How to Make Chai Cinnamon Rolls

Let’s take cinnamon rolls to a whole new level, by adding a hint of chai flavours.

What is Chai?

Chai in Hindi means tea. And the spices commonly to create this tea consist of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and fennel. Everyone who makes chai has their own unique take of the recipe which makes it so fun! I love how there is wiggle room to create your very own chai that you and your family loves.

What is the Difference between Cinnamon buns and Chai Cinnamon Buns?

The answer is quite simple, the chai ones have an additional component to it, which is the mixture of chai spices grounded together in the filling. If you remove those spices, you can use this recipe to make a regular cinnamon bun too!

Can I Make the Dough Ahead of Time?

Yes! You definitely can, all you have to do is make it up to the part of the second rise. Instead of rising it the second time in a warm place, you can actually do the second rise inside the fridge and leave it overnight. If you want to bake them in the morning, you can simply preheat your oven and bake it like normal. This would make a great breakfast for any special occasion.

Can I freeze Cinnamon Buns?

You definitely can! The best way to freeze cinnamon buns is to actually par baked them. So you bake them about half way through only. You can follow the instructions of this recipe exactly, once you get to the baking part, only bake for about 10 minutes. You don’t want it to get brown on the edges yet. Remove the par baked buns from the oven, let it cool completely before wrapping up to freeze. You can wrap each bun individually and freeze or wrap the whole tray and freeze all together. When you are ready to finish baking them, you can bake them from frozen. It will likely take a little more time to finish baking but it will be exactly like the freshly baked one.

Let’s get right into these delicious Chai Cinnamon Buns! I created them in a heart shape if you want to make them for your loved ones for Valentine’s Day. However, you can make them like traditional cinnamon buns and just do one roll, cut them into 9 pieces and bake them off that way!

Chai Cinnamon Buns

Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Bread, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


For the Dough

  • 1 cup Warmed whole milk (micorwave milk for 45 minutes on high)
  • 1 pkg Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 TBSP raw sugar (or white sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 cups all purpose flour Depending on your kitchen's temperature and humidity, you may need more or less flour to get the right consistency. Always add your flour one cup at a time
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil just for coating bowl while rising

For the Chai Filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup Butter, soften

For the Icing

  • 2 cup icing sugar
  • 4 TBSP whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or paste)


For the dough

  • Combine all dough ingredients together in a mixer with the dough attachment. Start mixing on a slower speed and once ingredients start coming together, mix at a higher speed to combine all the ingredients.
  • Once dough ball is formed, put dough in well oiled bowl, cover with a wet towel and leave in a warm spot (or in your oven if it has a proof setting) to let rise for 1 hour.
  • Dust surface that you will be rolling out your dough with a light coating of flour. Roll out dough into a rectangular shape (around 16 inches by 10 inches)


  • Combine all ingredients except butter from the filling ingredient section and mix well
  • Put all of the soften butter ontop of the rolled out dough
  • Pour spice and sugar mixgure on top of the butter and use your fingers to press it into the butter. Get the mixture as close to the edge as possible.
  • Cut out about 12 strips, about 1 inch wide
  • Roll from both ends to form a shape of a heart. Pinch the bottom
  • Let rise again for another 30 minutes (cover with wet towel)
  • Preheat oven to 350 F after 2nd rise and bake for 30 minutes or until the edges of the dough start to brown


  • While the buns are baking, combine all the ingredients in the icing ingredient section and whisk together to form icing. Set the icing aside
  • Once the buns are done cooking, let cool for about 20 minutes.
  • Drizzle the icing on the cooled buns and enjoy!
Keyword Chai cinnamon buns, Cinnamon Buns
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