Thai Tea Cupcakes39

thai tea cupcake

I really, really want a solid Thai Tea cupcake recipe. I have been playing around with just about every product I could get my hands on and trying a variety of recipes and approaches. Getting the Thai tea flavor in the baked good was just not working. While the cake tasted fine… in most cases ended up tasting like corn and not Thai tea.

I finally decided to skip the flavor in the cake and focus it in the filling and frosting. I also used yet another new product and this one is my favorite so far. I made Thai Ice Tea per the directions and the result is most definitely whatever I am being served in San Francisco Thai restaurants… the Thai Tea flavor I am accustomed to and love.

These cupcakes tasted luscious – no funky after tastes, no cloying sweetness. The cake is the not-too-sweet balance to the creamy sweetness of the filling and frosting. We tried these soon after assembly and they just sort of burst into a creamy mass. I think with some time in the refrigerator the flavors will deepen, the filling will become one with the cake, and the experience should be equally as good, perhaps a little better, and definitely a bit neater.

I don’t know if this is the end of my search, but I am definitely pleased with what transpired today.

15 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large egg whites

1. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
4. Measure out vanilla and milk together.
5. Add about a third of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
6. Add about one half the milk mixture and beat until combined.
7. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture. Transfer to a bowl. Clean mixer bowl well and dry thoroughly.
8. Whip egg whites until soft peaks form.
9. Mix in about a half cup of egg whites in to the batter, then fold the batter into the egg whites, gently until all egg whites streaks are gone.
10. Scoop into cupcake papers about two thirds full.
11. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

mise en place
mise en place


Thai Tea Creamy Filling

3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup Thai Tea syrup
4 large egg yolks

1. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix sugar, flour, and salt together and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, bring milk and Thai Tea syrup to simmer over medium-low heat.
4. Pour about a half cup of the milk over the dry mixture and mix to combine.
5. Transfer back into the pan and continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. About 5 minutes.
6. Slowly add a small amount of the hot mixture to the eggs and mix to combine. Transfer back into the pan and continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
7. Transfer to a bowl, let cool for 10 minutes. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.

Note: You will have extra filling. I decided against splitting the recipe in half as it uses the 4 egg yolks for the 4 whites in the cake recipe. If you don’t want extra, try cutting the recipe in half.

thai tea syrup
thai tea syrup

Thai Tea Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 8-ounce package Phili cream cheese
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Thai Tea syrup
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment.
3. Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add half of the sugar and 1/4 cup of Thai tea syrup. Beat until combined.
5. Gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like. Add more syrup to get to the flavor you want. I added 2 more tablespoons.

the cone
the cone

thai tea cream filling
thai tea cream filling

tops back on
replaced top

1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with a teaspoon of cream filling.
3. Replace the top of the cone.
4. Frost then sprinkle with crushed Thai tea leaves.

thai tea cupcake and thai iced tea

39 comments for Thai Tea Cupcakes »

  1. Wow, nice work! These look lovely. I love the orangeyness, not too orange, but bright enough to be cheery.

    Comment by Anonymous — June 26, 2006 @ 8:07 am

  2. ooh! i have always thought that thai tea would be a glorious flavor for a bite sized delight. bravo for your stellar work in the field of cupcakery!

    deliciously yours,


    Comment by monkey — June 26, 2006 @ 9:26 am

  3. They looked great! I hope this will be the successful (and delicious) end to your search for your perfect Thai tea cupcake.

    Comment by Mary — June 26, 2006 @ 10:58 am

  4. Oh I like the idea of the flavouring in the frosting. I also like the little surprise cone you created. Thank goodness these are just cupcakes though, I’ll have to freeze the rest so that I won’t eat them all at once.

    Comment by risingsunofnihon — June 26, 2006 @ 11:29 am

  5. oh my God ! They are so lovely :

    Comment by Papilles et pupilles — June 26, 2006 @ 12:33 pm

  6. I love your creativity, the cupcakes look lovely! You know what, I was wondering since you’re so good at baking, have you ever tried the Creamy French bread at Gran d’Or now known as Anderssen Bakery? The filling is just so tasty, but I can’t figure out what’s in their recipe

    Comment by Nha — June 26, 2006 @ 2:33 pm

  7. This tasted Great. I just took the last one off tray. I am not a tea fan and I loved it.



    Comment by Sandi — June 26, 2006 @ 3:35 pm

  8. I always love coming to your site. You are such an inspiration for me to try new things.
    Those cupcakes look amazing.

    Comment by peabody — June 26, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

  9. That looks and sounds so good…and I really shouldn’t visit your blog when I’m hungry, cause now I need some cupcakes…

    Comment by aliastriona — June 26, 2006 @ 6:57 pm

  10. Your blog is amazing, but dangerous for someone who loves cupcakes ;-)

    Comment by Vintage Wine — June 27, 2006 @ 10:19 am

  11. It looks like you’re using a kind of pudding for the creamy center of your cupcakes. While the eggs provide a lot of fat to carry the flavor, I was wondering if you’d tried doing a kind of molten center using a ganache base (with heavy cream) that can be baked along with the cupcakes? I haven’t sifted through your archives enough to see if you’ve experimented with that kind of filling before…

    Comment by Jen B — June 27, 2006 @ 3:44 pm

  12. Is the ‘cake’ part of this ensemble a vanilla cupcake?

    I am trying to come up with a perfect vanilla cupcake. I have tried a few recipes from the Cake Bible (my favorite) and wondered if you have a favorite vanilla recipe?


    Comment by Kim — June 27, 2006 @ 6:57 pm

  13. I had the most delicious earl grey ice cream over the weekend in New Orleans. It was a compliment to a little chocolate cake, paired with earl- grey-soaked cherries, but the cake took a back seat to the ice cream.

    If you’re going down the road of tea-inspired cupcakes, I’d bet an earl grey creme would be delicious – and maybe incorporate cherries?

    Comment by Megan — June 28, 2006 @ 12:50 pm

  14. since flavors not so different, “monin chai tea syrup” can be a good solution too heh! they even have thai coffee syrup :D OR instead of syrups you can try “chai tea extract” ;)

    Comment by CowGirl — June 28, 2006 @ 7:02 pm

  15. Hi chockylit! I’m in thailand right now – how about that? I wanted to share this with you. I’ve been experimenting with your recipe but with malaysian/indian tea (non-chai) and I found that making the tea and incorporating it as a wet ingredient didn’t yield a strong enough flavour and tended to curdle the batter even when it was incorporated slowly. so I tried it with dry instant mix (3 sachets) (you might have to reduce the amount of sugar if your mix has sugar) and if you have the actual thai tea leaves, try grinding it to a very fine texture in a food processor and adding a tablespoon of it into the batter. I also added condensed milk (1 tablespoon, and about 1/4 cup of milk) to balance out the dry ingredients. The result – a stronger tea-tasting flavour in the cake and no tea leaves to spit out, don’t worry!… You can also throw in some of the fine-ground tea leaves in the condensed milk buttercream and it adds a pretty speckle to it. Please let me know what you think…


    Comment by mayakins — June 28, 2006 @ 11:19 pm

  16. OMG. I love the last photo with the cupcake and thai tea. It’s precious!

    Comment by lara stein pardo — June 29, 2006 @ 7:14 am

  17. sorry for the lack of responses, but i have been busy getting ready to go on vacation. i shall be gone for 2 weeks, but will be working on a new recipe where i am going.

    take care!

    Comment by chockylit — June 30, 2006 @ 1:04 am

  18. Hmmmm! the filling just look like perfect! It’s a really nice secret if you don’t tell your guests before they bite ;-) Thank you very much for these great ideas!

    Comment by St├ęphane — July 1, 2006 @ 11:08 am

  19. Love the way you put the filling in! I would never have thought of that. I always use a pastry bag with an extra long needle point tip but it doesn’t really always work as well as simply cutting off the top and replacing it would because you can’t always get enough filling squeezed in to make it worth it without blowing out the side of the cupcake. I loved your idea. Simple and perfect. They’re beautiful! Great job!

    Comment by Glenna — July 2, 2006 @ 2:53 pm

  20. Hi! I love your site, and wanted to let you know that I used your Ice Cream Cone Cupcake recipe to make World Cup Cakes ( They worked out great and were delicious. Thanks so much!

    Comment by Aoife — July 2, 2006 @ 8:49 pm

  21. oooh! i can’t wait to try these! the other batch i made was good but these look divine!!!

    you are one inspiring cupcake master! i bow to you!


    Comment by jek in the box — July 4, 2006 @ 7:29 am

  22. Dear Chockylit,
    Your strange and exotic cupcake flavors are the perfect beginning for my passion, which is taking a cupcake and dressing it up in strange and exotic fashions. Please visit my blog if you have a chance:

    A dedicated Cupcake Bakeshop subscriber,

    Comment by San Francisco Sweet Tooth — July 8, 2006 @ 6:27 pm

  23. I have a favorite cake which I always make for christmas or my birthday and I would love to see how you ‘cupcake’ it. It is adapted from one I tasted from the ‘Guilt Tripp’ bakery in Jamaica. It consists of chocolate genoise, sliced poached pears, coffee flavored french buttercream (not too sweet)and ginger cream (I use whipping cream, chrystalized ginger and Thai instant ginger tea), in delectable layers. Yummm!

    Comment by JM — July 9, 2006 @ 5:57 am

  24. What a wonderful creation! I love your posts. Beautiful.

    Comment by Fran — July 9, 2006 @ 8:51 am

  25. these look yummy! have you ever tried making a chocolate earl grey cupcake?

    Comment by fingoria — July 9, 2006 @ 9:45 pm

  26. your site is a godsend! i’ve been reading it even before i started my own food blog. my a cappella group was looking for a devil’s food cake recipe and we turned to your site for some advice. suffice it to say, we made a fantastic batch of nutella cupcakes that night. so thanks for that! and thanks for this wonderful new recipe which i will be sure to try!!! (the great part is all your recipes work out, unlike some cookbooks i’ve found)

    Comment by J. Lo — July 10, 2006 @ 5:07 am

  27. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Comment by Cheryl — July 10, 2006 @ 4:44 pm

  28. I’m not a very good cook (or baker for that matter), but isn’t Star Anise what gives the tea leaves their flavor in Thai tea? I found a recipe for just the tea that you might find usefull:

    Comment by Persian Pen Name — July 19, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

  29. It has almost been a month! Where are you Chockylit? We miss you!

    Comment by Anonymous — July 22, 2006 @ 9:37 am

  30. I know! I just got back from vacation. in Portugal. I am working on a Portugal inspire recipe this weekend and will post on Sunday!

    Comment by chockylit — July 22, 2006 @ 10:17 am

  31. I have been admiring your cupcakes for a long time and I’m delighted to see your persistance on making the perfect thai tea cupcake. A big fan of the drink myself, I looked high and low for some thai tea mix that tastes almost exact to the stuff I was getting at my favourite restaurants. Years later, a friend told me that the actual thai tea is made simply from this: very strongly brewed red/rooibos tea (a tea made from a plant in Africa; surprisingly it can be found in most grocery stores) with a splash of coffee creamer and ice. I highly recommend you try the tea. This is most likely the taste you’re looking for!

    Comment by Peaches — September 6, 2006 @ 5:32 pm

  32. Oh migosh that frosting looks amazingly decadent. I’m drooling.

    Comment by Sara, The Wine Makers wife — February 27, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

  33. Can you come to my house ;)

    Is there a way to make my own tea syrup?

    Comment by benny — April 21, 2007 @ 9:10 pm

  34. Hello!
    I was going to try this recipe and could not find the Thai Tea syrup in my local Thai grocery store. I purchased a powdered version instead which I will need to add sugar to. Can I just use the base version of this mix (without the cream) in place of the syrup?
    Also, did you know that your recipe is posted on the Curry Simple site:


    Comment by Winkoo — June 21, 2007 @ 5:07 pm

  35. hey there!
    i just made a thai tea cupcake that i was more than pleased with and will soon be selling through my bakery! i figured the only way to get a really solid thai tea taste in the cake without too much of a saccharine taste was to use really strongly brewed thai tea in the batter. i made a white cake so as not to overpower the tea and with the strong thai tea? amazing!

    Comment by cheryl — June 25, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

  36. Hi Cheryl. Love your blog (& cupcakes)! I lived in SF for 17 years before moving to London, and the one thing I really miss is Thai Iced tea. Thai restaurants here don’t seem to serve it (no one i know here has even heard of it!) I was perusing your blog the other day & saw your posts on Thai Tea cupcakes & thought it was a brilliant idea! Inspired by you & an intense craving for the stuff, I tried to make eggless Thai tea-esque fairy cakes yesterday, and it worked! My 2 little boys & hub loved them (mind you, they have no idea what thai tea tastes like). I brewed 5 teabags of red tea in 120ml of water & mixed in 85g of leftover dulce de leche. I iced the cakes with leftover dulce de leche marshmallow buttercream. The taste & color was close enough to how I remember the tea & took me right back to Bangkok Garden in DC. Thanks for the inspiration & sharing your recipes!

    Comment by Michelle — September 30, 2010 @ 7:46 am

  37. Awesome story! No Thai iced tea? What a shame!

    Comment by chockylit — September 30, 2010 @ 8:30 am

  38. This is a pretty old post, so I’m sure you’re no longer following it…but I just wanted to point out that your recipe & photo is on the CurrySimple website. You probably allowed this, but they gave you no credit…not sure if that’s normal. Just an FYI.
    PS. I REALLY want to try these, but the concentrate is not available to order. :(

    Comment by Amanda — July 27, 2011 @ 7:23 am

  39. Has anyone made the other thai tea cupcake with strong brewed tea instead of instant, then soaked it in the milk mixture like you would for a tres leches cupcake??

    Comment by Rose — August 30, 2011 @ 9:08 am

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