Looking for the perfect fall recipe? These delicious chai spice cinnamon rolls feature a vegan chai icing that’s made using actual chai tea, meaning they’re full of warming fall flavors like cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.
If you’d like to get your hands on the same delicious Chic Chai tea that I used from Chic des Plantes, you can use my promo code CHICGITANJALI for 10% off your order. 🙂
Chai spice cinnamon rolls with vegan chai icing
- Standing mixer (like a KitchenAid)
For the cinnamon rolls:
- 240 ml milk
- 115 g lightly-salted butter softened
- 450 g flour
- 100 g sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1 egg
- 50 g dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsbp powdered cardamom
For the vegan chai icing:
- 70 g powdered sugar sifted
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2-3 tsbp Chai tea (I used Chic Chai by Chic des Plantes) strongly brewed
For the cinnamon rolls:
- Start by heating the butter and the milk together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the milk is hot (but not boiling)
- In a big bowl: whisk together 400 grams of the flour (reserve the extra 50 for later, if needed), 50 grams of the sugar, and the salt.
- In the standing mixer, with the dough hook on: Add the warm milk/butter mixture and sprinkle the yeast on top. Mix with a fork, then let sit for a couple of minutes until the yeast has dissolved.
- Add the flour mixture and the egg, and knead on low speed until the dough forms a ball. If the dough is very sticky, add a bit of the 50 grams of the reserved flour, as necessary. Note: the dough will be a bit sticky even if you add all 50 grams of the extra flour, but that's ok! Knead for 5 minutes, then shape the dough into a ball, place it in an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and leave it in a warm place to rise (until ideally doubled in size, if not, for at least 15 minutes).Note: how long this takes depends on how warm it is in your home!
- While you're waiting for the dough to rise, mix the cinnamon, brown sugar, cardamom and remaining white sugar together in a small bowl. This is the filling for the cinnamon rolls.
- It's time to roll out the dough! Roll it out on a floured surface, into a rectangle shape. You're aiming for something that's a bit bigger than an A4 sheet of paper. Spread the rest of the softened butter gently all over the dough, either using a pastry brush or your fingers, then sprinkle the cinnamon/cardamom/sugar mixture on top.
- Roll it up! Starting from the longer side of the rectangle, tightly roll up the cinnamon roll until you've reached the end, and try to pinch the edges shut so that it doesn't unroll too much.
- Slice the cinnamon rolls. Using a piece of string placed under the cinnamon roll, pull upwards and then criss-cross your hands so that the cinnamon roll slices off perfectly. If you don't have a piece of string, you can simply slice the rolls with a sharp knife, but they will get a bit squashed like this. You should end up with 11 or 12 cinnamon rolls: I recommend starting your first slice from the middle of the dough so that you can end up with relatively even rolls.
- Place the cinnamon rolls in a baking dish (any high-rimmed tray, cake or tart dish works fine), nestling them up nicely next to each other. Cover the dish with a kitchen towel and let the cinnamon rolls rise again, for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180° C.
- Remove the kitchen towel and bake the cinnamon rolls for 15-20 minutes (or until they're nicely puffed up and golden brown), and then let them cool for about 5 minutes before sneaking one to check if they're good (they are!) and burning the roof of your mouth (you will!).
- While they cool, make the icing.
To make the vegan chai icing:
- Whisk all the dry ingredients together, then add the chai and stir. Add more or less chai depending on how thin or thick you want the icing.
- Let the icing sit for 2 minutes before brushing it on to the cinnamon rolls, either using a spoon or a pastry brush.
- DIG IN!
Of course, the best thing to serve these cinnamon rolls with is a steaming hot cup of chai tea!
- If you want to spice things up even more, feel free to add a 1/2 teaspoon of powdered cloves into the brown sugar/sugar/cinnamon/cardamom filling.
- You can also let them rise the first time for less, depending on how hungry you are and how fast you want to get these beauties on the table!
- These cinnamon rolls are best when eaten right out of the oven (isn’t everything better right out of the oven?), but will stay good for about 3 days at room temperature. Just be sure to cover them with some plastic wrap or put them in a sealed container so that they don’t dry out.
- Top tip: pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds before eating so that they get warm and fluffy again!