Guys, my mom makes the best chai. All from scratch, not from one of those packaged “chai” teas you find in grocery stores. This is the real stuff over here.
Since it’s been too cold and rainy to set foot outdoors for any type of fun, I’ve had to stay warm indoors with a cozy blanket and some hot tea or coffee. And during Thanksgiving, my mom was making her chai easily three times a day! Three times!
I have to admit, I don’t love chai as much as my mother. Or my brother. Or most people I know, but it’s mainly because I LOVE, love LOVE, LOOOVE coffee. But the perfectly balanced flavors in my mom’s chai recipe are too good even for me to pass up sometimes.
I thought of a way to infuse chai into something I love to eat. And that’s how I decided I was ready to make cinnamon rolls.
These Chai Cinnamon Rolls are perfect for breakfast or for a coffee/chai break. These sweet, sweet rolls go well with nearly any hot coffee or tea, and they’re even good with milk too! They’re also a fun breakfast to have on hand at home if people are visiting you for the holidays!
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, unpeeled
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp chai spice
- 4 tsp black tea (orange pekoe)
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 packet instant yeast
- 3/4 cup hot chai (recipe to follow)
- 2 and 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon (you may add more!)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp chai
- Add the water, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, chai spice, and black tea to a pot and bring to a boil. Let the tea boil for ten minutes.
- Add the half and half to the tea and let the tea boil for 3-5 minutes longer.
- Next, we make the dough. Toss 2 1/4 cups flour, sugar, coconut sugar, salt, and yeast until evenly mixed.
- Mix the butter and hot chai together and then mix with the flour. You want the chai and butter to be HOT so if the chai has cooled off, feel free to microwave the chai and butter together until it's hot again. Add the egg and mix until the dough forms. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes and then let it rest for 10 minutes. It should have an elastic consistency.
- While the dough is rising, we make the filling. Mix together the softened butter, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and granulated sugar.
- Roll the dough out into a large rectangle. Spread the filling all over the top of the dough and then sprinkle on some more sugar if desired. Roll up the dough tightly and then cut into slices. Place in a greased pan. Cover with foil and let the rolls rise for about 60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake the rolls for about 25 minutes. Cover with foil around the 15 minute mark to make sure the tops of the cinnamon rolls don't brown too quickly.
- To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, chai, and vanilla extract. Pour over the cinnamon rolls before serving.
Recipe Slightly Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction