French Vanilla Chai Cinnamon Rolls

When I was looking to bake something a couple weekends ago, I found myself craving something chai flavored – you know that slightly spicy cinnamon flavor. When I cam across this French Vanilla Chai Cinnamon Roll recipe from Frugal Foodie Mama, I knew I found the recipe I wanted to try for the weekend.

Let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

I won’t lie – I was a little hesitant mostly because this recipe calls to make the dough from scratch and I’ve never felt successful when I’ve had to do a recipe that calls for me to make the dough from scratch.

Once again, I did a total fail when it comes to the dough. I was getting frustrated when I started mixing the dough ingredients and thought ‘WAIT, I have a beautiful KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook, I’ll just use that!’


Obviously, I completely forgot that the dough hook is meant for kneading the dough once it has risen after mixing it.

Luckily, while the dough didn’t seem to rise as much as it should have, the dough felt okay while I kneaded it and rolled it out. The rolls still came out tasting delicious.

vanilla chai cinnamon rolls.jpg


For the Dough

  • 1 3/4 cups French Vanilla cake mix (about half the box of mix)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water

For the Filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 6 tbsp butter, softened

For the Glaze

  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. In a small bowl, add the yeast to the warm water. Let sit until the yeast is dissolved.
  2. Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk together the cake mix, flour, and salt. Add in the yeast/water mixture and mix well.
    Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  3. Punch down the dough and then cover and allow it to rise for another 30 minutes.
  4. Spray an 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  5. In small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and the spices for the filling. Add in the butter and mix well. Set aside.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Once the dough has risen for the second time, turn out onto a well floured surface. Knead 5-7 times, and then roll out into a rectangle to about 1/4 inch thick.
    Note: A pint glass works really well as an alternative to a rolling pin
  8. Spread the brown sugar/spiced butter evenly over the rectangle of dough.
  9. Starting with the bottom of the rectangle, roll the dough lengthwise into one long roll. Cut into 12 even slices.
    Note: I find that a serrated knife is the easiest to cut through dough
  10. Place swirl side up in the prepared pan. Cover with the cloth and set on top of the warm stove.
  11. Allow to rise on the preheating stove for another 20-30 minutes.
  12. Once they have risen for the third time, bake for 15-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before topping with the glaze.
    Note: I think I may have done around 20 minutes, I like to do less time and then play around from there
  13. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the baked cinnamon rolls.
    Note: My glaze was better for pouring over the cinnamon rolls; really just get the glaze allover the rolls and in the nooks and crannies. I mean, the glaze is one of the best parts!
vanilla chai cinnamon rolls2
A delicious twist on a traditional cinnamon roll … so what are you waiting for? Go bake some yumminess! 


2 thoughts on “French Vanilla Chai Cinnamon Rolls

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