how to make chai buttercream frosting

Amazingly Good Crusting Chai Buttercream for Sugar Cookie Decorating

  • 10

Tis the season for chai tea at Starbucks which means it is also the time to try chai buttercream. You will absolutely love the flavor of chai buttercream: sweet with a bit of spice.

Made with my favorite chai spice blend, this homemade chai frosting will surely impress you. Chai buttercream goes exceptionally well with vanilla, chocolate, and spice cookie, cake, and cupcake flavors.

This chai buttercream is also a crusting buttercream and an American buttercream. This means that the frosting is perfect for piping and decorating.

In the video tutorial below, you will see how you can easily adjust the chai buttercream to be a traditional, non crusting buttercream recipe. This is great if you want a thinner, less sweet frosting with more of the chai flavor.

However, if you are a buttercream cookie decorator like me, you will want a crusting buttercream. This buttercream will form a light crust to protect your beautiful designs.

Follow along for the chai buttercream recipe that everyone will be begging you for the recipe.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.*

How to Make The BEST Chai Buttercream

crusting chai buttercream

Picking the Right Chai Flavor

The first step toward making this amazingly delicious chai buttercream is to pick a good chai spice.

If you already have your favorite chai spice mix, then, by all means, use that one.

My favorite chai blend for this recipe is a Chai Marsala spice blend that has ginger, cinnamon, green cardamom, black pepper, clove, and allspice.

The Chai Marsala blend recommended above is also unsweetened, which is perfect for a crusting buttercream recipe. Crusting buttercream has quite a bit of powdered sugar in order to produce the crusting quality.

This blend of unsweetened chai spice blend is the perfect combination of sweet and spice with the buttercream.

You will only need to use two teaspoons of chai spice blend in the recipe. If you are making cupcakes, feel free to sprinkle some on the top for a nice finishing touch.

chai buttercream with chai marsala spice blend

Making the Chai Buttercream Frosting

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip one cup of room temperature unsalted butter until light and fluffy. One cup of butter is equivalent to two sticks of butter or 16 tablespoons.

Once light and fluffy and all of the lumps are gone, mix in four cups of powdered confectioner’s sugar, two teaspoons of Chai Marsala spice blend, and one and a half teaspoons of vanilla extract.

We use four cups of powdered sugar in order for the frosting to form a slight crust. All that means is that the outer layer of frosting will dry to the touch.

If you are making a cake or cupcakes and would prefer a frosting that is less sweet and doesn’t crust, go ahead and use just 2-3 cups of powdered sugar.

Mix everything on low speed until the powdered sugar is mostly mixed in to the butter. Do not turn the mixer higher than low. If needed, use a rubber spatula to stir the frosting.

Overmixing buttercream can cause air bubbles. If you do overmix, here’s a post on how to fix it. I promise it’s not terribly hard to fix, but, as always, prevention is better.

Add in 1-4 tablespoons of milk. I typically go with two tablespoons for a crusting buttercream, but it will all depend on if you used more or less powdered sugar and if you want a thinner or thicker frosting.

To achieve a non-crusting buttercream, start with one tablespoon of milk, as there is less powdered sugar causing it to thicken.

Mix in the milk until everything is combined.

Once the frosting is mixed, place it into a piping bag with your preferred decorating tip and decorate.

If you aren’t ready to decorate, keep the buttercream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for up to three months.

How to Decorate Cupcakes with Chai Buttercream

chai buttercream frosting on chocolate cupcake

I decided to decorate some chocolate cupcakes with this recipe, so delicious!

Here are the easy instructions for decorating:

  1. Place a cup of chai buttercream into an icing bag with a Wilton tip #4B.
  2. Pipe a circle around the cupcake edge, then create a swirl with slightly smaller circles in each level of chai buttercream.
  3. If desired, sprinkle some extra chai spice blend on the top of the frosting.

These were really easy yet impressive cupcakes to decorate that tasted ahh-mazing. I’d love to know in the comments below, what did you pair your chai buttercream with?

Make sure to check out my other crusting buttercream recipes!

how to make chai buttercream frosting

Crusting Chai Buttercream Recipe

You'll love this chai buttercream frosting recipe that works perfectly for cookie decorating icing cakes, and topping cupcakes. This buttercream is made with a perfectly balanced Chai Marsala spice blend.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: All American Buttercream Frosting, Chai Buttercream, Crusting Buttercream
Prep Time: 1 hour
Mixing Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Author: Leah Buehler


  • Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons


  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. Chai Marsala spice blend plus more for topping, optional
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1-4 tbsp. milk


  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the room temperature butter until soft and fluffy.
  • To the stand mixer, add the powdered sugar, chai spice blend, and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until most of the powdered sugar has blended with the butter.
  • Add in one tablespoon of milk and again mix on low speed. Add up to three more tablespoons of milk until the desired consistency is reached.


For a non-crusting buttercream, reduce the sugar to 2-3 cups, depending on your taste preference. If you are needing a crusting buttercream, do not reduce the amount of sugar, as this is what makes it form a crust.

Save the Recipe for Chai Buttercream

Use the image below to pin this chai buttercream recipe to your baking or cookie board on Pinterest. Alternatively, use any of the social share icons on the top of the page to share it to your favorite social media site.

chai buttercream recipe for cookie decorating, cupcakes, and cakes

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.