Masala Chai Cookies

Masala chai cookies!!! I love making fusion desserts. I haven’t done one in a while though so I wanted to make something with masala chai.

After 0.2 seconds of thinking I decided that masala chai cookies was something I NEEDED in my life.

These were amazing. I’ve had chai cookies 2 times before, each time I felt like they lacked flavour. So flavour was my main goal for these cookies.

6 of the chai cookies on a baking paper lined tray

Video Tutorial

Ingredients for these cookies

Most of the ingredients in this recipe is your basic ingredients that most cookie recipes use. But there are a few extra ingredients needed to make these masala chai flavoured.

Here are the ingredients you’re going to need for these:

  • Unsalted butter – I always prefer to use unsalted butter just so that I can control the amount of salt in the recipe. But salted butter works too, just don’t add any extra salt.
  • Loose black tea leaves – masala chai is not chai unless there is tea leaves involved. You want to let these soak in the melted butter, to get the maximum flavour out of them.
  • Chai masala – I made this, you could just buy it if you wanted too. I will include how I made it in this blog post though.
  • Sugar – I used a mixture of both brown and white sugar. The brown sugar adds great flavour.
  • 1 egg
  • Plain flour – also known as all-purpose flour.
  • Salt
  • The raising agents – I’m using equal amounts of both baking powder and soda. The baking powder helps these rise, the baking soda helps them spread.
  • Chocolate – I used a mixture of milk and dark chocolate, you could use whatever kind of chocolate you want.
9 chai cookie dough balls on a tray before being chilled.

What is masala chai?

This is a very brief definition but masala chai is essentially a South Asian tea that is flavoured with a range of different spices and then sweetened with sugar.

The term ‘masala chai’ translated to English literally means spiced tea.

Every brown household has their own way of making the spice mix, or the masala, for their tea. If you ever look for a recipe, you will see a lot of different variations!

Like I mentioned, you can buy it if you want to make things easier. Or if your South Asian, you might have the mix already made, in your house, you could use that.

But here is how I made it!

How to make the masala

To make the chai masala for these cookies, these are the spices I used:

  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons carom seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 15 cardamon pods
  • 10 cloves

All you need to do is crush these together. A coffee grinder is good to use, it will do a great job at crushing everything.

A pestle and mortar works too. If you don’t have either of these, you could just use a food processor.

Side note, the recipe uses 2 tablespoons of this spice mix. The quantities I’ve shown above make a little more than 2 tablespoons, but you can save it and make chai out of it or something else chai flavoured!

1 chai cookie dough ball on a baking paper lined tray before being baked.

Common questions

Do I need to brown the butter?

I want to say yes. But technically no.

Brown butter adds so much great flavour to cookies, it is definitely worth the extra step, especially for these cookies.

It also doesn’t take long to do, so I think you should brown the butter but if you really wanted to skip this step, you could.

Just instead of 160g of butter, melt 130g of butter instead.

My cookies don’t spread as much as yours?

I make my cookie recipes in a way that gives you thick cookies.

But because you might be using different brands of ingredient, and also different types of ovens bake things differently, you might notice that yours are not spreading as much.

There’s an easy fix to this….be aggressive.

Halfway through baking, take the tray out of the oven and slam it down on your counter a few times. Then after they’re baked, you could slam them down a few more times.

This just helps them spread more, and also it is a little fun to do!

Chopped chocolate or chocolate chips?

I like to always just chop up a bar of chocolate and add it to cookies instead of using chocolate chips.

When using actual chocolate, you get puddles of melted chocolate in your cookies. This chocolate also stays soft once the cookies have cooled, it never fully sets.

Whereas, chocolate chips are designed to hold their shape even when melted and they also completely set once they have cooled down.

Either chocolate works and they both taste great, it’s totally up to you what you want to use!

A close up of 1 of the chai cookies with a puddle of dark chocolate in it.

Making these ahead of time

This recipe makes 9 cookies, I get that you might not want 9 cookies at once….not to worry, you don’t have to bake them all.

Once you make the cookie dough balls, you can leave them in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Or instead you could freeze them for up to 2 months. Then once you’re ready to eat them, or just one, bake them straight from the freezer. You might have to bake them for a few extra minutes though!

Here are some other fusion dessert that I think you need to try:

Masala Chai Cookies

5.0 from 1 vote

Makes: 9

  • 160g unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon loose black tea leaves

  • 2 tablespoons chai masala

  • 100g brown sugar

  • 100g granulated sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 230g plain flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 140g chocolate, chopped (I used a mixture of milk and dark)


  • Start by browning your butter, so add the butter into a pot and place this onto medium-low heat. Keep heating this, whiles stirring, until the butter turns a light brown colour. You will notice the butter will start to foam, then once it subsides, that's when it starts turning brown.
  • As soon as it turns light brown, take it off the heat and add in the tea leaves. Cover and leave for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, pour this butter through a sieve to get the tea leaves out of it.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sieved brown butter, the chai masala and both sugars. Then add in the egg and whisk until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add this into the other bowl and mix until a dough forms and the flour is no longer visible.
  • Now just mix in your chopped chocolate.
  • To make the cookie dough balls, grab 80g of the dough, roll this into a ball then place this onto a tray or plate. Repeat this until you've used all of the dough, then leave these in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  • About 10 minutes before you're ready to bake the cookies, pre-heat your oven to 180c/350f.
  • To bake, line a large baking tray with some baking paper then place the cookie dough balls onto this, making sure to leave enough gap between them so they can spread.
  • Bake for around 18-20 minutes.
  • Once baked, leave them on the tray for 10 minutes before trying to pick them up. They will be too soft to pick up when you take them out of the oven so they need time to set. But then you can enjoy!


  1. Sim B
    November 28, 2022 / 2:50 am

    THESE COOKIES ARE IT! They have an amazing flavour and soothe my Indian soul, they feel like a hug from your grandma. MAKE THEM NOW!! Can’t wait to try other recipes from this website 😀

    • Ash Baber
      November 28, 2022 / 8:28 am

      I’m so glad you liked them!

  2. menah
    December 26, 2022 / 10:07 pm

    hi ash! i lOVE your recipes. i found you on Pinterest and i am obsessed lol. anyways, do you have the recipe for your “chai masala”? you mentioned it in the video, but i don’t know how much of each spice to add.
    thanks so much for your hilarious videos and delicious recipes. they inspire me to try something new. merry christmas and a happy new year!

    • Ash Baber
      December 27, 2022 / 5:40 pm

      hey, first of all thank you so much, I’m so glad you like my videos! I’ve included what spices and how much of each spice I used in this blog post, it’s closer to the top of the post. The title of the section is ‘how to make the masala’!