dirty chai muffins on a white towel

Creating these dirty chai muffins

Happy Monday, everyone! Today, instead of simply sipping on our morning coffees, we’re noshing on these Dirty Chai Muffins. And dipping them in coffee. Because coffee is an always type of thing.

I first came on to dirty chais when I was working as a barista in college. Chai lattes had always been in my wheelhouse (and iced chai lattes, duh), but the idea of adding in espresso was totally foreign to me. A skeptic at first, I took my first sip of dirty chai slowly. But as soon as the flavors of cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger spiked with espresso hit my tongue, I was hooked. It’s this amazing combination of exotic florals, rich nuttiness, and earthy warmth.

So with fall being the time of warm lattes and hot beverages, the decision to make dirty chai muffins was a natural one. 

Last week, my mom and I went out to dinner. I brought down a chai muffin for her to try in the car, and she placed it in her beverage holder, wanting to save it for after our meal. But 5 minutes into the drive, her hand slowly crept down and pinched a bit of the glazed top off. I didn’t think anything of it at first.

But this is the woman who is known to eat the outsides of Reese’s cups and throw out the centers, because the peanut-butter-to-chocolate-ratio is better that way. A few minutes later, I looked down and saw that only a crumbling muffin bottom, totally naked from its glazed glory, remained. I looked at my mom’s glazed-speckled face and couldn’t help but burst into laughter.

“So you like it?!” I asked.

She smiled, contented. “Yes.”

dirty chai muffins in a muffin tin

Tips for making these dirty chai muffins

Muffins are super easy to make, and these chai muffins are no different. But when making these babies, keep the following in mind:

Beat the butter until light and fluffy — The key to any good baked good is to beat the butter and sugar together until they’re light and fluffy. This will take a good 2 to 4 minutes, but it makes a HUGE difference in how your muffins (and cookies and cakes) turn out.

Measure out the spices — I know this seems like a no brainer, but many of you are like me. You look at a recipe, think okay I’ve got this, and then eyeball most of the measurements. But because the chai spices in this muffin recipe are so powerful, you don’t want to add too much or too little of any of them, so take the time to measure them.

Use espresso for a stronger flavor — If you’re a coffee lover, you might want to try making these dirty chai muffins with espresso instead of regular black coffee. You’ll use the same amount for both, so feel free to use whichever you like best.

Wait to glaze the muffins — Nothing beats a warm muffin, but you really need to wait 15 minutes (at least) before glazing these chai muffins. If you don’t, the glaze will turn into a giant puddle and will run right off the muffin.

dirty chai muffins on a wire rack

Now that I am living in the middle of a city, I’m suddenly finding myself looking for new people to take all of my excess baked goods. If you or anyone you know would like to be an official disposal for Broma Bakery goodies, please let me know. I can’t just have my mom eating the tops off of everything.

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Dirty Chai Muffins

  • Author: Sarah Fennel
Scale

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee or espresso (made from instant espresso powder)*

For the glaze

  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso (made from instant espresso powder)*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease 8 large muffin tins and set aside.
  2. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg for another minute. Beat in the vanilla extract and all spices until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the coffee into the wet ingredients, mixing only until combined.
  4. Scoop batter evenly into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F, then turn oven down to 375°F and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until muffins are golden brown and spring back to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before frosting.
  5. To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and espresso so it forms a thick glaze. Drizzle over muffins, then top with extra espresso powder.

Notes

*you can use either strongly brewed coffee or espresso here, depending on how strong you want your coffee flavor to be

More easy muffin recipes from Broma Bakery:

Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

Banana Nutella Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins

53 comments

Avatar
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
Reply

I always need something yummy to go with my morning coffee Sarah. Bingo! These are the winner! Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your week.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you Mary Ann! Hope you’re off to a good one, too 🙂

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Tori
Reply

I’ll take a whole dozen………boxes full! These are so up my ally cause I’m such a chai girl and I think muffins are the best too! Love these Sarah!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hahaha. Sounds like a plan!

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Sara @ Oats & Rows
Reply

Amazing!! <3

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you Sara!

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Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
Reply

Um, I’ll pay all the shipping and handling for one of these bb’s in my mailbox. Dirty chais (esp. in muffin form) are the best!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Sounds like a plan 🙂 Thanks Stephanie!

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Jen @ Baked by an Introvert
Reply

I wish I had one of these muffins with my coffee this morning! They look delightful, Sarah!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

I’m now craving one, too, even though I ate 3 last week. Pffff.

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Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry
Reply

We should start a blogger exchange for baked goods because i’m totally in the same boat. Muffin for a cookie?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Uhm, yes PLEASE? Love that idea!

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Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen
Reply

Oh these sound so incredible. I totally don’t blame your mom for eating the top! Chai anything, I’m in love. Pinning!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Right? Can’t really blame her 🙂

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Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet
Reply

I’m with Nicole! Love the idea of a blogger food exchange. 🙂 These muffins are beauties!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Let’s do it. It HAS to happen 🙂

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cupcakes
Reply

they look so classy Sarah, just tell us what is your baking secret !

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Jessica @ Sweetest Menu
Reply

These look INCREDIBLE Sarah! Your photos are perfection. That little story was super cute too, your mum sounds adorable!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

She’s a sweetheart. XO!

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Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
Reply

Fabulous! I love all the flavours in these muffins. Perfect for Fall 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you, Jennifer! Fall flavors = the best

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Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom
Reply

I never knew what a dirty chai was until reading this! love the glaze and would have loved to have been your mom’s face! 🙂 and obviously, your mom went for the best part .. the muffin top! if there’s a university close by, donate your baked goos to some hungry college students!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Yesss! It’s the best. I can’t blame her! And seriously, that’s a great idea….

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Liv
Reply

not so hungry college student here, I used to compulsively bake cookies when I was studying for exams — my boyfriend’s fraternity brothers were more than happy to take them off my hands

also fair warning to anyone making these, they are dense…denser than I would ordinarily want a muffin to be, except that they’re perfect for dunking in coffee that way

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Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)
Reply

Girl these are absolutely sensational!!!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Wishing we could eat some over a cup of coffee togeths 🙂

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Medha @ Whisk & Shout
Reply

These look fabulous! That glaze… pinning 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you as always, layday 🙂

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Ami@NaiveCookCooks
Reply

Sarah your photography is awesome and so are these muffins! You are lucky to have your mom enjoy these delicious baked goods made by you!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you so much, Ami! I so appreciate it 🙂

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Thalia @ butter and brioche
Reply

Exceptional photography with these muffins Sarah! I really just want to reach into the screen and grab one.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you so much Thalia! XO

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Cindy
Reply

These look incredible–I love espresso and spices together. Plus, a mom-approved recipe is always a good one!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you so much, Cindy! Happy to have you here 🙂

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Jessica | A Happy Food Dance
Reply

I drink chai lattes on the reg but still haven’t gotten up the courage to try a dirty chai – maybe I should go muffin first, then drink!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Oooh go for it! You won’t regret it 🙂

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Meagan @ The F&B Department
Reply

If you were in New Orleans, we could totally trade off on excess baked goods. These look damn delicious!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Yes, a huge blogger traaaade <3

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Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
Reply

These muffins are so creative, Sarah! Clearly, they are also delicious based on your mom’s opinion! If only you were in Charlotte I would happily take some of those guys off your hands.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

And if you were in Boston I’d insist on a swap! 🙂

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Carolyn
Reply

Looks amazing as always!! If you need some tasters in Brookline, just let me know! 😉

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Well that’s about perfect! 🙂

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Beeta @ Mon Petit Four
Reply

These look SO good, Sarah! I love the glazed tops…I don’t blame your mama! I think it’s so wonderful that you translated a favorite fall beverage into a muffin – I can just imagine biting into one of these and instantly feeling like autumn has arrived. So gorgeous!

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Amy | Club Narwhal
Reply

Sign me up for excess baked goods 😉 These bad boys looks like fall in muffin form. And I’m dying over that story with your mom–too cute!

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Laura (Tutti Dolci)
Reply

These muffins are beyond perfection! Love the chai flavor and that espresso glaze – yes please!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you Laura! Glad to have you around 🙂

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Anushay
Reply

OMG I love the idea of this. But do you think it’s possible to use something other than all-purpose flour? I mean I love it and all but I need to diet. (^.^’)
Beeteedubs your bran muffins are my favourite! C:

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hmm, you could try a combo of whole wheat and oat flour!

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Jamie
Reply

Made this for brunch this morning and they were delicious. Fabulous for dipping in coffee but just as good without. I needed more espresso for the icing than what the recipe called for but otherwise, followed the recipe exactly and they were wonderful. Thank you for your blog!! Beautoful pictures and delicious recipes. Made the cake batter ice cream too and loved that as well.

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