Chai Cookies

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These Chai Cookies are full of cozy winter flavors! So soft they practically melt in your mouth. The cookie is loaded with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, and a dash of black pepper. It comes together easily and is bound to become your new favorite cookie.

Chai cookies scattered on wire rack.

Inspired by my favorite tea, Chai Cookies come together in a snap! They are melt-in-your-mouth tender and insanely delicious!

Tender, buttery cookies filled with loads of chai spices. You get hints of warm cinnamon, cozy cardamom, spicy ginger, allspice, and just a minute essence of black pepper. They are similar in flavor to my cardamom cookies, but have even more cozy flavors thanks to the ginger, allspice and black pepper.

Incredible! It’s the best way to describe them.

They are soft and pillowy like these banana nut bread cookies and Meyer lemon cookies.

If you plan to share these chai tea cookies with your family and friends, I can guarantee they will be gobbled up within seconds. You may decide to keep them all for yourself and that’s okay because they will stay soft and fresh for up to 1 week!

The dough for today’s chai cookies comes together easily. Like my sugar cookies, the dough for these chai sugar cookies does need to chill for two hours before baking. Because of this, I like to make the dough the night before and bake the cookies first thing in the morning.

When making the dough, start with room temperature ingredients. Beat the butter and sugar together just until combined. Unlike many of my cookie recipes – you don’t mix until it’s light and fluffy. There’s no need for excessive amounts of air in the batter.

When it comes time to roll the dough into balls, roll them a tad bit taller instead of an even round ball. They won’t spread as much and will come out thicker.

Wait for them to cool and enjoy!


Recipe Snapshot

  • TASTE:  Cozy and comforting, like a chai tea.
  • TEXTURE:  Soft and chewy
  • EASE:  Easy – standard cookie recipe.
  • TIME:  Over two hours but includes required chilling time.

Recipe Ingredients

These exceptional cookies come together using standard cookie ingredients with warm chai spices.

  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour and make sure to measure it correctly.
  • Cream of tartar: Needed to react with the baking soda so the cookies puff up and deflate. This creates a cracked top appearance. The cream of tartar also adds a little tanginess to the cookies.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: Both are used for leavening in this recipe. They react with the cream of tartar and create the soft pillowy texture.
  • Salt: Balances the flavors.
  • Butter: Adds buttery flavor and richness. As with most of my baking recipes, use unsalted butter so you can control the salt, and have it at room temperature so it creams together with the sugar more easily.
  • Sugar: White granulated sugar is best.
  • Egg: I used one egg.
  • Vanilla: Most recipes are missing vanilla extract. I find they taste so much better with just a little added.
  • Chai spice blend: The cookies will get their chai flavor from a blend of cozy warm spices. Cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamon, all spice and ground black pepper.
Chai cookies stacked on wire rack.

How to Make Chai Cookies

This spiced cookie recipe uses the typical process of creaming the butter sugar, adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, chilling and rolling. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  1. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand-held mixer on low speed just until combined. Add in the egg and vanilla and incoporate.
  2. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, salt, allspice, and black pepper; stir with a whisk. Add all of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours.
  3. Bake. Scoop 1 ½-tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Roll the balls so they are slightly taller instead of perfectly round. Place the dough balls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake for 8-9 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Chai cookies on baking sheet.

Handy Tip:

When it comes time to roll the dough into balls, roll them a tad bit taller instead of an even round ball. They won’t spread as much and will come out thicker.

Tips For Success

  • The cookies will appear underdone, puffy and very soft, but they will flatten out and firm up as they cool. Don’t overcook them or they will loose their delicious soft center.
  • The cookies get their soft pillowy texture from cream of tartar. Don’t leave it out! If you omit it, the cookies will be crisp and chewy, much like these butterscotch toffee cookies.
Close up of chai cookies on wire rack.

Storage & Freezing

  • The cookies will keep for up to 1 week stored in an airtight container at room temperature. 
  • The dough can be rolled into balls and frozen for up to 3 months.
Chai cookies scattered on wire rack.

Chai Cookies

Yield: 18 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 29 minutes

Melt in your mouth Chai Cookies are full of cozy winter flavors! They are so soft they practically melt in your mouth. The cookie is loaded with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, and a dash of black pepper. It comes together easily and is bound to become your new favorite cookie.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (195 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand-held mixer on low speed just until combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, ginger, cardamom, salt, allspice, and black pepper; stir with a whisk. Add all of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours.
  3. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Scoop 1 ½-tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Roll the balls slightly taller instead of perfectly round. Place the dough balls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. 
  4. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. The cookies will appear underdone and very soft. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Make ahead tip

  1. The cookies will keep for up to 1 week stored in an airtight container at room temperature. 
  2. The dough can be rolled into balls and frozen for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 121Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 97mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

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14 Comments

  1. The Other Jen says:

    I made these to include in a care package for my kid at college. She love chai lattes. They barely made it out of the house. My guy is calling them “hipster snickerdoodles” and wondering when I’ll make them again. So easy and really tasty.

  2. I love the flavour of these!! But for some reason mine didn’t flatten out when baking — what could have gone wrong? I also found my dough to be a bit dry. Any thoughts? I’d love to try making them again!

    1. It sounds like you used too much flour. Fluff the flour with a fork and lightly spoon it into the measuring cup then level the cup with the back of a knife. Don’t pack the flour into the cup.

  3. A winner of a cookie, thanks, Jen! Will definitely be making these again. I also love anything chai, so I added your chai spice concoction to my banana pancakes mixture and it worked quite well! (Added 1/4 tsp ground cloves for an extra kick!) I can see so many other tempting recipes on your website which I’m looking forward to trying out. Thanks for your website!

  4. Papa Merit says:

    These are the cookies that you dream of. So unique but yet familiar. I started with 1 batch to try them out and immediately had to make another double batch. The pretty time consuming cookies at the family Christmas luncheon were left and these magically disappeared!
    My ever so slight twist was to brown the butter to a golden amber and then to bring it back to a solid. I also added the zest of a small clementine. Either way there delicious!

    1. Thanks for sharing! I love the addition of brown butter and citrus zest. I can’t wait to give it a try!!

    2. Browning the butter is a genius idea! Definitely doing this next time.

  5. what if i dont have cream of tatar? i hope i can just leaave it out!

    1. Yes, you can omit it if you don’t want to use it. That should be okay.

  6. @_eyecandyphotos says:

    I want to try this recipe, they look Fantastic! I’m not a fan of pepper so is it key to have the 1/8 tsp of black pepper or could I leave it out? What taste does it give?

    1. The pepper is such a tiny amount, you can barely tell it’s there. But, it gives a nice subtle hint of spice. You can leave it out if you don’t want to use it.

  7. Louise Forman says:

    Loved these! But I think you need to use less dough for each ball/cookie to avoid them running into each other. I only got 24 cookies by following your recommendation. Next time I’ll try 2 teaspoons, not 2 tablespoons.

    1. If you roll the dough balls slightly taller instead of perfectly round, they won’t spread as much. Also, chilling the dough prevents excess spreading. The instructions also state to roll 1 1/2 tablespoons to 2 tablespoons. 1 1/2 tablespoons will yield you 30 cookies.

  8. I’m SUCK a sucker for chai-flavored anything and these cookies look unbelievably amazing, Jen! So wishing I had a few of these for breakfast right now!!