Are you ready for it? (Cheryl’s Version) of the famous Taylor Swift chai sugar cookies, complete with warm spices, real chai tea, and a perfectly sweet glaze. This easy cookie recipe is perfect for new Septembers, gray Novembers, or Decembers when everything is icy and blue.
🫖 What Makes This Recipe So Good
- If you’re a Swiftie, I don’t even need to tell you about this recipe. You’ve probably been making them since she posted about them back in 2009. If you’re not a Swiftie, don’t worry. You don’t need to own all of Taylor’s albums or decode any hidden messages to enjoy these crisp, cozy, perfectly-spiced chai cookies!
- Taylor herself described these cookies as “Christmas in September”, and she wasn’t joking. The cookie dough is made with the actual contents of a chai tea bag mixed right in, so you’ll definitely taste all those warm seasonal flavors. There’s cinnamon and nutmeg in the cookie glaze, too, and you’ll really get Christmas vibes if you make your glaze with eggnog instead of whole milk.
🍪 The Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange
This recipe is part of The Sweetest Season, an annual virtual cookie swap co-hosted by Erin of The Speckled Palate and Susannah of Feast + West. Each year, a group of food bloggers get together to during the first week of December to share new holiday cookie recipes for you to make, gift, and enjoy.
This year, The Sweetest Season is raising money for Cookies 4 Kids’ Cancer, a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for new, innovative and less-toxic treatments for childhood cancer.
Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has granted nearly $18 million to pediatric cancer research in the form of 100+ research grants to leading pediatric cancer centers across the country. From these grants have stemmed 35+ treatments available to kids battling cancer today.
Help us raise money for this important cause! Click here to donate through our fundraising page.
Through the end of 2023, OXO will be matching every dollar raised for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through the end of 2023, up to $100,000. Whatever money we raise will automatically double on our fundraising page!
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- We followed THE Taylor Swift chai cookie recipe here, so instead of adding a few different spices to the dough, reach for the tea instead! Yup, you’ll be adding a whole chai tea bag to the dough. Just tear it open and pour it right in! Any brand will work fine, but this is where all the unique flavor in the recipe comes from, so use a brand you like. If the contents of your tea bags aren’t already finely chopped, run them through a spice grinder first so they’re less conspicuous in the finished cookies.
- For chewier, softer cookies, you’ll want to shorten the bake time ever so slightly. Remember, the cookies will keep baking as they rest on the pan. If you wait to take them out of the oven until they look done, they’ll be even more done by the time you eat them.
- If you want to give your chai cookies an even richer, deeper flavor, we’ll stray from Taylor’s recipe a little. Don’t worry – all’s well that ends well. Instead of a sprinkle of sugar on top of the cookies, roll the dough balls in a simple blend of brown sugar and cinnamon. Use brown sugar in the cookie dough, too, if you really love that flavor (I do!). It really plays up the chai spices beautifully.
More Cookies, Cakes, and Other Sweet Recipes
- Hot Cocoa Dip
- Mochi Brownies
- Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies (Gluten Free)
- Gluten Free Pecan Pie
- Keto Peppermint Layer Brownies
- Christmas Confetti Cookies
- Gluten Free Mug Cake
- Fudgy Homemade Lactation Brownies
- Keto Cookie Dough (Sugar Free Edible Cookie Dough)
- Rich & Fudgy Dairy-Free Brownies
- Bacon Cookie Butter Cookies
- Vegan Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
- 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
- Matcha Brownies with White Chocolate Chips
- Keto Churros
- Vanilla Brownies with Buttercream Frosting
- Vegan Cookie Dough
For the Chai Sugar Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter 1 full stick butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil or refined coconut oil
- ½ cup granulated white sugar or light brown sugar
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 chai tea bag any brand; contents only, bag discarded
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled, see Notes
- ½ teaspoon fresh baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- granulated white sugar to taste
For the Cookie Glaze
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 small pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 small pinch ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons whole milk or eggnog
Serving Suggestions (All Optional)
- ground nutmeg to taste
- ground cinnamon to taste
- stand mixer bowl or large mixing bowl
- stand mixer or hand mixer
- flat beater attachment for stand mixer or beater attachments for hand mixer
- Silicone spatula
- Plastic Wrap
- 1-2 large cookie sheet(s) as needed
- neutral-flavored cooking spray or butter, or oil
- small shallow bowl or small shallow plate
- #60 (1 tablespoon) cookie scoop
- Wire cooling rack
- medium mixing bowl
- spoon optional
To Prepare the Chai Sugar Cookies
- Place ½ cup unsalted butter in mixing bowl. Use mixer fitted with beater attachments to beat butter on medium-low speed until butter is smooth, approximately 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- Add ½ cup vegetable oil to bowl with butter and beat on low speed until oil is incorporated as well as possible. Oil may not incorporate completely.
- Add ½ cup granulated white sugar, ½ cup powdered sugar, and contents of 1 chai tea bag to bowl. Beat ingredients together on medium-low speed until fully combined.
- Crack 1 large egg directly into bowl with butter mixture. Add 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and resume beating ingredients together on medium speed until fully combined.
- Once wet ingredients are combined, add 2 cups all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon fresh baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix ingredients together with mixer on low speed, or stir ingredients together by hand with silicone spatula, until ingredients are just combined and cookie dough forms. Be careful not to over-mix.
- When ingredients are combined into very soft cookie dough, set mixer aside. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place bowl in refrigerator. Chill dough 1 hour.
To Bake the Chai Sugar Cookies
- After 1 hour, preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Lightly grease cookie sheet(s) with cooking spray or butter, then set cookie sheet aside. Add granulated white sugar to small shallow bowl or plate and set aside.
- Remove bowl from refrigerator and uncover. Discard plastic wrap. Note: Dough will still be soft after refrigeration.
- Use #60 cookie scoop to scoop dough into 1-tablespoon portions. Roll scoop of dough quickly between palms of hands to smooth, then gently press dough ball into flat round, approximately ¼-inch thick.
- Place cookie dough in shallow bowl of granulated sugar and flip to coat each side of cookie. Transfer cookie dough to prepared cookie sheet. Alternately, skip sugar process and place flattened cookie dough on cookie sheet. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top of cookie dough.
- Repeat process with remaining cookie dough until all dough has been formed into cookies. Leave approximately 1 to 2 inches space between cookies on cookie sheet to allow for spreading.
- Place filled cookie sheet(s) in preheated oven. Bake cookies 7 minutes, then begin checking doneness. Continue baking as needed, checking cookies often, until bottom edges of cookies are just lightly golden brown.
- Remove cookie sheet(s) from oven and set aside. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet(s) 5 minutes, then use spatula to carefully transfer cookies to wire cooling rack. Allow cookies to rest on rack until cooled to room temperature.
To Glaze the Chai Sugar Cookies
- Once cookies have cooled, add 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, 1 small pinch ground nutmeg, 1 small pinch ground cinnamon, and 3 tablespoons whole milk or eggnog to medium mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients together until fully combined into smooth glaze. Whisk in additional milk to thin or powdered sugar to thicken as desired.
- Spoon glaze over top of each cooled cookie and spread glaze with back of spoon to cover. Sprinkle ground nutmeg and ground cinnamon over glaze to garnish if desired, then allow glaze to set completely. (Alternately, hold each cookie upside-down by edges and carefully dip tops of cookies directly into glaze. Allow excess glaze to drop back into bowl before flipping cookie over and returning to cooling rack. Sprinkle ground nutmeg and ground cinnamon over glaze to garnish if desired, then allow glaze to set completely.)
- Once glaze has set completely, serve cookies as desired.
- Granulated Sugar: For richer cookies with a deeper flavor, use light brown sugar instead of white sugar. Brown sugar plays off the chai tea, ground nutmeg, and ground cinnamon beautifully!
- Chai Tea Bag: Yup, you’ll use the leaves and everything. Just dump all the contents right into the bowl! Any brand of tea will work, but if the chai you use has any really large pieces in it, be sure to run them through a spice grinder first so they blend in better.
- Spoon and Level Method: For the most-accurate flour measurement, don’t use your measuring cup to scoop the flour out of its container. Instead, scoop the flour out with a spoon and transfer it into the measuring cup. Once the cup is filled (but don’t pack the flour down!), drag the flat edge of a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level the flour.
- Bake Time: Exact bake times will vary due to a number of factors. I recommend not baking the cookies for more than 10 minutes total since they’ll continue to bake and set up after being removed from the oven. Depending on your oven, sheet pan, and kitchen, though, you may need to extend that recommended time by 1-2 minutes.
- Larger Cookies: For larger cookies, use a #40 (2 tablespoon) cookie scoop, or combine 2 1-tablespoon scoops of dough together into one cookie. Larger cookies may need a longer bake time.
- Make it Dairy Free: Use a dairy-free butter and replace the milk in the glaze with almond milk or coconut milk.
- Make it Gluten Free: Replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free all-purpose flour with xanthan gum, like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
- Storage: Store prepared cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days, or in the fridge up to 8 days.
- Freezer Storage: Place the fully-baked and completely-cooled cookies, with or without glaze, on a baking sheet in one flat layer. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the cookies 30 minutes. Remove the cookies from the freezer and transfer them to an airtight container or a food-safe sealable freezer bag. Return the cookies to the freezer and keep frozen up to 3 months.
- Defrosting Frozen Cookies: Remove the desired number of cookies from the freezer and place them in the fridge overnight. Warm defrosted cookies in the oven or let the cookies come to room temperature, then serve and enjoy.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.