Chai Spice Doughnuts

Step aside glazed. There’s a new sheriff in town.

These chai doughnuts are chock-full of all your favorite Indian spices like sharp ginger, toasted nutmeg, and aromatic cinnamon. Add a sweet finishing touch with either a spiced sugar coating or cardamom-ginger icing atop these mouthwatering morning pastries.


Chai Doughnuts
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5 from 2 votes

Chai Doughnuts

Course Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, Indian
Keyword Chai, Dessert, Donut
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 donuts


  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper, fine
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground star anise
  • 1 tbsp and 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp black tea leaves or 1 tea bag
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tbsp and 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 3 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 3 eggs, whole
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Sugar Coating

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper, fine
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground star anise
  • 1 tbsp and 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cup granulated sugar


  • In a large bowl, combine all ground spices with the flour and salt. Whisk together and set aside. (If you don’t have all the ground spices, you can also purchase a readymade chai spice blend). 
  • In a small saucepan, bring 2 tbs of water, milk, and tea to a simmer on low heat. Let it cool for 5 mins. 
  • In a separate bowl, combine half & half and 1 tsp of sugar. Strain tea mixture into the half & half and sugar mixture. Check the temperature to read about 110℉. If it is under temperature, you can reheat in the microwave.  
  • Once it reaches temperature, whisk in yeast, and let sit for 10 mins or until the mixture is foamy. 
  • Meanwhile, in a separate dish, slightly melt butter, making sure the butter isn't too hot that it would cook the eggs. Whisk in each egg one by one into the melted butter, until fluffy, then mix in ½ cup of sugar. 
  • At this point the yeast mixture should be bloomed; add it to your eggs, sugar, and butter mixture. 
  • In a Kitchen Aid with the Dough Hook attachment, add the dry ingredients, and set the mixer to low.    *NOTES: If you are doing this by hand, we suggest following this guide
  • Slowly add in the wet mixture and keep the mixer on low for about 3 mins.       
  • Then mix at medium speed until a smooth ball is formed. Be patient. It could take 15-20 mins to form the dough. Use the windowpane test: if your dough doesn’t adhere to the sides of the bowl, it is done!   
  • Transfer dough into a slightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, making sure no moisture can be let in. Proof the dough for 2 hours or until doubled in size, at room temperature. (You can also proof overnight in the fridge but be sure to take it out of the fridge 2 hours before frying.) 
  • Roll dough onto a lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness and cut your doughnuts to your desired shape. You should have 12 doughnuts. (Tip: use wine glass and a bottle cap to get a doughnut shape!) 
  • Place doughnuts onto baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and let it proof in warm, dry place without draft air for about 40 mins or until doubled in size. 
  • Heat about 2" of oil into a 6-quart saucepan, until oil reaches 350℉. Using scissors, cut the parchment paper around each doughnut. With paper still attached to one side, gently place doughnuts into the oil with the paper side up. Using tongs, remove the parchment. (If you try to pick up doughnuts without the parchment paper, the doughnuts could deflate or lose shape). 
  • Fry a few doughnuts at a time; don’t overcrowd the pan. Once puffed up and golden on the sides and the middle, flip them with tongs and cook for another 2-3 mins. Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool completely.


  • In a bowl, combine ingredients until smooth. Once your doughnuts are cooled, dip one side in the icing, and set on wire rack before serving.

Sugar Coating

  • In a bowl, combine the spices. (You can use a dry chai spice blend). 
  • Take 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of the spice mix and combine with 1 cup of sugar. 
  • Whisk together before tossing the doughnuts in this mix. 
Chai Doughnuts

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