Spicy Chai Knots

Every fall when the weather cools down, chai somehow makes its way into my baking regimen. Chai has a way of taking ordinary cinnamon based recipes to the next level of wonderful, and this recipe for Spicy Chai Knots makes those warm fall flavors come to life. These twisted little bundles taste so much like churros that I was tempted to name this recipe differently. I settled on Spicy Chai Knots as these golden puff pastry bundles are baked and not fried like churros are. Use cinnamon sugar to make these and they’re good–use my Homemade Chai Sugar and they’re amazing!Finely ground black tea is combined with classic chai spices to create a sweet and spicy layer inside each knot and also a coating around it. Combining black tea with spices and sugar is a lot like the idea of making a vanilla sugar, except this time the flecks are bits of malty black tea instead of vanilla bean seeds.So how do you make black tea into a spice? It’s simple–break out that spice grinder hiding out in the back of your kitchen cabinet! Start with everyday Assam tea bags (here, I’m using Irish Breakfast) and the tea will grind down into a fine powder within about a minute.Toss these Spicy Chai Knots in the tea-flavored sugar while they’re still hot, straight out of the oven. The tea sugar releases its amazing scent and taste once it hits the warm rolls. My favorite way to enjoy these is in the morning, along with a hot cup of strong Assam, but they’re also perfect as a nightcap with a tall glass of milk.

Spicy Chai Knots

Makes 2 dozen.


2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed (I used Pepperidge Farm)

2 Tbsp butter, melted

{Homemade Chai Sugar}

3 Irish Breakfast or Assam Tea Bags, tea finely grounded into a powder with a spice grinder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp ginger

1/8 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup sugar

{Egg Wash}

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp water


spice grinder

work surface

rolling pin

2 large baking sheets fitted with parchment paper

pastry brush


1. Mix all the Homemade Chai Sugar ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll a sheet of puff pastry into a 10″ square. Lightly brush the bottom half of the pastry sheet with melted butter, then sprinkle 2 Tbsp of Homemade Chai Sugar evenly over it.

3. Fold the top half of the sheet over the bottom half. Lightly press the top layer onto the bottom layer to adhere them together. Cut the dough into 12 strips, each strip being 5″ long. Tie each strip into a knot, then place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at least 1″ apart from one another. Lightly brush each knot with egg wash.

4. Bake the knots for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and let cool for a few minutes. While still hot, dredge each knot in the remaining chai sugar. Serve warm.