Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls


We’ve made it, us 9 to 5-ers.  It’s Thursday and we’re on the home stretch, inching closer to Friday.  Here’s some weekend inspiration for you-chai spiced cinnamon rolls.  Treat yourself, since you made it through the work week and all, and take a little while in the kitchen to whip these up.  These rolls use a traditional cinnamon roll dough, but the filling is made with some non-traditional ingredients.  Cardamom, ginger, black pepper, a little sprinkle of nutmeg and of course cinnamon all make for a warm and slightly spicy roll.  Drizzle with a little lemon icing and you’re on your way to a perfect weekend breakfast.  I bought the leftovers to my coworkers on Tuesday and it made for a happy weekday breakfast too.  Here’s to the weekend and it’s leisurely breakfasts!

Adapted from the Joy of Cooking.



  • ¼ cup warm water.  (Slightly hotter than bath water.)
  • 1 package of active dry yeast ( 2 ¼ teaspoons)
  • ½ all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 2 – 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour


  • 1-2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar


  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 – tablespoons milk



1. Combine the yeast and warm water in a mixing bowl.  Set aside and allow to stand until yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes.

2. Add ½ cup flour, sugar, milk. eggs, butter and salt.  Using the paddle attachment, mix until throughly combined.  Exchange the paddle for the bread hook.  Put your mixer on low speed and half a cup at a time, add the remain flour.  (I used all 2 ¼ cups of flour, but it’s super dry where I live.) The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and forms a uniform ball.

3. Place dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise until double it’s size, about 1 ½ hours.  While the dough is rising, combine the filling ingredients, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper and brown sugar.  Reserve melted butter.

4.  Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface.  Using a rolling pin, roll it to a 16 x 12 inch rectangle, or something close to that.  (I just eyeballed my measurements.)  Brush with melted butter and then sprinkle filling on.  Roll up into a cylinder, starting from the longer end of the dough.

5.  Cut the log in half, then cut the halves in half.  You should have four pieces now.  Cut those four pieces into four pieces.  Arranged in a  greased cake pan, or in a rectangle pan,  so that the buns are touching.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size again.

6.  Uncover and bake rolls for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on the top.  Combine glaze ingredients, powdered sugar, and lemon zest.  Add milk slowly, until the glaze runs off a spoon.  Drizzle the glaze over the top of the rolls.






6 thoughts on “Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Mmmm, I’m totally making these tonight. Who needs dinner? Dessert is so much better.
    I stumbled upon your blog while searching google, hoping to find a new favorite recipe. This just might be it.

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