Vanilla Chai Ricotta Muffins

Vanilla Chai Ricotta Muffins

Cozy afternoons at home with a good book and a cup of tea demand a special sort of muffin to complete the picture and make you feel warm, comforted and, dare we say, cared for.

This recipe yields a muffin that is almost impossibly light and fluffy, with olive oil and decadent ricotta lending a moist richness that’s impossible to find in a standard-issue coffee shop muffin. You don’t taste the olive oil at all in the finished recipe … just a light silkiness that really sets this muffin apart.

While fruit-studded muffins certainly have their place, you can’t beat the subtler, complex flavors of a good chai-style tea … and they translate beautifully into muffin form. We use classic elements from Indian cuisine as the inspiration for this muffin: cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. To really take these muffins over the top, we wholeheartedly recommend making a quick compound butter with a few extra shakes of these same spices (as well as a little extra honey) and spreading the finished chai butter on your freshly-baked muffins.

Want to dial up the healthiness quotient of these muffins? You can substitute white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour … just use the same amount listed below. And perhaps the best bonus of all? You won’t believe how good your kitchen smells after baking up a batch of these scratch-made muffins.

Vanilla Chai Ricotta Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin liners.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine olive oil, honey, vanilla and eggs. Beat by hand or on low speed until combined, then add ricotta cheese. Stir a few more times, then add all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Mix until combined with no lumps.

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly, then serve warm or at room temperature.