Chai Spiced Rolls


Do you ever get nostalgic over a particular food, or flavour? By this I mean, you remember when you first sampled a new flavour, dish, or bake and any subsequent enjoyment takes you back to the exact time and place you first enjoyed it.

Every time I enjoy a Chai Latte I get nostalgic.

I remember when I first enjoyed a warm, milky Chai tea in a rather ramshackle ‘restaurant’, on a chilly evening in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal in the late ’90’s. A very fitting place to savour the fragrant, warming spices that collectively make Chai. I wanted to incorporate these spices in a sweet dough roll and since it is October, there is a slight chill in the air, surely I can justify making warm, sweet dough rolls…?

So, voila. My Chai Spiced Rolls (with a vanilla and honey drizzle).chaibuns10

Okay, so they are not perfectly round ‘rolls’ but quite frankly, when they taste this good, it really doesn’t matter. If you are used to making sweet buns, this dough is a little wet to handle but you will know the rolls will be lighter, softer and all the more tasty for it.

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Wonderfully fragrant and spicy with a sweet drizzle, served warm with your favourite hot beverage, at breakfast, brunch or teatime, these Chai Spiced Rolls really do hit the spot on chilly Autumnal days.

Worth a little effort and a wonderful way to reminisce, don’t you think?


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Chai Spiced Rolls

Make 12 buns


    For the Dough
  • 340ml whole milk
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 550g plain flour
  • 60g golden caster, or caster sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10g dried yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • For the Filling
  • 120g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon all spice
  • For the Drizzle
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp. whole milk
  • 1 tbsp. runny honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste


  1. Place the milk and butter into a small saucepan and place over a medium heat. Heat the milk until almost boiling point. Stir with the now melted butter and set aside to cool to a moderate heat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast and thoroughly mix. In a jug, beat the eggs and add the vanilla paste. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the eggs and the now cooler (but still warm) milk and butter mixture. Either mix together with a large spoon or with the dough hook attachment until the dough comes together.
  3. Cover the dough ( I use a tea towel) and leave to prove for about 1.5 hours until the dough has doubled in size. Alternatively, the dough can be left in the fridge over night.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling by creaming together the butter, sugar and spices until you have a smooth, even paste.
  5. Heavily grease a large baking tray, or dish, with butter. Once proved, tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knock the dough back and roll out to form a large rectangle. Once you have an even shape, trim the edges if necessary, spread the filling evenly over the dough, taking it right to the edges. Roll the longest edge closest to you, forward, so forming a long roll. Use additional flour and a scraper if need be, this dough is quite wet. With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 equally sized rolls. Space the rolls equally, side up into the prepared dish. Cover with food wrap and allow to prove for a further 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, or Gas Mark 6. Remove the wrap and bake for 5 minutes before reducing the temperature to 160 degrees C, or Gas Mark 4 for a further 20 minutes. Allow the buns to cool a little. Make the drizzle by mixing the icing sugar with the milk, honey and vanilla. Drizzle over the buns. Serve warm and add further drizzle to buns.
  7. Best eaten the day they are made. Reheat slightly to enjoy subsequent days and add further drizzle.

Source: Adapted from Signe Johansen’s ‘Scandilicious Baking’


  1. Joanne dried yeast is the one that comes in packages or is it something else? I can´t wait to make this recipe, I simply love the flavour and to work with this kind of dough!

    • thecontentedbaker says:

      Yes, Viviana. Dried instant active yeast (or fast action yeast) comes in sachets or tins. You are a lady after my own heart – I know you have a soft spot for sweet dough too!;-)

  2. Those close-ups are killing me! : ) These rolls are calling my name. I’m seeing chai everywhere lately and it’s got me craving it; I haven’t had the pleasure of having chai tea more than maybe a couple of times in my life. And after making cinnamon rolls not long ago, I constantly want one. Genius of you to combine the chai spices in the rolls – perfect combination. They look so good and I bet they smell amazing, too.

    • thecontentedbaker says:

      Ha Ha! Yes, it seems chai is all the rage but trust me when I say I have been mulling these over for quite some time now! Glad you like! The spices ensure that are not overly sweet. Oh yes! I forgot to mention the smell…:-)

  3. Sweet rolls are my favorite! They remind me of growing up – we would have them as a special treat sometimes on sundays! Love the chai spiced version! Sounds fantastic!!

  4. These chai spiced rolls sound amazing, Jo! Love sweet dough recipes, so good!

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