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. duchessbelle — January 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    These look wonderful. Do you think I could rip open some tea bags and sub in an equal measure of chai spice tea rather than go out and buy the separate spices?


    • Jamie — January 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Since there is not any actual tea in this recipe, I cannot vouch for the success for using that method. Plus, most teas are a little more coarsely ground than spices, so the chunks of tea could potentially be off-putting. If you give it a shot, definitely post your results.
      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Nicole — January 8, 2012 at 10:00 am

      I was missing cardamom, so I decided to steep a very dark tea from my favorite chai. I replaced the vanilla with the cooled tea. Came out delicious….thanks for the yummy recipe !

    • Jamie — January 15, 2012 at 5:53 am

      I added two chai tea bags to a sugar cookie mix and they turned out great!

    • Lindsay Sherburn — March 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Can you explain a bit more about what you did with the tea?

    • Jamie — March 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      There is no tea in this recipe, just the spices that are found in chai tea. Hope this helps.

  2. Allison — January 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    yum! You had me convinced with that first photograph!


  3. Jo — January 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    SO making these for my next book group in January …… thanks for posting this!!!


  4. Christina @ovenadventures — January 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I love love chai. I must try these very soon.


  5. Joanna — January 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I’ve been looking for this exact thing. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks!!


  6. Cookbook Queen — January 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I absolutely LOVE Chai Tea (no one else in my family likes it and I honestly don’t know why–it’s amazing) and Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies. These obviously need to happen in my kitchen SOON!!!


  7. Charlynne — January 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    These sound amazing! I’m slightly confused by the 1/2 cup of sugar for rolling in the ingredient list, but the reserving of 1/4 cup of spiced sugar in the directions. Can you clarify the total amount that is actually mixed into the dough? Thanks!


    • Jamie — January 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm


      Gosh- Thanks so much for catching that! I cut and pasted in from an older recipe, deleted the bottom, but didn’t save it. Everything is fixed now. So sorry about the confusion.


  8. I love those chai spices, so wonderful in cookie form.


  9. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — January 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Love the spices in these cookies – I am a big chai fan. I can totally imagine eating a couple (or 10) of these with a hot cup of tea. I forgive you! ;)


  10. Ann P. — January 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Chai tea is one of my favorites!! I am sure I would LOVE these cookies… I plan to find out soon by baking up a batch!


  11. Jackie @ La Casa de Sweets — January 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Jamie, you’ve done it again! I baked up a batch of soft gingerbread cookies last week, and I’ve been in the mood for some more ever since. These chai spice cookies are definitely what I’ll be making to satisfy my craving :)


  12. — January 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I love chai spice! A lot actually so these cookies are something I MUST make.


  13. Cassie — January 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I would “forget” to photograph these on purpose, just to have an excuse to make them again. The texture looks absolutely perfect. Great spices too!


  14. Judy — January 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    You had my attention with “Chai”… can’t go wrong with cookies! Can’t wait to try them!


  15. Jen Laceda — January 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Ooh-la-la! I have a strong urge to make these cookies now and pair them with a steaming cup of black tea!


  16. meri — January 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I think I might try baking again. These look amazing.


  17. Sylvia @ My Lovely Bites — January 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I was just craving some chai desserts yesterday (you know, working in an Indian restaurant as a waitress and being a HUGE chai fan..) and wishing I had some chai cupcakes left from my last batch…but these, oh my, they look stunningly delicious! I can’t wait to try this recipe, thanks for sharing :)


  18. Julie @SavvyEats — January 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I love anything and everything chai, so of course I love this recipe!


  19. Paula B. — January 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Was worried about “dressing for work” also…and am also baking a cookies as I read your recipe. This will be on the agenda for weekend baking. Cookies, they are my life. (Good thing I have co-workers ready and willing to help with this.)


  20. Ryan — January 5, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Oooh these looks delicious! Pshhh who cares about right after new years? No one needs new years resolutions anyway! :P Definitely going to try these soon! :)


  21. Connie the Cookie Monster — January 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    HA i thought i would stop eating cookies too because I’ve had so many I actually started to crave vegetables. But I already had 5 cookies today, and the first one began at 9AM.


  22. Jo — January 6, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Looks lovely! I love the use of spices in baked goodies. Just a quick question: are these cookies chewy in texture??


    • Jamie — January 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Yes, the cookies definitely have a chewy texture to them. Thanks for stopping by! Happy New Year to you!

  23. Katie — January 6, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Oh yum these look delicious. I love the flavours of chai. Never seen them used in a cookie quite like this before.


  24. Super Yum! I’ve been secretly wanting to make cookies, and these look perfect! I can visualize myself sitting next to the fire, with a warm blanket around me with a big cup of hot cocoa and a bag plate of cookies! Sounds so relaxing! Ok, it wouldn’t happen that way, my dogs would attack me, eat my cookies, my Husband would be asking when dinner will be ready and my teen will be going on about her hair and to top it off, it would be a spare the air day! But still cookies makes everything better! :) Have a great Friday!


  25. Elizabeth — January 6, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Looks delicious!


  26. the tasty tRuth — January 6, 2012 at 9:16 am

    What is it about chai that’s so comforting? When I make my own chai latte for breakfast sometimes, I can feel the spices warming my whole system up. So chai spice cookies are a natural solution for cold midwestern nights, right? #diggingouttheelastic


  27. Deb — January 6, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Chai Snickerdoodles? OMG, how delightful. A perfect winter cookie with coffee or tea.


  28. Jackie — January 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Hi there! These cookies look and sound amazing. Quick question: do you use salted or unsalted butter? TIA– if we weren’t already engaged, I suspect my boyfriend would propose to me if I made him these cookies. He LOVES chai spices! So I think making these for him is going to earn me some serious brownie–err, cookie– points. :)


    • Jamie — January 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      I almost always use unsalted butter. I typically state that in the ingredient list, but clearly I was not on top of my game this time around! I’ll edit it just in case others have the same question. Thanks so much for stopping by – Happy New Year to you!

  29. Sharon — January 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Are they a soft cookie?


    • Jamie — January 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      Yes, they are a softer, chewy texture. Thanks for stopping by.

  30. Michele — January 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Those look and sound delightful! Every day IS baking day.


  31. Leslie — January 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Any chewy cookie is a cookie for me!


  32. Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry — January 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Oh how I love chai and cookies. So both together? Sounds perfect! I will have to make this recipe with a good GF flour blend.


  33. Stephanie — January 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    This recipe showed up at the perfect time! I made them for a party last night and a guy actually got up front with the microphone and asked who made them and asked for the recipe! Everyone was talking about how great they were. Thank you!


  34. Deb @ knitstamatic — January 6, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Beautiful! Chai spice cookies, how wonderful is that. I must add these cookies to my list.


  35. Julianna — January 7, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Oh my, these might just be the death of me! They look fantastic and sound even better! I might just have to pick up those few extra ingredients tomorrow! Thank you for sharing!


  36. Janet Fagnan — January 7, 2012 at 2:03 am

    WOW These are inspired! I really love the spices. I am going to give these at Christmas next year, along with some teas to go with them. Awesome!


  37. Tickled Red — January 7, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Awww darn. I’m so sorry that you had to make these chewy, nummy cookies again. I’ll come and help tou get rid of them if you need? ;D


  38. Tracy — January 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I have been obsessed with chai for the past week, so I am all over these cookies! Yum!


  39. Danielle — January 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Hi there! My friend and I stumbled upon this recipe and decided to make it because we love chai tea and sugar cookies. However, when we started mixing everything together, the texture did not become light and fluffy – it resembled that of apple crisp. We searched around for some other chai sugar cookie recipes, and decided to add the vegetable oil and milk that the other recipes had. We used 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, and 2 tbsp.of almond milk. It turned out great, and we even garnished the cookies with orange zest!


    • Jamie — January 9, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks so much for your input – that’s kind of the beauty of recipes – you can adapt them and make them your own. However, I can assure you that this recipe works well as it is written. I have made them twice with great results as have quite a few readers. Happy New Year to you!

    • Rachel — September 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      Just made these tonight. I had the same issue Danielle had at first, but then I added the oil and almond milk & had perfection. Will make all year long since I cook with these spices all the time. :-)

  40. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — January 9, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Oh yum, these look AMAZING!


  41. Ruby — January 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    These were so good!! The best part the recipe is easy and makes a lot of cookies!


  42. Brittany — January 10, 2012 at 12:14 am

    I love when you come across a yummy looking recipe and have all the ingredients on hand. I’ll be making these tomorrow! :)


  43. Tina S. — January 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I made these on Sunday and they are delicious! Kind of like jazzed up snickerdoodles. My husband wasn’t convinced of their deliciousness the day they were made, but mentioned when I got home last night that “they are better the 2nd day and actually really addicting” and had eaten 4 of them :) They definitely get better overnight. Thanks for the great recipe with ingredients that I always have!


    • Ashley Nelson — December 2, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      Regular snickerdoodles are like that, too. They get better overnight!

  44. carol — January 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    These are DIVINE! Is the dough supposed to be so crumbly, though? It almost seemed as though it needed one more egg. Even with the crumbly dough, these are a favorite!! Thank you for sharing!!


  45. Kathleen Lockhart — January 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Loved these. Made them this morning and my kids loved them. Thanks for sharing.


  46. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — January 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I especially love chai spices this time of year… They just warm everything up. These cookies sound just perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea!


  47. Cassidy — January 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Mine turned out really gooey for some reason and i baked them for 20 mins… oops!


  48. Annika — January 13, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Hi Jamie, thank you for the recipe. it sound lovely, I love chai and I’m going to try this as soon as I can. I only have a question first – what do you mean by “1/2 teaspoon ground allspice” – which kind of spice is that? I have “all round” spices here in Sweden, but they’re hot, chili like. I imagine it’s not the same. Do you think I could do without that specific ingredient? It seems it only adds to the other spices, so I’m hopeful. Thanks again!


  49. Angela — January 13, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Thanks for the recipe. I am baking it right now and the first batch came out of the oven. One problem though. They don’t seem to have spread in the oven and they didn’t come out flat like yours did. I bought a new oven a couple of months ago so I don’t think it was that. And I did everything exactly like your recipe but the cookies are pretty thick.
    Oh well. I’m sure they taste good.
    Thanks though!


    • Carol — January 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Hello! Mine were really thick, too, and the dough was crumbly. I added an extra egg and they came out perfectly flat and chewy. Hope that helps!

  50. Nancy — January 13, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Home from school today, because it is a snow day, a teacher’s dream. Made these cookies. LOVE THEM! Next time I think I’ll bump up some of the spices, to have an even more intense flavor. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.


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