Small Batch Chai Spice Cinnamon Rolls
Morning temps are falling here in Denver and all it makes me want to do is curl up with a blanket and enjoy some cinnamon rolls of course! These chai spice cinnamon rolls are gooey, warm, and ready in less than 2 hours! The chai filling oozes out as it bakes, then gets that perfect crispy bottom. This little batch only makes 8, but hey I love small batches because who really needs 20 cinnamon rolls tempting them every day. 👋
How to make the cinnamon rolls
- Start by whisking the yeast and warm milk in a stand mixer.
- Continue to add the rest of the ingredients and mix using a dough hook. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, no problem! Check out our info below.)
- Let the dough proof.
- Whisk together chai spices and filling ingredients.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle and spread the filling. Roll tightly. Cut. Let proof again.
- Whisk the icing together and drizzle, drizzle, drizzle!
⬆️ In a nutshell 😄
Ingredients You Need
- Vanilla Extract
- Brown Sugar
- Chai Spices (Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice)
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
Must-have Chai Spice
I am a big fan of chai, and when I discovered putting it into desserts, it was a revelation! This homemade chai spice is perfect for all your fall desserts and it’s great to have on hand.
All you do is mix together your different spices, give them a good shake, and store them in a jar or bag to have on hand anytime!
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 tbsp ground ginger
This spice can be put into almost any fall dessert pie, cake, cookies, cinnamon rolls, breads…
Important Things to keep in mind
- When you are mixing the dough, you want to be careful not to over-knead or under-knead. Over kneading the dough can cause it to be tough and dry. Under kneading will not develop the glutens enough and will not rise.
- If your milk isn’t warm enough, it could actually affect the rise of the rolls.
- If your yeast doesn’t begin to bubble in the beginning, chances are your yeast is dead and you need to start over. If not, your rolls won’t rise very much. 😢
- You have to use a muffin tin! These aren’t like classic cinnamon rolls and won’t keep their shape.
How to prevent sticking
You may worry that the rolls will stick in the muffin tin, but have no fear because we have a great solution. Before adding the rolls to the tins, line them will butter or non-stick spray and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar in them. Shake out the extra.
This is a great hack for breads too! Bonus: you get more crispy, sugary, yumminess after baking.
Could I let these proof overnight?
Yes! You still have to make the dough and let it proof for the first time. After the first proof, you add the filling and then tightly roll, then cut. Once you cut the rolls, place them in the pan, and cover tightly. Place them in the fridge overnight to slowly proof.
In the morning, take them from the fridge and let sit out while the oven is pre-heating. Then bake with normal directions.
- If your filling is a little too thick and pasty, your butter might not have been soft enough. Just add a little extra melted butter.
- If you want to use this small-batch recipe for other recipes and play with the fillings you definitely could!
- If your dough is dry after baking, you might have over kneaded the dough.
- It’s important to have a tight roll when rolling the log. If you’re having trouble, try keeping your fingers right in the crease of the dough and still firmly rolling. If the log is loose, the rolls won’t be the right shape.
Great Tools to Have
Here are a few tools I recommend for this recipe!
- Stand Mixer (If you don’t have one, no worries! Just knead by hand for the same time.)
- 2 bowls
- Flat surface, I use a silicone mat
- Rolling Pin
- Muffin Tin
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Can I make these gluten free?
In order to make these gluten free you have to replace the ingredients for a few other ones.
- Flour —> Use gluten-free flour.
- Yeast —> Just make sure your yeast is gluten-free, most are.
- Spices —> Make sure your spices are gluten-free as well. Again, most spices are.
How to store
These cinnamon rolls can be store in a Tupperware or bag for up to 4 days at room temp. That’s if they even last that long! 😉
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Small Batch Chai Spice Cinnamon RollsCourse: Donuts and BreadCuisine: DessertDifficulty: Intermediate
There’s nothing better than crispy edges, soft brioche dough, chai filling, and then drizzled with icing. If anything is a perfect breakfast, it’s these!
- Brioche Dough
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 packet)
1/2 cup milk, warmed (110 degrees F)
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Chai Spice Filling
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup butter, softened (1/2 a stick)
2 tbsp chai spice *Notes
- Vanilla Glaze
2 tbsp butter, softened
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- In a stand mixer or large bowl mix together the yeast and warm milk. Next, add in your butter, eggs, sugar, and flour. Mix using a dough hook. If you’re using a bowl and hand mixer, just mix on low. Let the dough sit for 3-5 minutes.
- Now, mix your dough more for another 4-6 minutes on medium-high. This will knead the dough. If you’re using a stand mixer, knead the dough by hand. (To knead dough, fold it in half and push forward with the heel of your palm.)
- Once the dough is kneaded, place the dough ball in a large bowl lightly greased, and proof for 45 minutes. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap or a towel.
- While the dough is proofing, let’s make the filling. Add all your ingredients to a small bowl and beat until combined. It will be somewhat thick and pasty.
- Grease your muffin pan with butter or non-stick spray and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Shake out the excess.
- Once the dough is proofed, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 14×6″ rectangle. Spread the filling onto the dough leaving 1/2 inch on the border.
- Starting on the long side, tightly roll the dough forward to create a log. Use a serrated knife or unflavored floss to cut the dough into 8, 1-inch pieces.
- Place the rolls into the muffin tin and lightly cover for another 20-25 minutes to proof. During this time, pre-heat your oven to 375 F.
- Next, bake for 15-18 minutes until the edges are golden, crisp, and the top are firm.
- Let the rolls slightly cool before icing. While they cool, let’s make the icing! Beat your cream cheese and butter until smooth. Then, add in your powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until fully mixed.
- Drizzle the icing over the rolls and enjoy! 🙂
- For the chai spice, mix together 3 tbsp ground ginger, 1 tbsp ground cardamom, 2 tbsp ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp ground allspice, 2 tsp ground nutmeg. Reserve the rest for other bakes.
- For the glaze, add more or less powdered sugar depending on the consistency you want. This makes a loose icing.
- Make sure the butter is quite softened for the filling.