Frosted Chai Spice Snickerdoodles

Soft & chewy cookies rolled in a blend of chai spices and covered in creamy vanilla bean frosting. These frosted chai spice snickerdoodles are a chai tea latte in cookie form!

frosted chai spice snickerdoodles

Happy hallo-weekend!

Hopefully some candy bar blondies or reese’s stuffed cookies are on your agenda with all that leftover Halloween candy. My plans include eating today’s chai spice cookies, washed down with a few of these pumpkin ales, cozy by the fire in the Poconos.

A weekend at the lake with friends and blankets and pumpkin beer and cookies… sounds like perfection. If you’re a fan of chai tea lattes, add a batch of these fabulously spiced chai cookies to your agenda too.

stack of frosted chai spice snickerdoodles

I’m so excited about these! First, because this recipe is breaking my near two month cookie-less streak. Sorry for dropping the ball on new cookie recipes! And second… chai. I have been a huge fan of chai tea for years. Bold and spicy, this flavorful tea is my#1 choice when it comes to warm drinks. And baking with its spices seemed like a natural progression. Have your chai tea and eat it too.

Today’s cookies are snickerdoodle cookies. Prepare a buttery dough, roll cookie dough balls in a cinnamon sugar mix, and bake. These are so simple! I use the same exact snickeredoodle cookie recipe as I do with my caramel surprise snickerdoodle cookies. Thick, soft, and very chewy. No mixer required and minimum dough chilling time.

But instead of just cinnamon and sugar, I add a trio of flavorful chai spices to the cookie’s coating: ginger, cardamom, and allspice (which includes both nutmeg and clove flavors). Chai tea is flavored with a couple other spices as well: black pepper and Chinese star anise. I already added black pepper to one dessert this week and you probably already consider me crazy from that. So, I left out the pepper in these frosted chai snickerdoodles. And I couldn’t find Chinese star anise for the life of me in about 7 different grocers.

2 images of chai spice blend in a glass bowl and a cookie dough ball in a glass bowl of spices

So cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and allspice are what I used. And we loved the flavor!

When I began brainstorming this chai-infused recipe, I wanted something a little more than a snickerdoodle-type cookie. The answer? A swirl of frosting. Frosting is always the answer. Vanilla bean frosting… smooth and creamy, flavored with vanilla extract and vanilla beans. The vanilla beans put this frosting over the top!

I like to add a pinch of salt to the frosting. There is so much sweetness happening in the cookie and the cookie’s chai spice coating, that a little salt is welcomed in the sweet frosting on top. Feeling like something a little more simple? Feel free to leave off the frosting. But I must tell you– the chai spice cookie paired with the vanilla bean frosting reminds me of a sweet ‘n spicy, creamy chai tea latte.

frosted chai spice snickerdoodles on a white plate with a bite taken out of one cookie

A chai tea latte in cookie form, if you will. Scary good.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

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frosted chai spice snickerdoodles

Frosted Chai Spice Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 20-24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Soft & chewy cookies rolled in a blend of chai spices and covered in creamy vanilla bean frosting. These frosted chai spice snickerdoodles are a chai tea latte in cookie form!



  • 2 and 3/4 cups (344g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (70g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For Rolling

  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (300g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream (preferred) or milk
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 of a split vanilla bean
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. When you take the butter out of the refrigerator to make the cookie dough, take out 1/2 cup more (1 stick) and allow to soften as you make the cookies. This softened butter is for the frosting.
  2. For the cookies: Toss the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together until smooth. You must use a whisk in order to prevent the butter from separating from the sugars. Whisk in the egg, then the vanilla until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very thick and heavy, yet slightly crumbly. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days. (If chilling for longer than a few hours, be sure to let the cookie dough sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes because it will be quite hard.)
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and roll 1.5 Tablespoons of dough into each ball. You’ll have about 20-24 balls, give or take.
  5. For the rolling: Mix the sugar and spices together in a small bowl. Roll each dough ball into the mixture to coat evenly. Place 10 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 10-11 minutes. The cookies will look very puffy, soft, and under baked. That’s ok. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. For the frosting (frosting is optional): With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, cream, and vanilla bean seeds with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add 1 Tablespoon more cream if frosting is too thick. Taste and add 1/8 teaspoon salt if frosting is too sweet. I always add the salt.
  7. Frost cooled cookies. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cookie. Sprinkle with extra sugar/chai spice topping if you have any left, if desired. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for 1 week.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Unfrosted cookies freeze well, up to 2 months. Coated cookie dough balls freeze well, up to 2 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed.
  2. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: chai spice sugar cookies, chai spice snickerdoodles

Try my Caramel Surprise Snickerdoodles next!

stack of caramel surprise snickerdoodle cookies broken in half showing the caramel inside on a white plate

More snickerdoodle recipes.

frosted chai spice snickerdoodles


  1. I just made these, and they are so very good. Followed the instructions to a t and weighed my ingredients. No joke, guys, this frosting tastes like vanilla ice cream. Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper. Would be great at a cookie exchange!

  2. Currently make these. I know they said puffy but when I took mine out they still looked like rolled raw dough balls. I tried smooshing them but then they starts to crack on the side. I put them in for a few minutes longer since it tasted like raw dough. I don’t know how yours looks so flat and mine arent anything like that and I followed the recipe excatly. Did you smoosh them before baking? What I tasted was delicious but concerned on how they should look after in the oven! Maybe post a picture of what it should look like?

    1. Ashlee, I don’t press them down. I wonder if you overmeasure flour? That’s usually the culprit behind cookies not spreading in the oven. Be sure to spoon and level or weigh the flour for the best possible results.

      1. Okay, thank you for responding to me 🙂 I will do that next time! They are delicious no matter how they look on my end!

  3. I made these last Christmas for a cookie exchange with some friends. They were excellent and everyone loved them.  I plan to make them for the cookie exchange again this year. 

  4. Angelica Mantikas says:

    Hi Sally,
    These look amazing!! I can’t wait to try them. I was just wondering if you had to use cream of tartar? I have no easy access to the shops within the next few days, or could I substitute it with something else?

    1. Cream of tartar is a must. Try making these cookies instead and leaving out the toffee/sea salt topping and adding the spices and frosting of these chai cookies.

  5. What can I use in place of cardamom

    1. Hi, You can use equal parts nutmeg and cinnamon, for this recipe, you would use a 1/2 tsp nutmeg and a 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Also, if you’re out of nutmeg, you can use ground ginger.

  6. I can’t find it in stores near me…have you tried this recipe with nutmeg and cloves instead. Also curious as to the difference in texture between this and the soft and thick recipe. 

  7. I was wondering if you had to melt the butter? Most recipes just have you blend room temperature butter and sugar until “light and fluffy.” I was wondering if that would help with the separation you mentioned?

  8. Hi Sally! I’m sure it isn’t ideal, but would almond milk be an okay substitute for cream in the frosting for these cookies? 

    1. It would be fine- just not as creamy!

  9. Hi there. Would love to try these tonight. I didn’t see eggs listed in the ingredients, but egg is mentioned in the instructions. Is it just one egg?

    1. There’s 1 egg, it’s hard to find because it says room temperature 🙂

  10. These cookies were delicious! I followed the recipe exactly as written and they turned out great. The cookies had a soft texture with a lovely flavor. Will definitely make these again!

  11. Brought these to family gathering, and they were well received. The cookie is soft, and the chai spices added goodness to traditional snicker doodle taste. I frosted mine and dipped in the sugar spice mix.  Great cookie!  

  12. These cookies are amazing. So soft and moist. However, I would like a little more of the chai spice inside the cookie. They taste just like a regular snickerdoodle to me. Would it be too much to add the ginger, cardomom, and allspice to the dough mixture for more chai spice flavor?

  13. Hi. I wanted to make these without the frosting. Wondering how they would turn out. Has anybody tried these without the frost? Pls share

    1. You can simply leave it off! They’re wonderful plain.

      1. Hi Sally, tried te cookies. Followed the recipe exact and they came out yum but were very crumbly. After few hours, they started breaking before they even reached the mouth. Couldn’t figure why though 🙁

  14. I was wondering how these might be if I used a chai tea frosting instead of the vanilla bean frosting? I’m super interested in the idea of combining a snickerdoodle with chai!

    1. Would be delicious! Chai tea flavored frosting sounds really good.

  15. Melanie Wallace says:

    I don’t have any vanilla beans. How much vanilla extract would I use to substitute?

    1. You can simply leave it out, or you can add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in its place.

  16. I was wondering if it would be okay to freeze these with the frosting in them?

    1. Hi Tina! That would be fine, but the frosting definitely tastes better fresh! 🙂

  17. Can I use something in place of or leave out the vanilla bean? I went to my local balk store but they didn’t have any because I guess it was a bad year for them.

    1. Hi Kate! You can leave out the vanilla bean.

  18. These were so good and so pretty all on their own, I didn’t even frost them! Thanks for another great recipe!

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