Fall is creeping up fast. Soon, we can bid farewell to long, humid, sunny days and say hello to brisk days with clear skies, colorful leaves blowing in the wind, warm sweaters, and our favorite fall beverages. We know that pumpkin spice is the number one darling in the hearts of many, but if we were to choose a runner up, it would have to be chai tea. Chai tea, whose proper name is actually masala chai, means “spiced tea” in Hindi. So, yes, when we say “chai tea,” we aren’t referring to that wonderful blend of warm spices that makes masala chai so darn good, we’re actually saying “tea tea.” But hey — chalk it up to a colloquialism. Chai tea is made by combining black tea leaves with a blend of herbs and spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, and black pepper and you typically add a drizzle of sweetener and a splash of non-dairy milk once it’s brewed.
The chai tea latte is one of the go-to beverages of fall, but we can also use the tea (or the spice blend) in food! How does waking up to a big stack of Chai Oatcakes For One sound? We could eat that every day. Not only is it great in our favorite sweet breakfast items, it’s also amazing in dessert! You have to try these Chai-Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies — it makes 30 cookies, but they’re so good, they definitely won’t last more than a few days.
To celebrate the love of chai, we’ve gathered up 15 sweet, spicy recipes that will have you singing the praises of this amazing spice blend.
1. Vanilla Masala Chai Tea Cake
Delicious, decadent, and fragrant, this stunning Vanilla Masala Chai Tea Cake is infused with the fragrant flavors of warm, spicy tea It’s a perfect dessert for a special occasion to welcome the cool, breezy fall weather.
2. Chocolate Chai Marbled Cake
This gluten-free Chocolate Chai Marbled Cake is packed with all kinds of spicy goodness. With cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, it tastes like chai and has a swirl of chocolatey goodness. Serve at the first fall gathering of the season with tea on the side.
3. Chai Marzipan Cinnamon Rolls With Maple Glaze
Chai Marzipan Cinnamon Rolls With Maple Glaze. The name is bit of a mouthful, huh? The flavor combo is new, but believe us, it tastes amazing. The soft dough is infused with chai tea, stuffed with buttery marzipan filling, and then topped off with a sweet maple glaze. Perfect for breakfast and even better for dessert!
4. Chewy Chai-Spiced Breakfast Protein Bars With Maple-Cashew Icing
Does your day start bright and early? Then these Chewy Chai-Spiced Breakfast Protein Bars With Maple-Cashew Icing are sure to keep you full all morning long! They’re flavored with chai spices and topped with a sweet and creamy maple-cashew icing — anybody who doesn’t know otherwise might mistake them for a snack cake. You could even snack on these after your workouts!
5. Creamy Chai Chia Coconut Pudding
This Creamy Chai Chia Coconut Pudding is healthy, easy to make, and delicious! Most chia puddings are made with just non-dairy milk and whatever sweetener and topping you want, but this recipe does things a little different. Chia seeds are soaked in a mixture of fresh-brewed chai tea and creamy coconut milk with an extra pinch of cinnamon and walnuts for crunch. This serves enough for two, so you can divide it into portions for breakfast and a mid-day snack!
6. Spiced Chai French Toast
This Spiced Chai French Toast is the most delightful breakfast ever. If you’ve been making your French toast with sandwich bread — stop right there! This amazing breakfast is made from sliced French bread soaked in chai spice, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, and nutritional yeast (trust us, it’s delicious). Then, it’s grilled to that perfect French toast texture — crispy on the edges, but soft on the inside.
7. Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Tart With Coconut Vanilla Sauce
Who says you can’t have pie for breakfast? Combine your love of chai tea with oatmeal with this Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Tart! It has a chewy crust made from walnuts, dried fruit, frozen raspberries, and spices and a chai tea-infused filling made from steel cut oats. But, hey, why limit this to breakfast? With its spicy flavors and sweet, creamy coconut vanilla sauce, it’s also perfect for dessert.
8. Nourishing Autumn Chai Smoothie
This Nourishing Autumn Chai Smoothie captures the essence of fall in a glass! Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg help warm the body up as the weather cools down. You can also make it with ripe banana instead of frozen, if you don’t want a frosty treat or the banana can be replaced by peeled, sliced pear. Be sure to sprinkle it with plenty of cinnamon!
9. Fudgy Cinnamon Chai Protein Bars
These high-protein Fudgy Cinnamon Chai Protein Bars are a great source of healthy fats, as well as completely free of refined sugar. They’ll be your new favorite mid-day snack without the sugar rush and they taste like fudge straight from the candy shop, but they’re made from chickpeas and dates that are infused with chai tea leaves. They need to be stored in the freezer to keep them from melting, so they’re a sweet and satisfying treat on a hot day.
10. Chai-Spiced Sweet Potato Waffles
For many of us, fall means changing leaves and cool, sunny days. When chilly mornings have you wanting to stay cozy inside, whip up a batch of these Chai-Spiced Sweet Potato Waffles. The spices in these hearty waffles will keep you warm and satisfied until lunchtime.
11. Cocoa Chai Hot Cross Buns
These warm Cocoa Chai Hot Cross Buns are infused with real chai leaves! They’re super fluffy, but chewy and they have raisins mixed into the batter. Serve these with hot cocoa, tea, or coffee. They’re also delicious sliced in half with a few banana slices sandwiched in the middle.
12. Brown Butter Cardamom Cake With Chai Buttercream Frosting
This dense, Brown Butter Cardamom Cake With Chai Buttercream Frosting has the richest, tastiest frosting ever. It’s the little details that matter — by browning the butter prior to using it for the cake, you create a subtly unique taste. It’s the perfect winter dessert served with fresh fruit and a hot cup of coffee.
13. Cacao Chai Banana Bread
Have some overripe bananas hanging around? Don’t throw them out! Instead, make this delicious Cacao Chai Banana Bread! A combination of chocolatey cacao batter, spicy chai, and plenty of banana, this bread is full of tasty goodness. Enjoy it for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee or as a sweet, late night snack with some warm almond milk.
14. Nutty Maple Chai Oat Blondies
These Nutty Maple Chai Oat Blondies are full of oats and three (yes, three!) different types of nuts – almonds, pecans, and buttery macadamias. Add a little cinnamon and allspice, and you’ve got yourself a fall dessert that’s packed with chai deliciousness!
15. Chai Spiced Baked Doughnuts
These Chai-Spiced Baked Doughnuts are infused with chai tea two ways: in the batter and the crunchy glaze. They have a nice, cakey texture and taste like snickerdoodles. Plus, they’re easy to make, so if you need something to bring to a fall brunch, these doughnuts are sure to be a hit.
These recipes are all great and they’ll taste even better with a hot chai tea latte, don’t you think? There’s no such thing as too much chai.
Lead image source: Brown Butter Cardamom Cake With Chai Buttercream Frosting