Breakfast + Brunch / Food / Treats + Desserts

Chai Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is sponsored by Arbor Teas | Opinions are my own

It’s rare that I bake when my Mom isn’t around; dough frightens me. (Well, it used to.) Since I grew up watching my Mom make pies, pierogi, and other dough-y things from scratch, I tend to wait until she’s in town before I bust out the flour and blow the dust off of my rolling pin. And since she lives a solid 12 hour drive away, she isn’t here often — so I go BIG.

Last year we made these drool-worthy beer pretzels. This year, I made her stand by as I rolled up these nomtastic cinnamon rolls and I think I’ve finally found the confidence to bake by myself!

These are too easy, y’all.

These aren’t your average cinnamon rolls, either. They’re infused with Arbor Tea’s Organic Masala Chai giving them a warming flavor with the essence of clove, ginger, and cardamom. And yes, the icing is also infused with chai because in this house, when we chai, we chai hard.

Pumpkin spice can take a backseat! (In the garbage can.)

I’m really happy to report that these were WAY easier to make than I thought they’d be.

Arbor Teas Organic Masala Chai

This aromatic blend is made up of black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, zesty ginger root, warming cloves, and black pepper to create a zippy flavor that welcomes the addition of honey and steamed milk.

Or in this case, icing!

When a tea is this good, it almost seems criminal to use it for anything other than sipping away at it in its purest form. But I couldn’t help myself after imagining how delicious it would be incorporated into an ooey gooey cinnamon roll. After all, Arbor Teas’ quality blends have proven themselves to be fab cooking ingredients, like in this belly-warming ochazuke.

But in the best case scenario, you’ll treat yourself to both a chai cinnamon roll AND a hot cup of milky chai.

It’s the proper thing to do.

Arbor Teas + Sustainability

One of my favorite things about Arbor Teas is that they genuinely care about our planet and it’s evident in every single thing they do. When it comes to sustainability, some companies talk the talk — but Arbor Teas walks the walk. From their Fair Trade Certified® teas to their Carbonfree® business practices and their compost packaging, their passion is crystal clear.

To see more of what Arbor Teas has to offer, you can check out their Website. Don’t forget to like them on Facebook and Instagram as well!
Making this recipe? Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram: @Killing__Thyme /#killingthyme. For more delish eats, follow me on INSTAGRAM + PINTEREST.

Chai Cinnamon Rolls

Both the dough and icing are infused with freshly brewed chai to create these warming and simple-to-make cinnamon rolls. Perfect for holiday brunching!
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine Comfort Food
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 11
Author Killing Thyme


Chai-Infused Dough

  • 1 1/4 cup milk reserve 1/4 cup for the icing and set aside
  • 2 TBSP Arbor Teas Organic Masala Chai If you're using a different chai, use the amount suggested for 1 cup
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (equivalent to one packet)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 5 TBSP softened butter
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 3 TBSP softened butter
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Chai-Infused Icing

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chai-infused milk, reserved from dough


Chai-Infused Dough

  • Start things off by heating your milk in a saucepan until it's steamy. (Don't boil it.) Remove from heat. Add your tea infuser or bag to the milk and let it steep for about five minutes. The milk should turn slightly beige because of the tea.
  • Remove the tea, and transfer your milk to a mixing bowl. Add yeast, maple syrup, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Mix thoroughly until combined.
  • Add the softened butter and mix again. When the mixture is cohesive, add the egg and beat together at medium speed. Once mixed, add the remaining flour bit by bit to ensure your dough isn't too dry. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
  • Create a clean and lightly floured surface. Transfer the dough to the surface and knead for about five minutes, or until the dough springs back when you press lightly into it. Return the dough to your bowl, cover it with a towel, and let rise for an hour, until it's doubled in size.
  • Once the dough has rised, remove it from the bowl and, with a rolling pin over a lightly floured surface, roll it out to a 9 by 15 rectangle.


  • In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Slather the softened butter over the dough; use the wrapper or plastic wrap as a holder for your butter butter to easily spread it over the dough; leave a one inch gap along the top long side of the dough so it sticks when rolling. Use the wrapper to spread any remaining butter into the bottom and sides of a skillet or pan so that the cinnamon rolls don't stick to it when baking.
  • Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the dough covering its entire surface. When done, tightly roll the dough up (from short end to short end so your roll is long). Carefully cut the roll into 1-inch pieces; you should end up with about 10-11 rolls.
  • Carefully transfer each roll into your buttered skillet or pan. Replace the towel and let them rise for 30 minutes, or place in the fridge overnight to finish in the morning. (If you're finishing them in the morning, remove the rolls from the fridge and them let sit on the counter, covered by the towel, for 45 minutes.)


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F while your cinnamon rolls are rising. When ready, remove the towel and bake, uncovered for 20 minutes then check them for doneness. If not quite done, let them bake for another 5 minutes. I like my baked goods slightly undercooked to guarantee that ooey gooey goodness. When I baked these the first time, I went for a full 30 minutes and though tasty, they weren't soft and gooey. So keep that in mind.

Chai-Infused Icing

  • While the rolls bake, whip together the icing by mixing the confectioners' sugar, butter, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of that reserved chai tea together until smooth. It should look like a thicker opaque icing, and not a glaze. If it seems too thick, add a bit of milk; if too runny, add a bit more confectioners' sugar. You can add a wee pinch of salt to cut the sweetness in this case, if you wish.
  • Once the cinnamon rolls have cooled, drizzle them with the icing, serve, and enjoy!


Prep time includes rising periods.

These Easy and warming chai-infused cinnamon rolls are perfect for weekend and holiday brunching! #cinnamonrolls #brunch #chai #breakfast #holidaybreakfast


  • Charlotte
    October 28, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    “When we chai, we chai hard” made me actually laugh out loud. I love cinnamon rolls so I’m going to have to add these to my brunch rotation!

  • Justine @
    October 28, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Yum! Infusing chai flavours into cinnamon rolls is so, so smart! I’m all about chai over pumpkin spice anything and these look absolutely amazing, Dana! I’ve actually never tried Arbor Teas but you’ve created such a lovely introduction I’m going to check them out. I’m a huge chai lover over here (I’ve actually got a Pumpkin Chai Latte recipe in the works right now!). Gorgeous recipe!

  • diversivore
    October 27, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    I’m sorry, you’re just going to bring BEER pretzels into my life, then flavour them with chai and cinnamon, and drizzle them with… deliciousness… and then you’re not going to mail me a batch unannounced? I thought we were FRIENDS, Dana.

    Seriously though, I’m loving your creativity with these tea recipes. I’ve always love cooking and baking with tea and you’re going big here. Great work.

  • Karen Ahmed
    October 27, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    This looks stunning Dana!

  • Nicole
    October 27, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Looks like your mom taught you well. These look perfect!

  • Gabrielle @ eyecandypopper
    October 27, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Genius! What a great idea! Looks so good, now I want cinnamon rolls! and I must look into this organic tea brand, since I’m all about organic and we love teas around here :)

  • Lucy @ Supergoldenbakes
    October 22, 2017 at 6:28 am

    So great you’ve pimped the icing as well as the dough with Chai flavours.

  • Trang
    October 21, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    This sounds amazing! I love cinnamon rolls but have yet to try a different flavor variation, this will be perfect.

  • Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
    October 21, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    What a fun twist on regular cinnamon rolls! I bet these are amazing!

  • Hannah Hossack-Lodge
    October 21, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    These sound amazing, great idea to infuse the dough with the chai tea, I’m going to give that a try!

  • Britt
    October 21, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Yum! Two of my favorite fall things combined: chai and cinnamon rolls. I wonder if my husband will love these as much as Cinnabon?


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