• Masala chai carrot cake (Nik Sharma)Source: Nik Sharma
Everyone knows that everything nice is heavily spiced. These chai recipes are proof in the (sometimes literal) pud.
11 Mar 2021 - 10:38 AM  UPDATED 19 Mar 2022 - 1:28 AM

For many, a morning and afternoon cup of chai is as essential as human contact. This is fitting considering that chai has been bringing people together for centuries. Even if the company is only your own.

Chai is Hindi for tea and 'secret' spice blends have been passed down from generation to generation. If you're not lucky enough to have a recipe then you can start here:

Masala chai

Spice up your morning or afternoon cuppa with this recipe for Indian spiced tea. This aromatic chai blend will keep for up to six months in an airtight container. Just ¼ teaspoon will flavour two cups of tea.

This dairy-free blend is also very good:

Rich coconut chai

This is one of those things I’ve been dying to make for years, but never got around to it because it seemed hard. On the contrary, it only took about an hour out of my weekend and made the house smell amazing - and now I’ve made enough to last me a few weeks! So if you’re interested in drinking hot, sweet, spicy, complex chai, try this out and save yourself years of just thinking about it.

Whatever recipe you choose as your starting point, experimenting to create your own signature spice blend is all part of the delights behind chai. Most blends will keep for about six months in a tightly lidded jar, somewhere cool and dark. 

No need to worry about the time frame, though. Once you realise that chai tastes good in everything, you'll be racing through your blend in weeks, not months.

Tarty chai

Adding a chai custard and a chai syrup to a standard Portuguese custard tart is a work of genius. The softness of the meltingly-good pastry offsets the hit of chai spices beautifully. Note to self: add dried ginger pieces to the signature spice blend immediately.

Tea time

Chai-infused scones are surely the most perfect thing to serve for afternoon tea, ever. Especially when the prime minister is coming...

Loaf it

Accompanying your scones might be this nutritious gluten-free chai loaf. It's brimming with enough goodness to make a slice for breakfast another option. 

Chai teacake with cinnamon dusting

Teacakes are easy to make and even easier to devour. This has spicy notes of chai and a sweet cinnamon dusting.

Carrot king

Masala chai carrot cake

Of course, the king of chai bakes has to be this carrot cake. Not least because it's smothered in a pistachio cream cheese frosting.

Have a ball

Rum balls might be for the festive season, but masala chai rum balls are forever.

Nicely popped

Popcorn is such an underrated sweet snack - it soaks up chai flavours like a sponge, then crunches up nicely in the oven.

Even better

It's hard to improve on a classic tiramisu, but this ginger chai version is really unbeatable. As you'd expect, well-spiced chai replaces the traditional espresso to soak into the biscuits. Plenty of ginger really makes it sing.

Chai nougat bonanza

Soaking the donuts in the shake and devouring with a spoon is pure monster magic. For an extra flavour punch, try doubling the spices.

Caked on

The enticing aromas of chai will infuse through your kitchen when you bake these lovely Bundt cakes. A honey-drizzle icing brings added sweetness to really pick you up.

Surprise inside

Banana chai blondies.

Blondies made with chai, bananas and cannellini beans really shouldn't work, yet somehow it does. The result is a super-moist, flavoursome treat you'll want to share with others. 

Warmed through

If your heart needs a little warming, a chai-spiced bread and butter pudding is just the thing. This recipe is super-easy to pull together and is utter perfection when served with a generous scoop of ice cream:

Chai ice cream

A proper chai latte is deliciously spiced and no one should have to miss out on the experience of having it in ice-cream form.


Tapioca custard is such a crowd-pleaser, and the addition of chai makes them completely irresistible. What a way to end a curry feast.

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Yuzu citrus tea cake

A classic buttercream cake gets a zesty boost with the addition of yuzu citrus tea. Known as yuja cha in Korean, this tea comes in a jam-like form and can be found at Korean and Asian supermarkets. 

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