Filed Under: Cookies | Dessert

Chai Sugar Cookies

Recipe By Tessa Arias
October 25th, 2018
4.87 from 43 votes
4.87 from 43 votes

Easy Chai Sugar Cookies are thick, soft, loaded with sweet warm spices, and topped with a simple espresso glaze. Perfect 30 minute recipe for a cozy autumn day!  FREE Cookie Customization Guide here!

Yield: 23 cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Just like a dirty chai – but BETTER!
Texture: The cookies are ultra thick & soft.
Ease: Simple 30 minute recipe.
Pros: Quick & fun twist on the classic sugar cookie that’s perfect for fall and holiday baking. Your house will smell AMAZING after baking.
Cons: None!!
Would I make this again? Absolutely.

I remember the first time I ever tasted chai as a teenager.

I was amazed.

It was like the flavors of autumn but even more interesting and slightly exotic.

Easy Chai Sugar Cookies are thick, soft, loaded with sweet warm spices, and topped with a simple espresso glaze. Perfect 30 minute recipe for a cozy autumn day!

And that was just an iced chai from the Starbucks at the mall.

These cookies are infused with all the chai spices you know and love. I even topped them with an espresso glaze, so I guess technically these are dirty chai cookies.

Whatever you want to call them, they make the perfect afternoon pick-me-up all season long and will make your home smell better than every fall candle from Bath & Body Works.

Quick & easy soft batch Chai sugar cookies with espresso coffee glaze

Chai Sugar Cookie Recipe Tips

The Sugar

This recipe calls for granulated sugar (white sugar) with a splash of honey. That liquid sweetener helps to create slightly puffy and soft cookies because of the extra moisture it adds. You can omit the honey if you don’t have any, but your cookies won’t be as soft and fluffy.


There’s just a touch of cornstarch to again help make these cookies a little softer. Feel free to omit if you don’t have any.


I use an extra egg yolk in this recipe for an extra dose of richness, moisture, and a slight chewiness.

The Spices

I used pretty traditional chai spices, but feel free to experiment with the spices and amounts. Whatever you do, just make sure your spices are fresh and aromatic.

The Glaze

The espresso glaze is simply made by combining a splash of espresso with powdered sugar. You can also use very strong coffee if you don’t have espresso. I just used instant espresso powder + boiling water to make things easy.

If you’d prefer, you can also omit the glaze entirely. I just like the added flavor and interest it gives these cookies.

To make picture-perfect glaze, remove the glaze to a sandwich baggie. Snip a small hole in one corner and use that to ‘pipe’ the glaze onto the cookies.

Make sure the glaze is completely set and dry to the touch before stacking these cookies to transport or store.

Make Ahead & Storing

Click here to learn how to freeze this cookie dough and bake off from the freezer.

These cookies will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you want to ensure they stay soft, add a little scrap of bread, tortilla, or apple core to the container to prevent the cookies from drying out.

Cookie Customization Guide

Want to learn how to make your cookies softer, chewier, cakier, crisper, or whatever else your heart desires?! Download my FREE Cookie Customization Guide here!

Quick & easy soft batch Chai sugar cookies with espresso coffee glaze

More Cookie Recipes

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

4.87 from 43 votes

How to make
Chai Sugar Cookies

Yield: 23 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Easy Chai Sugar Cookies are thick, soft, loaded with sweet warm spices, and topped with a simple espresso glaze. Perfect 30 minute recipe for a cozy autumn day!  FREE Cookie Customization Guide here!


For the cookies:

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (270 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the glaze:

  • 1 1/4 cups (156 grams) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons espresso or strong coffee


Make the cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, ginger, and cloves.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and honey. On low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture until just combined.
  4. Divide the dough into 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls using a spring-loaded scoop and drop onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Gently flatten dough with the smooth side of a spatula.
  5. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are just set and slightly golden brown. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to cooking racks to cool completely.

Make the glaze:

  1. In a small bowl, use a small whisk or a fork to combine the powdered sugar and espresso until a thick but pourable glaze forms. Drizzle all over cooled cookies. Allow the glaze to set.
  2. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    tina — October 26, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    they look amazing cannot wait to try. Have you baked them without flattening them?

  2. #
    HimalayanSalt — October 29, 2018 at 3:05 am

    These cookies look so delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  3. #
    Ayana — October 29, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    If I was feeling extreeemely lazy… could I just ground up some tea leaves and put that in instead of the spices? I love love looove chai tea!

  4. #
    Nicole — November 24, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Just made these. With zero substitutions (instant coffee instead of espresso) and they are AMAZING! Soft, chewy – totally outstanding. Perfect for the non chocolate people ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #
      Tessa — November 26, 2018 at 8:58 am

      Yay! Glad to hear it ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. #
    Giada — December 6, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Where I live ground cloves are nowhere to be found, and I already tried to ground them myself making other recipes but it was like it wasn’t even there. Do you think I can change it to something else but still keeping the taste you got in there? I tried to look for them online but even with the fastest shipping I would not receive them before early January..

  6. #
    Lisa Keys — December 15, 2018 at 7:58 am

    delicious and posted on IG thanks for all the testing you do. I only made half of the espresso glaze since I wanted a little less sweet.

  7. #
    sam — March 10, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Can i skip the creaming process?

    • #
      SHIRLEY — September 10, 2020 at 11:06 am

      Texture will not be the same.

  8. #
    Logan O. — June 18, 2019 at 12:26 am

    these came out so delicious! I made a few changes since I am dairy free > I substituted out the butter for canola oil (about 8 tablespoons) & I used a pre-mix of masala chai spices from the Indian grocery store that I had on hand but it didn’t have cinnamon so I added that. I also only used one whole egg instead of the extra egg yolk. My cookies didn’t flatten much in the baking process but I was totally fine with that since they were still soft and chewy!

    but I am going to be making these often + I loved the espresso glaze – such a nice touch!

  9. #
    Autumn — September 12, 2019 at 11:59 am

    What a wonderful idea! This cookie suits the Canadian fall weather we’ve been having. It was a hit from my family and friends. I altered the recipe a little, adding nutmeg and allspice predominately. And honestly I have never heard of a coffee glaze before (or maybe i’m late to it) but it really hit the spot. I was worried it would be too much. Both with and without the glaze taste awesome! Thank you for this recipe!

  10. #
    Ni — October 23, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Am making this for a kids birthday, do you think if will still be good if i skip the spices. Honey sugar cookies sound so good by themselves

  11. #
    Meagan — October 31, 2019 at 5:54 am

    these taste really good but mine are a bit dry…i’m not sure what i did wrong? also my glaze is much more runny than in the photos. in orer to get a nice “structural” drizzle, coul i add more sugar?

    • #
      SHIRLEY — September 10, 2020 at 11:20 am

      For the glaze, you would half the recipe, and add more powdered sugar, until right consistency. If you made the full glaze recipe and added more powdered sugar, you would end up with loads. As for dryness, you could add a little more butter, as you mix it, watch the texture, or try a teaspoon of milk. Could be your butter, every brand has a different amount of milk solids, resulting in different results than Tess.

  12. #
    lesley opheim — November 11, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    Loved it…even added some chai xmas tea mix into the batter…very good and I love the fact you can mix it up a bit to make your own cookies too!!

  13. #
    SusanO — November 19, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Can these be frozen? If yes should I wait to glaze til after they thaw or will the glaze freeze and defrost well too?

    • #
      Tessa — November 20, 2019 at 8:17 am

      Freeze unglazed!

  14. #
    lesley opheim — November 19, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    I LOVED this recipe and so did my kids…I actually put real chai tea into it to give it more flavour and made super strong espresso for the icing…these disappeared in a day!!
    Very good cookies…thinking of some spicy peanut butter cookies now too!

  15. #
    Suhasini Madidi — November 20, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    I baked them, I loved them…! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Replaced half of the flour with Almond flour and was perfect…

  16. #
    Debra O. — December 1, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    These are delicious! I had to tweak though to get it right. I made the recipe as stated. Measured carefully and whisked. The cookies were very flat and spread considerably. Tasted good but looked terrible. So I went back and substituted shortening for the butter (113 gr) and sifted the dry ingredients. Used American measurements with the exception of the shortening. These turned out beautifully! Might just be the weather it’s humid right now.

  17. #
    Barbara Lindsey — February 13, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    Iโ€™ve made these twice and they are so good. Iโ€™ve made them for Christmas and also for a sister who is a chai tea lover. She and my mom love them! I would like to know the calorie count if possible.

  18. #
    Jo — February 26, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    I plan to make these using a chai spice mix instead of each spice individually. Any idea on how much of the spice mix I would use? Thanks in advance for any feedback!

    • #
      Debra O. — February 26, 2020 at 5:20 pm

      I used a chai spice mix ( King Arthur) and measured out 5 tsp to equal the amount of the others combined. Additionally, I substituted half the butter for shortening as they spread too much on the first go round. Also, sifted the dry ingredients to better incorporate. They were perfect!

      • #
        Jo — February 26, 2020 at 5:28 pm

        Thanks, Debra!

  19. #
    Angela — May 1, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Ahhmazzing! Tastes like you are eating a chai tea. Thank you for the recipe. Do not over bake. Cookies will feel soft when done. Otherwise they will get too crispy if over baked.

  20. #
    Tania — October 12, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    i just made these adding brewers yeast flax seed meal and fenugreek to make a lactation cookie. I had to add a bit more sugar and spices to help with the flavor but I am hoping they turn out all right. The batter tasted good. Do you happen to have this recipe as a lactation cookie?

  21. #
    Thiloshini — October 21, 2020 at 2:25 am

    Hi There

    What can be used as a substitute for the eggs?

  22. #
    Melanie — November 2, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    Hello, I wanna make this, but is it possible to use melted butter instead?

    • #
      Tessa — November 5, 2020 at 2:05 pm

      Your cookies will spread too much if you use melted butter, I’d recommend room temperature butter!

  23. #
    Beth — November 22, 2020 at 5:12 am

    Can these be frozen without the glaze for longer storage?

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      Yes, freeze unglazed! There are more tips for freezing the cookie dough in the pink box above as well.

    • #
      Vaishali chitale — December 9, 2020 at 7:38 pm

      Which ingredients in mix spices please share

  24. #
    Vannessa — December 9, 2020 at 11:24 am

    These were so easy to make and unbelievably good! A dirty Chai in cookie form! I added some sparkly sugar to the tops while the icing was still wet.

    • #
      Tessa — December 10, 2020 at 1:24 pm

      I’m so glad you loved these cookies! Love the idea of adding sparkly sugar on top.

  25. #
    Kay — December 10, 2020 at 7:05 am

    I plan on making these for Christmas cookie exchange. Can I use LOL salted European butter and just omit adding the salt?

    • #
      Tessa — December 10, 2020 at 1:25 pm

      I believe that should work!

  26. #
    Nikki — December 19, 2020 at 11:34 am

    I love the idea of this cookie! Unfortunately, mine came out a bit too salty. I followed all the instructions and even double checked the measurements. I may try again with slightly less salt and baking powder since they are good and seasonal.

    • #
      Tessa — December 22, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      Hi Nikki! Did you use unsalted butter for these cookies?

  27. #
    MAKELL BREKENFELD — December 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Love these cookies! Giving them as Christmas gifts thus year.

    • #
      Tessa — December 22, 2020 at 1:11 pm

      So glad to hear that!

  28. #
    Jo — December 23, 2020 at 2:16 am

    This is just a lovely cookie! I replaced the flour with gluten free and it turned out amazing! Lovely flavours and so delicious!

    • #
      Tessa — December 23, 2020 at 9:20 am

      So glad you enjoyed these cookies!

  29. #
    Elizabeth — December 23, 2020 at 11:13 am

    So good and so pretty! I skipped the cornstarch and cardamom because I didnโ€™t have any, and they still turned out amazing! They held their shape while baking, so flattening the top of the dough balls was worth the effort. I also did a maple/powdered sugar glaze instead of the espresso glaze.

  30. #
    Jen — January 27, 2021 at 11:08 am

    This recipe is SUCH A HIT!! I lived in India for 4yrs and it really captures the flavors of what I used to buy in the streets!! A+++

    • #
      Tessa — January 27, 2021 at 11:37 am

      So happy to hear this, Jen!

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