chai spiced rolls

chai-spiced-rolls-1chai-spiced-rolls-6chai-spicesLet me introduce you to my housemate, Alex. He’s over 6 foot tall, studying a Masters by Research in parasitology and is basically the human embodiment of a labrador. As housemates go, he’s great: clean, can cook, and was wandering around yesterday muttering about needing to bleed the radiators before we turn the heating on. Beats me, but I’m glad one of us is thinking about it. 

chai-spiced-rolls-3Alex is also a baker. For the first time in – well – ever, I’m living with a baker. It’s amazing. Between us we have pretty much anything you could need. Zester? Check. Bundt tin? Check. We even have a cupboard solely for baking ingredients. This, my friends, is living the dream.

Last week we had an issue. There was too. much. cake.

chai-spiced-rolls-4It was the perfect storm. I had some leftover doughnuts from the weekend and Alex had also made a chocolate + coffee cake. On the Wednesday, I noticed we had courgettes and limes starting to go off in the fridge, and decided to whip up a courgette + lime cake in the aforementioned bundt tin. Waste not, want not 😉

On the Thursday it was my birthday, so the boyf made me a birthday cheesecake. He’s good. That brings our cake count to 4, and I thought this was manageable. I had a big group friends over on the Friday night to celebrate and to be fair, we made a substantial dent. On the Saturday I went out to Sainsbury’s and received a very guilty text:

I may have made more cake 😛

chai-spiced-rolls-2After that, a cake amnesty had to be enforced. The bunch of flowers sent by my parents went to live in the KitchenAid bowl, preventing further baking, until… yesterday.

I attempted cinnamon rolls a couple of years ago when I was living in the worst house in Bristol. With hindsight, I think my issues stemmed from how cold it was, so the yeast wasn’t happy. Our current flat is a lot warmer which definitely helps. This is also the first time that I’ve proved something overnight. Mind blown. It’s perfect if you want these guys for breakfast; all you have to do is turn the oven on, remove the clingfilm, and bake.

Chai Spiced Rolls

  • Servings: Makes 12
  • Print


  • 70g soft, unsalted butter
  • 120ml water
  • 120ml milk
  • 2¼ tsp dried fast-acting yeast
  • 50g caster sugar + an extra tbsp
  • 1 whole egg + 1 yolk
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 480g plain flour

Chai Swirl:

  • 75g soft, unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½tsp ground cardamom
  • ½tsp allspice
  • ¼tsp nutmeg
  • ¼tsp ground cloves
  • pinch black pepper
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 75g dark brown sugar

Vanilla Glaze:

  • 80g icing sugar
  • Double cream/milk
  • ½tsp vanilla extract


In a saucepan, gently warm the water and milk up to body temperature. Stir in the tablespoon of sugar and add the yeast. Set aside for the yeast to wake up.

Add the flour, sugar, eggs and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix together. Pour in the warm milk and yeast mixture and knead using a dough hook, or by hand. As the mixer is going, add the butter in small chunks. Knead until the butter is fully incorporated and the  dough is smooth – around 10 minutes.

Oil the mixing bowl, cover it with cling film and leave to prove for an hour. As the dough is proving, mix together the spices and the sugars for the chai swirl in a bowl.

Gently punch out the air from the proved dough and roll into a rectangle on a clean, floury surface. Spread the soft butter on top, and then cover with the chai spiced sugar. Roll the dough up into a swirl and divide into 12 segments.

Lightly grease a baking tray and arrange the rolls inside. Cover with cling film and put the tray into the fridge to prove overnight.

Take the tray out of the fridge and preheat your oven to 170*C {fan-forced}. Bake the rolls for 30 minutes, until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Whilst baking, make the glaze by sieving the icing sugar into a bowl, and adding cream or milk a tablespoon at a time until it’s pourable. Stir in the vanilla.

When the rolls are still warm, spread the glaze on top and serve immediately.

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