Chai Cinnamon Rolls

Blogging can be such a funny thing.

When it comes to writing recipes out, I have no difficulty putting words to paper… err, screen. I have my little hand scrawled notes on ingredients that made it into the dish, and I write down what I did to turn them into the food in the photos. It’s very straightforward – “Do this. Then, do this..”. Not a whole lot of thought or effort, I get kind of robotic about it.

When it comes to writing the blurbs that precede the recipes, sometimes I run into a bit of writer’s block. For some recipes, I have a funny story, or recollection of something to do with that recipe, or I can wax poetic on one of the ingredients. It’s more creative writing than the technical-type writing of the recipes themselves, so I kind of have to be in the mood for it.

However, here I am, with little to say about this recipe. I dreamed it up while I slept, woke, and made it a reality for breakfast. That’s… about it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic – cinnamon buns are always great, and chai was always my most popular cake offering back in the day, of COURSE marrying the two will be fantastic – my brain is just elsewhere. I mean really, Convergence is just a couple days away, and I’m loading up a few blog entries to post in my absence, haha!

So yes. Make these. They’re awesome. Excuse my lack of focus on this blurb … Nerd Camp is almost here!


Chai Cinnamon Buns Recipe
(Makes 12 rolls)

1 1/2 cups warm, strong tea – NOT hot!
4 tsp yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp instant black tea (unsweetened – JUSt tea!)


2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp instant black tea
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp hot water
~2 cups powdered (icing / confectioners) sugar

Stir yeast and sugar into warm tea, allow to stand for 10 minutes – it should get very bubbly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Pour in yeast mixture, stir well to combine. Dump dough out onto a floured surface, knead until soft and elastic, 5-10 minutes.
(OR: mix it in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 5 minutes or so!)

Once dough is fully kneaded, place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.

Once dough has doubled in size, roll dough out on a floured surface. Aim to make it a large rectangle, say 15 x 20″ or so.

Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter all over the dough – you might not use it all, that’s ok.

Mix together the sugar, spices, and instant tea, sprinkle evenly over the melted butter, reserving a few Tbsp of sugar mixture.

Starting with one of the longer edges, tightly roll the dough up.

Generously grease or spray a 9x 13″ baking pan. Pour any remaining butter in the bottom, spreading evenly before sprinkling with remaining sugar mixture.

Using a very sharp knife, slice the roll into 12 even rounds.

Carefully place each roll into the pan, spacing them evenly.

Cover pan with plastic wrap, allow to rise one more time – about 45 minutes. While waiting for the buns to rise, heat oven to 350F.

(This is what they looked like after the final rise!)

Once final rise is over, pop the pan in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and perfect.

Allow to cool for a few minutes while you make the glaze:

Mix together softened butter, tea, vanilla extract, hot water, and about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, until you have a thick, smooth paste.

Spead over hot Chai Cinnamon buns, allowing it to melt and ooze a little.


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6 thoughts on “Chai Cinnamon Rolls

  1. I’m a tea lover, so this really looks amazing.

    Considering that instant tea isn’t readily available in my country, can it be replaced by something, or better left out, just in case?

  2. […] Once dough has doubled in size and chicken mixture has cooled, roll dough out on a floured surface. […]

    I seem to be missing the part of the instructions that tells me how to make the hot chicken mixture.


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