This Chai Spice Blend is perfect for adding a little warm and cozy goodness to all of your fall and holiday baked goods. Made with only 7 ingredients and ready in just 5 minutes, this easy spice mix is one you’ll want to keep in your spice cabinet all year long. Make your own chai tea, use it for baking, or give it as a gift during the holidays.
I remember the first time I tried a chai tea latte as a teenager. As a kid, I wasn’t much of an adventurous eater so something like a chai latte completely blew me away. So warm, flavorful, and cozy - I quickly became obsessed.
Now, a good homemade chai spice mix is something I love keeping in my spice cabinet. It’s delicious in baked goods like apple crisp or gingerbread. And, of course, it’s perfect for making chai tea at home.
This chai spice mix recipe is seriously so simple to make. Just put all of the ingredients into an airtight container and shake. That’s it!
I definitely recommend making a double batch to keep on hand. That way, you can easily bake chai-spiced treats on a whim all fall and winter. Your family and friends will love you.
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What Is Chai Spice Blend?
To be more accurate, I should really be referring to this chai spice blend as masala chai.
In the United States, chai and masala chai have come to mean the same thing. However, in many Eastern countries, the word chai actually means “tea.” And masala chai is the blend of spices we all love so much.
A chai spice blend can be made up of several warm spices including cardamom and cinnamon. Spicier chai mixes might contain black pepper or ginger. Often, authentic chai spice recipes call for toasting and blending fresh, whole spices.
Like so many things, it really is just a matter of preference. If you enjoy a spicer chai, amp up the ginger and add a few pinches of black pepper. Feeling a little sweeter? Turn up the cinnamon and maybe add a teaspoon or two of brown sugar.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Well-Balanced- This chai spice blend is well-balanced with a bit of kick from this black pepper.
- Customizable- Play around with the ratio of spices until you find the blend that suits your personal taste preferences. You can also easily make more or less depending on how much you need.
- Easy- This recipe uses ground spices, meaning it comes together in less than 5 minutes.
- Ready in 5 Minutes- Simply measure and add all of the ingredients to a small glass jar or bowl and mix!
- Perfect for Baking- Add this spice blend to any baked good for an instant warm and cozy flavor.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Ginger- Adds a spicy, warm, slightly peppery flavor.
- Cinnamon- Warm, earthy, and sweet, cinnamon has a mellow spiciness to it.
- Cardamom- This spice has a citrusy, pine-like flavor that tastes slightly sweet.
- Allspice- A complex spice that is warm, earthy, and slightly peppery.
- Nutmeg- Intensely flavored, nutmeg is warm, nutty, and mildly citrusy.
- Cloves- Adds a warm, mildly spicy flavor with a hint of bitterness.
- Black Pepper- Spicy with a slightly woodsy flavor.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this homemade chai spice blend.
Step 1: Measure and mix. Measure all ingredients and add them to a small mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 years.
Quick Tip: For a less spicy version of this recipe, omit the black pepper and reduce the ginger to 4 teaspoons. May add one teaspoon of brown sugar for a sweeter version.
Here are a few ways you can try customizing this chai spice blend recipe to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Sweetened- Add a teaspoon or two of granulated or brown sugar to make a pre-sweetened version of this chai spice mix.
- Extra Spicy- An additional teaspoon of black pepper or ginger will kick the spiciness up a notch. If you’re feeling really spicy, add a little cayenne pepper to the mix.
- Gluten-Free- While this chai spice blend should naturally be gluten-free, I always recommend double-checking each ingredient label to be certain.
How to Use Chai Spice Blend
Chai spices are traditionally used to make chai tea. However, there are many other ways to use this wonderful mix of warm spices.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to use this DIY chai spice blend:
- In baked goods such as this Acorn Squash Bread or this Deconstructed Apple Pie
- Mixed into homemade granola
- Blended into a smoothie, yogurt, or milkshake
- As a spice rub or marinade for chicken or pork
- Sprinkled onto fresh or baked fruit
- Tossed with roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts
How to Make Chai Tea
I typically recommend making chai tea from whole spices to avoid ending up with gritty spices in your cup. However, you can use this chai spice blend to make tea if you strain it well.
Here is how to make chai tea at home:
- Simmer one-half teaspoon of the chai spice mixture with one-half cup of milk for 5 minutes.
- Strain the milk well using a cheesecloth or mesh sieve.
- Mix the spiced milk with black tea and your sweetener of choice.
Store homemade chai spice blend in an airtight spice jar or container. Keep it stored in a cool, dry, dark area. When stored properly, spices will keep for about 1-3 years. However, the spices will begin to lose their flavor over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
A chai spice blend is made from a mix of warm spices such as cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Spices such as black pepper and fennel seeds can also be added. The exact spices and their ratio is often a matter of personal preference.
Since chai spice isn’t a single spice, its flavor can vary. However, chai spice blends usually have a predominately warm, earthy, and slightly sweet flavor. Some blends are spicier or more sweet than others depending on the ratio of spices added.
For baking, a blend of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a 4:2:1 ratio is a good substitute for chai. For example, use 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of ginger, and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg. While it won’t be as intense, it will give you a similar warm flavor profile.
Chai Spice Blend
- Mixing bowl or spice jar
- 6 teaspoons ginger ground
- 5 teaspoons cinnamon ground
- 2 teaspoons cardamom ground
- 2 teaspoons allspice ground
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg ground
- 2 teaspoons cloves ground
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorn freshly ground
- Measure all ingredients and add them to a small mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 years.6 teaspoons ginger, 5 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons cardamom, 2 teaspoons allspice, 2 teaspoons nutmeg, 2 teaspoons cloves, 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
- Quick Tip: For a less spicy version of this recipe, omit the black pepper and reduce the ginger to 4 teaspoons. May add one teaspoon of brown sugar for a sweeter version.
- Storage: Store in an airtight spice jar or container in a cool, dry, dark area. When stored properly, spices will keep for about 1-3 years. However, the spices will begin to lose their flavor over time.