tea leaves or 2 black tea bags
  • 4 oz mascarpone cheese
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom seeds
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • ½ tsp bourbon optional
  • ½ cup powdered sugar or more if you like it super sweet

Mascarpone Frosting

  • 12 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 pinch salt


Ginger Cupcakes Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside. (I made 16 cupcakes from this recipe so I lined 4 sections of a second muffin pan also)
  • Whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Toss in the chopped candied ginger and use your fingers to separate the pieces stuck together and coat with flour so that you don’t get huge clumps of ginger. Doing this also gave the flour a delicious gingery aroma.
  • In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter with an electric beater (or a whisk but that will take some serious muscle).
  • Beat in one egg at a time making sure to combine it well with the butter and sugar before adding the next egg.
  • Add the fresh grated ginger and cardamom and beat for a few more seconds.
  • Beat in a third of the flour followed by half of the milk.
  • Then beat in another third of the flour, the last half of the milk and finally add the last of the flour.
  • Beat until well combined.
  • Using a 1/4 cup measure as a scoop, pour 1 scoop full into each section of the lined muffin pan.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely on a rack before adding the filling and frosting.

Chai Cream Filling Instructions

  • Heat the 3 tbsp of milk in the microwave for 40 seconds or bring to a simmer in a small saucepan on the stove.
  • Add in the tea leaves and steep for 5 minutes. Then strain.
  • In a small bowl, beat together the mascarpone with the spices using an electric beater.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the strained milk tea to the cheese and beat well. (Feel free to add more of the milk tea if you like a stronger chai flavor)
  • Add the bourbon and beat well.
  • Beat in the powdered sugar.
  • Take a cooled cupcake, carve out a hole from the top with a pairing knife (check out picture 2).
  • Pull out the little circle cut out, pipe in the filling either using a pastry bag or a teaspoon, and place the circle back on top. Don’t worry about pushing it back in all the way. We’ll cover up the uneven top with the frosting.

Mascarpone Frosting Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, beat together both cheeses with an electric beater.
  • Add in the vanilla, ginger and salt.
  • Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and beat until all the powdered sugar is mixed in and the frosting is smooth.
  • Frost the cupcakes and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Serving: 1gCalories: 535kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 7gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 196mgPotassium: 113mgFiber: 1gSugar: 46gVitamin A: 983IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cupcakes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

(Originally published 12/14/2012; major updates 12/9/2023)


  1. That is a beautiful Christmas wedding sari background! I love the festive mood it has created and those cupcakes themself look pretty good to me to! Thanks for joining in again!

  2. Wow, this looks so delicious! It just started snowing in London (again) so I think I’ll get away with making these even though it’s not Christmas anymore. Thank you!

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