Recipe: Homemade Chai Spice Blend (Coconut Milk Chai Latte + Chai Pumpkin Muffins)


I am so obsessed with this spice blend! It encapsulates the coming seasons of autumn and winter for me. I’ve been drinking chai tea for a while now and have often thought about making my own spice blend. When I attended the tea workshop a few weeks ago I made a note to myself to actually do it, so after some research and trial and error, this is it!

The history of chai tea or rather ‘masala chai’ is fascinating. It is said that it was created by a King in an ancient royal court as a healing drink with Ayurvedic origins. At that time, the tea did not contain any black tea and was caffeine free. When the British were creating tea plantations in India, they wanted to find a way of making black tea popular there, however plain black tea lacked mass appeal, and it wasn’t until they started making a milky sweet spiced chai (masala chai) that tea drinking really took off in India. Masala Chai is really the correct name for drinking tea in this way as ‘chai’ simply means ‘tea’. However, for this recipe I’m going with the name ‘chai’ as the most common name and understanding!

Once I’d made the blend of spices I’ve been using it in all sorts of foods, not just tea! When you have that spice blend it can be added to all sorts of recipes where the flavour will work well. It’s great as a flavouring for porridge, smoothies, pancakes and works really well to create a spiced coffee when added to some ground beans in the brewing process.

Once you have a little jar of the spice blend handy it means that you can create delicious chai spiced beverages without the added sugar and chemical nasties you find in a lot of chai syrups and latte mixes. This is also great for vegans who are looking to make their own diary free lattes. In fact I decided to make a twist on the traditional masala chai using coconut milk, and also in some delicious muffins! But first, here is the simple spice blend recipe:

Chai Spice Blend
Yields 3
Simple homemade chai spice blend
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  1. 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  2. 2 tsp ground ginger
  3. 1 tsp of ground cloves
  4. 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  5. pinch black pepper
  6. 6 cardamon pods (optional)
  1. Combine all the ground spices and black pepper together in a small jar. If using, break open the cardamon pods and grind the seeds into a fine powder using a pestle and mortar or even the back of a spoon on a chopping board to crush them. Add to the spice blend.
  1. This makes a small amount, but feel free to double up the ingredients to make more.
Wholeheartedly Healthy

I tried out a few different ratios of spices before I went with this mix. Feel free to adjust according to your own tastes, I love cloves so have added a little more to my own mix. I didn’t put the star anise in the spice recipe as I use them whole in the tea…


Coconut Milk Massala Chai
Vegan friendly creamy coconut spiced tea
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  1. 1 black tea bag or 1 tbsp loose leaf black tea
  2. 1 tsp of chai spice mix
  3. 1/3 cup full fat tinned coconut milk
  4. 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  5. 1 tbsp of coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
  6. 1 star anise (optional)
  1. Add all ingredients to a pan and heat to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes then allow to cool for 2 before straining into a glass. Enjoy immediately!
Wholeheartedly Healthy

This version of masala chai is sweetened with traditional coconut sugar or jaggery as in India. The coconut milk gives it a lovely creaminess, but feel free to use regular milk or half milk and water. I have read that it is important to use something with a decent amount of fat in to really get the flavours out, so semi skimmed at the least, or preferably whole milk would work best. For the tea, cheap black tea is traditionally used in India so although I used a good quality organic loose leaf, don’t feel bad for throwing in a cheap tea bag!

I was really excited to use the spice blend in a baked recipe as I knew it would taste amazing! I decided to make something seasonal…


Chai Spiced Pumpkin Muffins
Yields 10
Mildly spiced muffins with a perfect crumb, so delicious it's hard to believe they are healthy!
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  1. 2 large free range eggs
  2. 1 cup of tinned pumpkin (or use any cooked and well mashed squash such as butternut, sweet potato would also work)
  3. 1/2 cup of coconut sugar (natural caster sugar would also work)
  4. 1 tsp vanilla essence
  5. 2 tbsp coconut oil
  6. 1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
  7. 1 tsp baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  9. 2 tsp of chai spice blend
  10. walnuts or pecans for topping
  1. Pre heat the oven to 180
  2. Line a muffin tin with liners
  3. Combine the eggs, pumpkin, coconut sugar and vanilla in a bowl.
  4. Warm the coconut oil in a microwave until it becomes liquid. Mix into the other wet ingredients.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices to the wet ingredients mixing well.
  6. Divide the mix between the muffin liners filling them 3/4 full.
  7. Add the nuts on top if using.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Devour!
Wholeheartedly Healthy

These muffins have a great texture, a mild spiced flavour and a delicate sweetness. If you prefer things sweeter, or are serving these to people who are used to sweeter baked goods, then increase the amount of coconut sugar, or add a couple of tablespoons of natural caster sugar. You could also add various add ins such as chocolate chips, chopped dates, dried cranberries, all of which will add their own sweetness. 


I’ve been eating these topped with some thick Greek yoghurt which goes really well with the warming spices. Not only are these muffins delicious, they are seriously healthy too! They are free from refined sugar, packed with fibre from the spelt flour and pumpkin and a source of healthy fat from the eggs and coconut oil.


Are you a fan of chai spices? 

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  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    Chai is my favourite tea of all time. I’m living vanilla chai at the moment. Love the idea of making your own spice blend to tune it to your own taste buds.
    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes recently posted…Warm and Cosy: autumn fashion picksMy Profile

    • Laura

      The pukka vanilla chai is lovely, I think you could easily add some vanilla bean to this mix or even some vanilla powder, I’d love to get my hands on some of that!

  • Cat

    Ooh yay I was waiting for this since seeing your tweet about chai experiments! I love the spicey/sweet combo and have recently bought a premade jar of the spices from an asian food shop but haven’t had the guts to use it yet-think this is the push I needed! Muffins look amazing too! Microwaved with some coconut cream would be immense I reckon!

    • Laura

      Mmm the muffins with coconut cream would be fantastic, I will have to try that!

  • Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)

    This sounds amazing, totally going to make my own blend, just need to get cloves.

    • Laura

      I really can’t believe it took me so long to make this, definitely worth it!

  • Rach

    I spend far too much on Starbucks chai lattes and am very excited to try your recipe! The muffins sound fab too. Where do you get your coconut sugar from? I’ve never even heard of it and since I always have to have a few sugars in my morning coffee I’m hoping this might also be a good substitute.

    • Laura

      I have been getting mine from but there’s a new company I’m going to be reviewing called coconom that sell it in the UK:

      • Blog reader

        I’ve actually seen coconut sugar in Holland and Barrett too!

  • Philippa

    Been waiting for this one! The spice blend sounds so lovely.
    Philippa recently posted…review: samsung galaxy s4 and s health appMy Profile

    • Laura

      I was quite surprised at how good it really is, can’t believe it took me so long to make it!

  • Kerry

    oo how perfect are these for a rainy day?! YUM! x
    Kerry recently posted…Friday Fitness #6!My Profile

    • Laura

      Oh goodness yes, just the smell from the oven is worth it!

  • chrissy grace

    delicious! you have made me crave some chai now !!! xxx
    chrissy grace recently posted…Today is the first day of the rest of my lifeMy Profile

    • Laura

      Hope you met that craving!

  • Ffion @ Chocolate and Blueberries

    I love Masala Chai, and I love the idea of making my own spice blend. I’ve started adding cinnamon to everything this past week, and at the weekend I bought some nutmeg: I can’t stop smelling it it smells so good!
    Ffion @ Chocolate and Blueberries recently posted…Looking Backwards, Looking Forwards and a 10KMy Profile

    • Laura

      I keep sticking my nose in the jar of chai spice too! I think the great thing about those spices is that they are good on so many different foods :-)

  • Tamzin

    Yum I love chai, thanks for sharing this!
    Tamzin recently posted…An Irish WeddingMy Profile

    • Laura

      My pleasure!

  • Claire @ Flake and Cake

    Those pumpkin spice muffins look perfect for autumn! Yum!
    Claire @ Flake and Cake recently posted…MIMM: Sunshine in a bagMy Profile

    • Laura

      like autumn on a plate they were! ;-)

  • Phaze

    WOW WOW WOW! Those muffins look and sound to die for! I’m your next follower as I am trying desperately to eat healthy and shed a few pounds before my impending trip to the USA and these recipes are definitely going to come in handy!

    I’ve recently started my own lifestyle blog, please check it out on…

    Thanks x

    • Laura

      Hi Phaze, thanks for following! Just about to check out your blog now :-) Hope you enjoy my recipes!

  • Lucy @ Lucy On The Lookout

    Gosh, both of these look incredible! Chai has to be one of my all-time favourite flavours, especially as it reminds me so much of travelling on buses in India and having little breaks to stretch the legs and indulge in a small cup :)

    One question, where do you buy tinned pumpkin from? Can you find it in the supermarket or do you have to go to a health food store? It is yet to cross my path but I’m really hoping to get stuck in this autumn to make some lovely baked goods like those muffins!
    Lucy @ Lucy On The Lookout recently posted…Recent Loves & ThoughtsMy Profile

    • Laura

      I would love to actually try masala chai in India, that sounds amazing! You know I remember thinking I’d better say in the post where to get the pumpkin! I actually found some in Aldi reduced! You can also get it from places like Selfridge’s food hall. Last year I actually ordered a few tins from american but it is expensive. It’s not too hard to make your own from butternut squash though :-)

    • Blog reader

      They sell it in Waitrose in the tinned fruit aisle.

      • Lucy

        Cool, thanks guys! If I spy a Waitrose close by I’ll pop in to there, otherwise a little trip for treats to Selfridge’s food hall it is (that place is dangerous for my wallet but got to try tinned pumpkin at least once this autumn ;) )
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  • Anna @AnnaTheApple

    Such warming spices and aromatic. I love this combo. I love the sound of it in muffins. Yum. Perfect for autumn!

    • Laura

      I think I’ll be having a fair few of these muffins over autumn for sure :-)

  • Kezia

    Brilliant I have been meaning to make my own blend for ages as it means I can do without the sugar content of shop bought stuff (and the price tag!) Thanks! Chai obsession here I come!
    Kezia recently posted…Kezia’s BrowniesMy Profile

    • Laura

      absolutely! Just the reason I wanted to share this spice blend :-) I think I am going to have that obsession as well!

  • Maria @ runningcupcake

    This post is actually my idea of heaven!
    Those spices on porridge would be so warming and lovely for breakfast at this time of year! Love it!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Cake and Bake show!My Profile

    • Laura

      Haha I thought you might enjoy this Maria :-) It absolutely would work with porridge, very yummy!

  • LilyLipstick

    I love chai tea – I haven’t had it for a while but now that the seasons have changed I’m really craving it! Those muffins look amazing. x
    LilyLipstick recently posted…#FITFORFESTIVEFASHIONMy Profile

    • Laura

      It’s definitely a seasonal thing isn’t it, as soon as the weather becomes autumn I want it!

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  • Jana

    Wow, that chai coconut milk looks amazing! Perfect way to start my morning, I can’t wait to try it!