Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies

You may be well on your way into settling into this New Year, and maybe even weaned your way out of your elastic-waist pants. Personally, I was really questioning if I would be able to fit into my dress pants for work on Tuesday, but thankfully they slid right on. We won’t talk about the less forgiving bathroom scale, deal?

I think I’m finally coming down from my food induced haze and find myself craving structure as opposed to cookies. Ha! Who am I kidding? I’m not fooling anyone here – I love cookies. It doesn’t matter that we just spent 2 months baking our little hearts out. Every day is a baking day around here.

I made Chewy Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies over the holiday, but never got around to photographing them, so I just had to make them again. They are actually quite reminiscent of Snickerdoodles, but definitely pack a bigger flavor punch due to the blend of Chai inspired spices.

Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, allspice and black pepper combine to create an incredibly aromatic spice blend that transforms a plain, chewy sugar cookie recipe into a complex and comforting cookie that is pairs perfectly with a piping hot cup of tea.

I think you’re going to love them. In fact, I know you’re going to love them so much you’ll forgive me for posting a delicious must-make cookie recipe five days after the New Year has begun. That’s the power of positive thinking for ya.

Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies

Yield: About 3 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and black pepper. Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar-spice mixture, set aside to reserve for rolling the cookies.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar-spice mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, combine until fully incorporated.
  6. Slowly blend in dry ingredients mixing until just combined.
  7. Using a small scoop (2 teaspoons) roll dough into balls and then into the reserved sugar-spice mixture. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
  9. Let stand on baking sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.


  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

147 Responses to “Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies”

  1. karen — January 14, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    just made these and they are wonderful! Followed directions to the T and they’re perfect. Thanks for the recipe!!!


  2. kje — January 15, 2012 at 12:02 am

    I have made this twice in the past week for two different groups… they are delish! I was never a fan of snickerdoodles as I find them rather boring and bland, but these are great. Thanks!


  3. Laura — January 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I added a half teaspoon ground cloves and that was the added oomph of chai flavor


  4. Torey — January 21, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    OMG I am obsessed with Chai tea, especially the brand Big Train, so when I saw these I had to make them ASAP and they did not fail! The only changes I made were substituting butter for applesauce ( exact same amount), also I didn’t have cardamom so I just threw in a scoop of my Big Train chai mix and they turned out excellent!!! Thanks for a great treat!


  5. Ashley Reardon — February 5, 2012 at 9:02 am

    just making these now…i’m ready to put them in the oven but the dough is pretty crumbly. I’ve double-checked the ingredients and don’t think I’ve done anything wrong. Is it normally crumbly? I’m just not sure I’ll be able to form balls that will stick together.


    • Jamie — February 5, 2012 at 11:00 am

      A couple of people have stated the dough is crumbly, my only guess would be the size of the eggs. Someone reported that they added an extra egg and they were perfect. Hope this helps.

  6. Cheryl — March 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Well I’m glad I read the comments…
    I LOVE Chai spice so I was very excited to try this recipe. I did add the ground cloves and extra egg as my dough was super crumbly. I had to flatten them out a bit as they weren’t doing that on their own and I baked mine for 13 minutes. That being said they taste great even though they don’t look like the picture! (I just had the first one out of the oven)


  7. Carol — March 28, 2012 at 4:08 am

    Hi there, I am definately going to give these a go :)

    Does anyone have a really nice chai Tea recipe too?



    • Bekah — December 11, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      Check out they say fourteen different flavors of chai and they are all absolutely delicious!!

  8. Pam — April 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Found on Pinterest :) My dough was super separated, but I packed down some balls and threw them on the sheet as directed. They looked like they weren’t cooking, but 15 minutes in the oven and I pulled them out. They hardened up okay but didn’t settle in the oven so the shape I packed them in is the same shape they came out. Very nice flavor!

    Batch 2 – added 1/3 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk & an egg. Cooked @ 10 minutes, again did not look like they were actually cooking but I pulled them out. They also didn’t settle (flatten) much in the oven; they weren’t as sweet due to diluting the dough w/ the milk & extra egg.

    Batch 3 – same dough, but flattened by spoon onto cookie sheet. Perfection :)


  9. Elizabeth — September 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    These are so good, like snickerdoddles but more flavorful. The different spices make them unique and interesting


    • Jamie — October 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe – thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback! Have a great day!

    • Jopalis — September 22, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Glad to hear this. I just don’t care for the flavor of cream of tartar in Snickerdoodles but love the spice cookie part. I am definitely going to try these….

  10. Erin — October 13, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Just made these and they taste great. I halved the recipe (still using 1 large egg) and my dough was perfect. After rolling, I flattened cookies with the bottom of a glass ~ produced great looking cookies that taste even better! This is a definite keeper! Next time I would kick up the spices a bit, but other than that, fantastic recipe. Thank You for sharing!


    • Jamie — October 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe – thanks so much for leaving your feedback! Have a great day!

  11. Ashley Nelson — December 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Oh my goodness! These look SO good! I was actually looking for an eggnog cookie recipe for a cookie exchange later this week. Umm… Yeah, I’m making these instead. :)


  12. Anne — December 21, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    These were amazing! Double batch will be happening tomorrow!


    • MBA — December 26, 2012 at 9:26 am

      I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for stopping by and providing your feedback – have a great day!

  13. Alanna — January 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous cookies. The spice combination sounds incredible! Love love love your photography. :) And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one baking cookies in early January. :)


  14. Priscilla — January 11, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    When I found the recipe on Punchfork, lemon zest and lemon juice were listed as ingredients but I don’t see them being used in the recipe. Did I miss something? I have all of my ingredients ready for action and my mouth is watering!


    • MBA — January 17, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      There is no lemon zest and lemon juice in this particular recipe. There is none listed in the ingredients or the directions, so I am not sure why they were listed elsewhere. Sorry about the confusion and have a great day!

  15. Betty R. — February 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I found these on Pinterest quite awhile ago & made them yesterday while the Super Bowl was on. Obviously, I could have cared less about the game, but hubby watched. I absolutely love Starbucks chai tea latte, so I knew I would love these. They did not disappoint me. I had no problems. They held together fine, easy to shape in balls, I did flatten them with the bottom of a glass. Baked 8 min. Perfect! I might try to make them even spicier next time. I like my chai with an extra shot of chai. Thank you for my new favorite!


    • Jamie — February 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      I am so glad to hear you enjoyed the cookies! :) Thanks so much for stopping by and reporting your feedback!

  16. Jennifer — February 25, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I just made these cookies and the were awesome! I did make a few changes to the original recipe. I added a 1/4 teaspoon each of almond & orange extracts, replaced 1/4 cup of sugar with vanilla sugar and added a 1/4 teaspoon of cloves. The orange extract added a subtle citrus flavor just like some chai teas have.


  17. Anna — April 14, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    The first time I made these I got RAVE reviews from everyone. Since making them however I feel like every batch since has become drier and drier (and less chewy) The dough last batch was practically crumbs. Any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong or how to remedy this?


    • Jamie — May 18, 2013 at 9:14 am

      That is really strange – I’ve made these cookies more times than I can count and I’ve never had this issue before, so I am quite perplexed. I’m sorry I am not more of a help.

  18. Hilary — June 10, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Just came across this recipe and noticed that it calls for dough balls that are about 2 teaspoons in size…could this possibly be 2 Tablespoons? Otherwise I’m coming up with mini cookies :) Trying to adapt these for gluten free, will let you know how they come out!


    • Jamie — September 13, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      Hi Hilary,
      My original cookie scoop was only 2 teaspoons. Most small sized cookie scoops are only 1 tablespoon, which is 3 teaspoons. The cookies spread quite a bit.
      – Jamie

  19. Nicole — September 2, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    These sound so good!!! I am going to make them gluten free, YUM!


    • Jamie — September 2, 2013 at 3:56 pm


      Thanks so much! Come back and let us know how they turn out with your substitutions! Have a wonderful day!


    • Lenore — December 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      I made a gluten and dairy free batch and my 4-year-old twins approved! The only change we made was to add in a half bag of cranberries and we used King Arthur gluten free flour and Earth Balance soy free butter – roughly the same amounts. My husband loved it though he felt there was just a bit too much ginger and they were just a bit too crumbly so I think I’ll take the other suggestions and try adding in another egg – I think our issue is probably having to use the gluten free flour. I’m making them for a Christmas cookie exchange – I think adding in the cranberry provides nice flecks of red that will look very festive when a few of the cookies are wrapped together with a green ribbon.

    • Jamie — December 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks for sharing your tips. I appreciate you stopping by.


  20. Sabine — September 6, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Bravo!! I made these yesterday and they were a hit! I had to hide them from my cookie monster husband.
    These will definitely be in my cookie arsenal from now on :) Thank you for sharing!


    • Jamie — September 8, 2013 at 11:13 am


      Thank you so much! I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe. Have a wonderful day and thank you for following MBA!


  21. Jopalis — September 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    If you want to add a tea flavor, what I would suggest is infusing the butter on the stove with the tea in a tea ball or tea bag. Let it simmer a bit but don’t burn the butter. Let it cool til consistency of room temp and prepare recipe as listed. This is what I do with tea shortbread cookies my husband loves and I didn’t like the consistency of the ground tea in them. Now wee are both happy…. Anyway…just thought I would share that. Happy Autumn!


    • Jamie — October 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Jopalis!

  22. Serena — October 6, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Just found these on pinterest…. and my husband is going to be soooo excited! He loves Chai tea, so I am sure this will be a hit! Thanks for sharing!


    • Jamie — October 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope your hubby enjoys the cookies! Have a great weekend.

  23. Hales — November 1, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I love these!!! I make them to impress company!! I did however swap the butter for oil and used a chai-tea bag instead of cardamom which i could not find in the store and they came out amazing! I ate half of them before i even served them. Thanks so much for these!


    • Jamie — November 4, 2013 at 11:05 am


      Thank you so much! Your substitutions sound like they worked perfectly. Have a wonderful day!


  24. esy — November 22, 2013 at 9:45 am

    So delicious! thanks for the recipe. Used two small egss due to previous post concerns and they were PERFECT!


    • Jamie — December 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm


      Thank you so much! And, thank you for the tip. Happy holidays!


  25. Meredith — December 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I just tried these blindly for a cookie swap. The recipe is amazing! Just like chai! A very easy cookie to make. I also thought the dough was slightly crumbly, but only towards the end after it had been sitting a while. Rather than add ingredients, I just warmed the dough in my hand to soften the butter again and it did the trick. I would reserve 1/4 cup + 1 T of the sugar mix just in case. Makes exactly 48 cookies of perfect size. Will do this one again!


  26. Aaron — December 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Had a couple issues with crumbly dough, and bake time too… Not sure if it’s my oven or what. Had to bake for 25 minutes but they’re delicious!


  27. Allison — February 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Just tried out these cookies this weekend and they were amazing! My friend and I cooked an Indian themed dinner and served these for dessert. We may or may not have used them to make ice cream sandwiches….definitely going to make these again!


  28. Leone Evrenos — March 15, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Could these be made with a soft brown sugar, or Muscavado type as I would prefer to use these instead of white, do you mean granulated or the finer castor? And wouldn’t they taste even nicer with brown?


    • Jamie Lothridge — May 5, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Leone,
      These could be made with brown sugar or Muscovado sugar, certainly. I’m referring to granulated sugar. Castor sugar is not common in the US.
      – Jamie

  29. Emily — May 19, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    The dough was fairly crumbly for me but I didn’t read the comments until now; still, the cookies came out great! Not thin and flat like the picture, but rounder and puffier. The flavor is good and the texture is crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. I’m really happy with these, though I may still try adding an extra egg if I make them again.


  30. Morgan — June 18, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Great recipe!! My boyfriend, who barely cooks and has never baked in his life, made these for my birthday, and they were amazing! Kudos.


  31. Monique — September 27, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I will grounded a 3 tablespoons of loose chai tea. Wonderful recipe.


    • Jamie — September 27, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      Thanks for stopping by.


  32. Enjay — October 31, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    These were lovely! I reduced sugar by 100g and because my kids are a little spice shy I went short on those too. I think I could try even less sugar and they’d still be fab. I’d like to see some reduced sugar options as I worry about teeth. I’ll defiinitely bake these again, and experiment with lower sugar versions.


    • Jamie — October 31, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      I am so glad that you enjoyed the cookies. Thanks for visiting.


  33. melanie — November 25, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Just wanted to say that I made these three times last year, and they’re now my go-to holiday cookie. Looking forward to making them tomorrow for Thanksgiving – thanks for the recipe!!!


    • Jamie — November 26, 2014 at 10:23 am

      I’m so glad the recipe is a success for you. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  34. Stephanie — December 9, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Can you do these as cutouts?


    • Jamie — December 11, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      I would not recommend this dough for cut-out cookies. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  35. Rachel — December 12, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    These were wonderful straight out of the oven ! I made them the night before my husband came home from a short trip. I ate a couple which were perfectly soft and delicious, then stored the rest in an air tight pastry container. By the next morning they were hard as a rock! Very disappointed :(


    • Jamie — December 13, 2014 at 12:06 am

      I’m sorry the cookies didn’t turn out the way you hoped. I appreciate you stopping by.


  36. Felicia — December 22, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Loved these. I’m also obsessed with chai tea so I’m not surprised. I halved the recipe and used one large egg. Perfection.


  37. Angela — August 13, 2015 at 5:15 am

    its not properly explained.
    Ive set aside flour (with salt baking soda and powder) now I mix egg in it or what?


    • Jamie — August 13, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      The directions are listed in order, you’ll need to follow with steps 3-9.

  38. KendrA — August 21, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    I have been making these cookies for about 3 years.  Everyone I’ve ever served them to has loved them! They like them better than sugar cookies.  If I take an entire batch somewhere, it’s rare I leave with any to bring back home.  Crowd pleaders! Great for parties anytime of the year, but especially Christmas!


    • Jamie — August 23, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      I agree, Kenra! I love them, too!

  39. Jenny Roueche — August 22, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Hey do you know how many calories and carbs are in the cookies?


    • Jamie — August 23, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Hi, Jenny! I really don’t know off hand. You’d probably have to plug the ingredients into a nutrition calculator. I hope you enjoy them!

  40. Ivy — September 2, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    I sprinked some sea salt on top of the cookies before baking – yummm


    • Jamie — September 4, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      Love it, Ivy! Such a great idea!

  41. Tania — December 6, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    These were wonderful! I like a lil extra zing so I added a pinch of Ancho Chili powder and Garam Masala!


    • Jamie — December 7, 2016 at 4:50 am

      Sounds wonderful, Tania!

  42. Mary — February 16, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    It seems like this is the same recipe from JBF ( except with an extra 1/4 c. flour, which might be why a lot of people are finding the dough to be on the crumbly side.


    • Jamie — February 18, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks for the link, Mary! I’ll have to give the James Beard recipe a try!

  43. Amelia Ann — March 15, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    So I followed this recipe exactly, and I was also having a bit of trouble with the dough; it was very dry and crumbly. Tasted great, but when I did a test run of the cookie, it didn’t really hold together very well. I saw in the comments that some people had the same problem, and it was fixed with adding another egg, but I decided to try adding some more butter and turns out that worked. I did it a little out of order, but I think it should be fine from the start. When you’re mixing the sugar-spice mixture with the butter, try 3/4 cup butter as opposed to just a 1/2 cup, and make sure it’s very soft, but not melted; I would even suggest a little warm. When you mix in the flour mixture, It’ll hold itself much better. After that, I baked it for 12 minutes instead of 10 just to crisp them up a little bit more, and that worked wonders, without diluting the flavor.
    I absolutely love this recipe, it’s definitely going in the books!


    • Jamie — March 16, 2017 at 11:15 am

      Thank you so much for the suggestions, Amelia Ann! I’m so glad you liked the cookies!

    • Jamie — March 16, 2017 at 11:15 am

      Thank you so much for the suggestions, Amelia Ann! I’m so glad you liked the cookies!

  44. Amelia Ann — March 15, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Sorry, correction: 1 1/4 cups butter as opposed to just 1 cup to make the cookies hold better; mistyped.


    • Jamie — March 16, 2017 at 11:15 am

      No worries! :)

  45. Shilpa Malhotra — July 12, 2017 at 8:28 am

    this is AWESOME!!! yummy. I can’t wait to try this! Pinned! so healthy!!


    • Jamie — July 12, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      Let me know how you like them, Shilpa!

  46. Mia — September 4, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I love this recipe and have made it a bunch of times. It’s a favorite. I’m new to the gluten free baking world, though, and am wondering what luck people have had adapting this to gluten free flour. I have almond, coconut, cassava, brown rice, tapioca flours and xanthum gum on hand. Any recommendations? Thanks!


  47. MBA — December 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for stopping by and providing your feedback – have a great day!



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