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Easy Homemade Chai Cinnamon Rolls

There’s nothing more homey and comforting than the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in your kitchen on a cold day.   Unless of course, you’re baking up a batch of these spiced chai cinnamon rolls!  

These cinnamon rolls are a tea-lover’s take on an old favorite.  If you love the spicy taste of chai, these are the cinnamon rolls for you!

Ready to get baking?  Jump to the recipe here

chai cinnamon rolls with glaze in a glass pan

What are Chai Spices?

If you’ve been around this site a while, you know I love the warm and spicy taste of chai.   Did you know that chai is actually the Indian word for “tea”?  So when a person orders a “chai tea”, they’re actually ordering a “tea tea”.   

When most people refer to chai, they’re usually talking about the spice blend used in Masala Chai, which is a traditional Indian tea drink made with black tea, milk and a special blend of spices.  

The ingredients in chai spice blends can vary, but most contain a mixture of any and all of the following:

  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • All Spice
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom
  • Nutmeg
  • Star Anise
  • Black Pepper

What’s a Popular Blend of Chai Spices?

The chai spice mix in these cinnamon rolls contains 6 of the most popular masala spices: cinnamon, ginger, all spice, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg.  If you’re looking for a great blend, I’ve got you…here’s a link to my favorite Chai Spice Blend recipe.  I always have a batch of this mixed up in my cupboard ready to go.   It’s also an important part of my chai cookie recipe!

Chai Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients

ingredients for chai cinnamon rolls on a wood background

Chai Cinnamon Bun Dough Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup warm (~100 ℉) brewed chai tea 
  • 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 3+ cups flour (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

To change things up, you can use any warm liquid in place of the chai tea if you like.  (Coffee, milk, or water – just make sure it’s warmed to about 100 ℉ .)  

Chai Spiced Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Chai Spice Blend 
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup butter (softened)

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
  • 1/8 teaspoon balt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

How to Make Chai Cinnamon Rolls

Make the Chai Cinnamon Bun Dough and Allow to Rise 

  • In a large mixing bowl add the warm chai tea and sprinkle the yeast over it evenly. Set aside for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. The yeast should look foamy after the ten minutes have elapsed.
yeast and chai tea in a bowl
  • Gently fold in the rest of the ingredients for the dough (white sugar, eggs, butter, and salt). Fold and knead dough with a wooden spoon until it starts to become too difficult, then switch to using your hands. Once the dough is starting to come together, turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes to activate the gluten in the flour. Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking. 
make dough for chai cinnamon rolls
  • Place the kneaded dough into a large clean mixing bowl. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm place to rise. Near the dishwasher, oven, or a sunny window is a great place. Let the dough rise for 6o minutes. 
  • While you are waiting for the dough to rise, prepare your filling. 
  • Once the dough has risen for 60 minutes turn it back onto a floured surface and roll out with a floured rolling pin. Try to keep the dough in a long rectangular shape. You want the length of the dough to reach approximately 12 inches long, 8 inches wide with a ¼ inch thickness.
rolled cinnamon roll dough

Make the Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • In a medium mixing bowl, blend all the ingredients for the filling (brown sugar, chai spice, cinnamon, butter) and mix with a fork or a mixer until well combined. 
cinnamon roll filling in a white bowl
  • Spread the prepared mixture evenly onto the rolled-out dough, making sure to leave a ½ inch clearing on one long side of the dough. 
add cinnamon roll filling to dough
  • Starting on the long side without the ½ inch clearing, begin to roll lengthwise. Try to maintain a medium tightness when rolling the dough up. 
roll up cinnamon rolls with filling
  • Once completely rolled up, cut into 9 even pieces using a large sharp knife or a piece of plain dental floss. Grease a 9 x 9 baking dish and place the cut cinnamon buns swirl side up in rows of three. Cover with a clean towel to rise.
slice dough into 9 pieces
  • Preheat the oven to bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the cinnamon buns near the oven to rise again for another 45 minutes. 
chai cinnamon rolls ready to bake
  • After the rolls have risen, uncover and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven to bake for 25-30 minutes. 
  • Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool completely before topping with the glaze.

Make the Vanilla Glaze

  • Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a small mixing bowl. Stir vigorously with a fork until all the lumps have dissolved and the glaze is smooth. 
make glaze
  • Pour the glaze over the cooled cinnamon buns. 
pour glaze over

Eat Every Last One of your Chai Cinnamon Rolls

These never last with my family so I never have any the next day.  If your situation is different, you can store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.  They also keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Chai Spice Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Easy Homemade Chai Cinnamon Rolls

Easy Homemade Chai Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 9 Rolls
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

These delicious chai cinnamon rolls are a new twist on an old favorite with the addition of warming masala chai spices in the filling. They'll make your kitchen smell heavenly and disappear in a second!

Ingredients

  • DOUGH INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/3 cup Warm (~100 ℉) Brewed Chai Tea
  • 2 ½ teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • ½ cup White Granulated Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter (melted)
  • 3+ cups Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • FILLING INGREDIENTS:
  • ¾ cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Chai Spice (SEE NOTE)
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ cup Butter (softened)
  • GLAZE INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup confectioners' Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Milk
  • 1 tablespoon Butter (softened)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Instructions

MAKE THE DOUGH:

  1. In a large mixing bowl add the warm chai tea and sprinkle the yeast over it evenly. Set aside for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. The yeast should look foamy after the ten minutes have elapsed.
  2. Gently fold in the rest of the ingredients for the dough (white sugar, eggs, butter, and salt). Fold and knead dough with a wooden spoon until it starts to become too difficult, then switch to using your hands. Once the dough is starting to come together, turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes to activate the gluten in the flour. Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking. 
  3. Place the kneaded dough into a large clean mixing bowl. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm place to rise. Near the dishwasher, oven, or a sunny window is a great place. Let the dough rise for 6o minutes. 
  4. While you are waiting for the dough to rise, prepare your filling. 
  5. Once the dough has risen for 60 minutes turn it back onto a floured surface and roll out with a floured rolling pin. Try to keep the dough in a long rectangular shape. You want the length of the dough to reach approximately 12 inches long, 8 inches wide with a ¼ inch thickness.


MAKE THE FILLING:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, blend all the ingredients for the filling (brown sugar, chai spice, cinnamon, butter) and mix with a fork or a mixer until well combined. 
  2. Spread the prepared mixture evenly onto the rolled-out dough, making sure to leave a ½ inch clearing on one long side of the dough. 
  3. Starting on the long side without the ½ inch clearing, begin to roll lengthwise. Try to maintain a medium tightness when rolling the dough up. 
  4. Once completely rolled up, cut into 9 even pieces using a large sharp knife or a piece of plain dental floss. Grease a 9 x 9 baking dish and place the cut cinnamon buns swirl side up in rows of three. Cover with a clean towel to rise.
  5. Preheat the oven to bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the cinnamon buns near the oven to rise again for another 45 minutes. 
  6. After the rolls have risen, uncover and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven to bake for 25-30 minutes. 
  7. Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool completely before topping with the glaze.


MAKE THE GLAZE:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a small mixing bowl. Stir vigorously with a fork until all the lumps have dissolved and the glaze is smooth. 
  2. Pour the glaze over the cooled cinnamon buns.

Notes

  • You can use store bought Chai Spice, or make your own with this easy Chai Spice Blend Recipe.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.  They also keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 325mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 1gSugar: 41gProtein: 4g

Nutrition figures are estimates. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information for any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe.

Want to save this Chai Cinnamon Roll recipe to bake later?  Save it to your favorite chai lover’s Pinterest board and pass it on!

chai cinnamon roll graphic
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