Yield: 6 dirty chai latte muffins // Total Time: 40 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. // This post is sponsored by Papanicholas. All opinions are my own. // Recipe updated to be small batch 8/23/23.

Coffee muffins with a chai swirl, chai streusel, and coffee glaze.

dirty chai muffins with an coffee glaze

A dirty chai latte, but in muffin form! These muffins are super light and tender and have coffee both in the batter and in a glaze on top. They’re filled with a brown sugar chai mixture (peep that cute layer in the middle of the muffins above!) and are topped with a chai streusel. They’re super flavorful and are truly just a perfect fall muffin treat.

papanicholas coffee

I partnered with papanicholas coffee to bring you these delicious dirty chai latte muffins today! I absolutely love papanicholas coffee, I use their coffee beans every day! In this recipe I used their toasted southern pecan coffee grounds to flavor both the muffins and the glaze. It adds such a nice nutty flavor to these chai muffins! I definitely highly recommend trying some of their coffee, they have so many delicious flavors and are always the coffee I use in my recipes. You can find their website by clicking here.

recipe tips

weigh your ingredients

Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient and can easily throw off a recipe. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out! If you don’t have access to a scale, here is the best way to measure flour:

  • How to measure flour with cups: fluff up the flour with a fork, then use a spoon to scoop it into your measuring cup. Use a knife to level off the top of the cup, then use as directed.

mix the batter carefully

It is super important to not overmix the muffin batter. Overmixing the batter leads to more gluten development which will take your muffins from light and fluffy to tough and chewy. If you’ve ever had your muffin tops be super pointy – overmixing is also the culprit! Be sure to mix the flour gently into the batter, and stop mixing right when that last flour streak disappears.

room temperature ingredients

It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. Here’s how to get room temperature ingredients FAST if you’re in a time crunch or forgot to take the ingredients out (like I often do):

  • Egg: place the egg in a bowl and run hot water over it for 1 continuous minute, or let it sit in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.
  • Sour cream and milk: microwave each in 5-second intervals until it is no longer cold, but is not warm (room temp!)

keep an eye on those muffins!

Muffins like to go from under-baked to over-baked super quickly so it is important to keep a close eye on them. Start checking at 14 minutes with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out wet, check them again in 2 minutes and so on until only a few moist crumbs stick to the toothpick.

how to get bakery style muffin tops

The trick to getting those nicely domed muffin tops is (mostly) all in your oven’s temperature! Bake the muffins at 425°F / 220°C for 5 minutes. Then, without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 350°F / 175°C and continue baking until done. The super high heat will make the muffins rise nice and tall! You will also want to bake them lined in every other tin on the muffin pan, and fill them to the very top. This recipe makes the perfect amount of batter to fill every muffin liner straight to the top for those perfect muffin tops!

how to evenly distribute your muffin batter

My favorite way to evenly distribute muffin batter is to use cookie scoops! Works perfectly every time. So long are the days of eyeballing which muffin may need a little more batter.

ingredients and substitutions

For the chai streusel:

Unsalted butter: the base of the streusel, makes it taste buttery and delicious. You can use salted butter in place of the unsalted.

Light brown sugar: sweetens the streusel.

All purpose flour: adds structure to the streusel.

Chai spice: for flavor.

For the muffins:

All purpose flour: for structure and chewiness.

Baking powder: for helping the muffins rise.

Salt: to help balance and bring out the sweetness of the muffins.

Unsalted butter: for tenderness and flavor. You can use salted butter in place of the unsalted, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the muffins.

Granulated sugar: for sweetening and helping lock in moisture.

Egg: for binding and for moisture.

Vanilla: for flavor. I use and love this vanilla extract!

Papanicholas Toasted Southern Pecan Coffee: gives these muffins a wonderful nutty coffee flavor. If you’re not a fan of coffee but love chai, you can replace the coffee with more milk.

Whole milk: for moisture. You can use 2%, 1% or your favorite plant-based milk here, just note that the texture may change and the muffins may be less light and fluffy.

Sour cream: for moisture and tenderizing the muffin batter. You can also substitute in greek yogurt here!

For the chai swirl:

Light brown sugar: for a sweet and flavorful surprise in the center of the muffins.

Chai spice: adds flavor to the swirl.

For the coffee glaze:

Powdered sugar & espresso.

dirty chai latte muffins q&a

how to make your own chai spice

If you are interested in making your own chai spice, here is what I used for this recipe! This will make enough for 1 1/2 tsp.. Half of it will be used in the chai swirl, and half will be used in the chai streusel.

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. each of the following: ground allspice, ground cardamom, ground cloves, ground ginger

what is a dirty chai latte?

A dirty chai latte is just a regular chai latte that has had coffee added to it. It’s really a delicious pairing and is especially delicious when made into muffin form!

can I double this recipe?

Definitely! Simply double all the ingredients and enjoy!

how to store these muffins

Like most baked goods, these muffins will definitely taste the best on the day that they are baked. They will last for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

why do you measure in grams?

My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale.

a note on oven temperature

Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature and aren’t always at the temperature they claim to be. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.

tools and ingredients

You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!

did you make these dirty chai latte muffins?

If you made these dirty chai latte muffins I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!

Dirty Chai Latte Muffins

5 from 2 votes
Light and tender coffee muffins, swirled with chai spiced brown sugar, topped with a chai streusel and coffee glaze.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings6 muffins


Chai Streusel

  • 21 g unsalted butter (1 ½ tbsp.)
  • 22 g light brown sugar (2 tbsp.)
  • 40 g all purpose flour (⅓ c.)
  • ¾ tsp. chai spice

Coffee Muffins

  • 56 g unsalted butter (4 tbsp.)
  • 100 g granulated sugar (1 c.)
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 20 g coffee room temperature
  • 45 g sour cream (3 tbsp.) room temperature
  • 32 g whole milk (2 tbsp.) room temperature
  • 120 g all purpose flour (1 c.)
  • 1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Chai Swirl

  • 55 g light brown sugar (¼ c.)
  • ¾ tsp. chai spice

Coffee Glaze

  • 60 g powdered sugar (1 c.)
  • ½-1 tbsp. coffee


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C. Alternate lining a muffin pan with 6 parchment liners.

Chai Streusel

  • In a small bowl, melt the butter. Use a fork to whisk in the sugar, flour, and chai spice until combined and chunks of dough are formed. Set aside.

Coffee Muffins

  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, melt the butter, then whisk in the sugar.
  • Whisk in the egg, vanilla, coffee, sour cream, and milk until well combined.
  • Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently mix together just until no flour streaks remain.
  • Use a small cookie scoop to dish out enough muffin batter into each liner to cover the bottom (~1 ½ tbsp.)
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and chai spice. Evenly distribute the spiced sugar between each muffin liner, using approximately 2 tsp. per muffin.
  • Top the muffins with the remaining batter, then evenly distribute the streusel on top of each muffin.
  • Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425°F / 220°C. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature of the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean.

Coffee Glaze

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and 1 tbsp. of coffee until well combined. If the glaze is too thick, add in more coffee until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Once the muffins have cooled to room temperature, drizzle the glaze over each muffin. Serve and enjoy!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These will be added to my favorites list, so delicious, the muffins are nice and light and the flavour, mmm, I told my Hubby that this will happen even time we have overnight guests. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  2. Hi there. Is the baking powder measurement correct- 1 tablespoon, not 1 teaspoon? Just checking. Thanks

  3. 5 stars
    These are perfect dirty chai muffins! The chai and coffee is very well balanced — neither is too strong nor weak. Two things that made my muffins rise super high — the first 5 minutes at a higher temperature and filling every other spot in the muffin tin. These tasted like fancy bakery style muffins and I’ll definitely be making them again!