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Just What Your Autumn Cuppa Needs: Masala Chai-Inspired Scones
I’m admittedly a bit hooked on masala chai lattes, especially when our Minnesota air gets crisper & cooler throughout the fall months. Beyond a warm & frothy tea latte, chai spices are a welcome addition to sweet treats! The aromatic flavors of herbal & citrusy cardamom & zingy ginger are balanced by the cozy, spicy flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, & cloves. Pretty much heaven, if you ask me!
This time of year, there’s always a jar of homemade chai spice mix on my spice rack & I put it in everything! ICYMI, it’s the simple, 6-ingredient DIY chai spice blend I whipped up a few years back after a few other recipes I tried fell a little flat for my tastes (I looove a super spicy & cardamom-forward chai). It’s great in drinks, but it’s also great in sweet treats – cookies, cupcakes, &, of course, scones.
These chai scones are seriously top-notch, with the best tender-flaky texture & really beautifully balanced flavors. The scone itself is almost savory – so buttery & flaky, with a great punch of chai spice without being too sweet. What takes it over the top, though, is the chai spice maple scone glaze – sweet & sticky, with complex, rich flavors of pure maple syrup & masala chai spices. A perfectly balanced bite!
*Quick Note On “Chai”
In Hindi, “chai” means tea, so your normal cup of black tea is “chai” in India. What Westerners have come to know as “chai tea” or “chai latte” is actually masala chai or “spiced tea,” a special drink with a history that dates back thousands of years. Learn more here!
If you love the sound of masala chai-inspired treats, be sure to check out: Chai Spiced Apple Crisp, Dirty Chai Affogato, Homemade Coffee Chai Cashew Butter, & Chai Cocktails.
You’ll love these masala chai inspired scones because they’re…
- PERFECTLY BALANCED – These chai spice scones are borderline savory, so when combined with a quick & simple maple chai scone glaze, the result is a perfectly buttery-rich, spicy-sweet bite.
- SERIOUSLY EASY TO MAKE – They look totally fancy, but your food processor practically does all of the work!
- VERSATILE – You can make full-sized scones or cute minis. They’re make-ahead- & freezer-friendly, too! Check the Recipe Notes, below, for guidance.
- GREAT FOR ENTERTAINING – Chai scones are great for a weekend brunch, but they’re special enough to serve at any fall or winter gathering – Thanksgiving or Christmas morning, holiday cookie plates, & even baby or bridal showers!
Sugar, spice, & everything nice. ♡ Read on to learn more about Chai Scones with Maple Chai Glaze, or jump straight to the recipe & get cookin’!
The base for these chai spice scones is a pretty standard scone recipe made from just 8 simple ingredients, all of which are baking staples you probably keep on hand:
- All-purpose flour – Plain & simple!
- Baking powder – A generous amount gives these scones bakery-worthy height & lift.
- Granulated sugar – The littlest bit adds just a kiss of sweetness to offset the rich, buttery flavor.
- Unsalted butter – It wouldn’t be scones without butter, & a lot of it! Be sure to keep your butter as cold as possible for ultra flaky scones.
- Heavy cream & eggs – For more richness & supple texture.
- Masala chai spices – I use my 6-ingredient DIY chai spice mix (it’s a PWWB House fave!). This spice blend is just what I like in a chai – intensely spiced, & very cardamom- & ginger-forward.
Tips for Tender & Flaky Homemade Scones
You won’t find tough, flat scones here! There’s nothing worse than a lackluster scone – but luckily my secrets for tender & flaky scones are much simpler than you might think. As you get ready to make this chai spice scones recipe, keep these 3 things in mind:
- Cold butter is key. One of the secrets to beautifully flaky scones lies in using cold butter. When I make scones, I like to prep the butter first, then set it in the freezer while I measure out the rest of the ingredients. As you mix & roll out the dough, work quickly to ensure the butter stays cold. If it begins to soften up (you’ll smell the buttery flavor & you’ll feel the oily texture on your hands), simply pop the dough into the refrigerator for a few minutes to let the butter cool down.
- Is your leavening agent fresh? When’s the last time you bought baking powder? If you can’t remember, check the expiration date on the bottle. Baking powder plays a crucial role in giving these chai scones their lift, so it needs to be fresh!
- Don’t overwork the dough. Tough scones are the result of overworked dough. In overworking the scone dough, you build the glutens in the flour, which yields chewier, tougher scones. To ensure your chai scones are fluffy & tender, be careful not to overwork the dough & instead mix just until combined. Using a food processor to mix up the dough makes this really easy…
How to Make Chai Scones
For whatever reason, scones have a notorious reputation for being finicky & difficult to tackle. If I can let you in on a little secret, though? It’s really easy to make great scones from scratch at home, especially if you have a food processor.
To make chai scone dough, simply…
- Pulse together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of your food processor & pulse a couple of times to combine. Simple!
- Cut in the butter. Add cold cubed butter to the food processor (remember, it needs to be super cold!) & pulse to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. After about 25-30 quick pulses, some pieces of butter will be very small and coated with flour (it will look like fluffy grated parmesan cheese!), while some pieces of butter will still be large. That’s just the texture you’re looking for!
- Slowly add in the remaining wet ingredients. Whisk together some heavy cream & egg. While pulsing consistently, slowly & gradually stream the heavy cream mixture into the food processor, just until the scone dough forms and begins to pull away from the sides of the food processor.
And just like that, no more than 2 minutes later, your chai scone dough is mixed & ready to roll out. Seriously easy, right?!
Choose Your Own Adventure: Full-Sized or Mini Scones
One of my favorite things about this easy scone recipe is the fact that you can use the dough to make full-sized scones or mini scones. I’ll never turn down a full-sized scone, but minis are especially nice (and so cute) for a large brunch gathering or tucked into holiday treat plates!
- For full-sized scones: Roll the dough into a 1-inch disc, then slice into 8 wedges.
- To make mini scones: Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Cut the rectangle into strips, about 2 inches in width, then slice each strip into small triangles, 2 inches wide & 3 inches long.
You can easily cut the scones with a sharp knife, though I typically use a bench scraper when I work with pastry dough.
For the perfect glossy finish, brush your scones with egg wash & bake until golden brown!
Maple Chai Scone Glaze
The crumbly texture of a good scone begs for a delicious glaze! An easy maple chai glaze is the perfect finishing touch for these chai scones.
Homemade maple chai scone glaze is out-of-this-world good, & it’s really simple to make.
- As the scones bake, simply whisk together powdered sugar, chai spices, vanilla extract, maple syrup, & a little bit of heavy cream.
- Be sure to use pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup, as it has beautiful richness without tasting cloyingly or artificially sweet!
- Once the scones have cooled completely, dunk ’em on into the maple chai glaze. For an extra generous coating, I glaze all of the scones twice, giving them a minute to set between dunks.
These chai scones are beautiful, tender, flaky, & delicious. They’re a great morning treat with hot coffee (or a chai tea latte, of course!) & they’re also great for entertaining. Some serving ideas…
- Girls’ weekend brunch or bridal &/or baby showers
- Housewarming treat for new neighbors with a bag of local coffee
- Holiday breakfasts, like for Christmas or Thanksgiving Day
- Holiday treat plates, to offer a nice change of pace from cookies!
Pampering overnight guests with freshly baked scones alongside morning coffee is totally do-able with a little planning in advance! Stock your freezer with frozen scone dough, thaw it out the day your guests arrive, & simply pop ’em in the oven in the morning for fresh-baked scones.
Your guests will totally feel like they’re getting pampered. You can just smile & keep to yourself how truly easy these chai scones were to throw together. (Best hostess ever!!!)
These Chai Spice Scones with Maple Chai Glaze are probably one of my favorite sweet treats we’ve ever shared here on PWWB, & I can’t wait for you to try them!
If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy baking!
Obsessed with fall flavors? Us too!
More Easy Fall Dessert Recipes:
- Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
- Tahini Scotcheroos
- Lazy Girl Brownies (AKA…How to Make Box Brownies Better!!!)
- Extra Flaky Pumpkin Biscuits with Garlic Herb Butter
- Swirled Cranberry Cornbread Muffins
- Chai Spiced Apple Crisp
- raspberry dark chocolate chunk scones
- Mom’s Apple Pie Bars with Walnut Crumble
Chai Scones with Maple Chai Glaze
- Prep Time: 30 Minutes
- Cook Time: 20 Minutes
- Total Time: 50 Minutes
- Yield: 8 scones 1x
- Category: Scones, Breads & Cakes, Dessert Recipes
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
Flaky, buttery homemade scones laced with warm chai spices – cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg – & finished with a sweet maple chai glaze. These Chai Scones with Maple Chai Glaze are festive, flavorful, & perfect for fall, winter, & holiday baking!
for the Chai Scones:
- 12 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, diced into cubes
- ½ cup very cold heavy cream
- 2 large eggs, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out scones
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon chai spice blend
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
for the Maple Chai Glaze:
- 1 heaping cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons chai spice blend
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- pinch of kosher salt
- Food processor
- Bench scraper
- Prep the wet ingredients: Pull the butter, heavy cream, and eggs out of the refrigerator.
- Butter: Working quickly, dice the butter into 1/4 tablespoon squares. I like to cut the butter in half both lengthwise and widthwise, then chop it into slices along the tablespoon lines of the butter wrapper to get 48 uniform squares of butter out of 1 stick. Place the diced butter on a plate and set it in the freezer.
- Measure the heavy cream into a 2-cup liquid measure, then whisk in 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk. (Reserve the remaining egg white for brushing the scones.) Set the heavy cream mixture in the freezer to chill while you measure out the dry ingredients.
- Prep the dry ingredients: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, chai spices, & kosher salt. Pulse a handful of times to quickly bring the mixture together.
- Add the wet ingredients: Pull the butter out of the freezer and add it to the flour mixture in the food processor. Pulse it into the flour until the butter begins to cut into the flour mixture, about 25-30 pulses. Some pieces of butter will be very small and coated with flour (it will look like fluffy parmesan cheese!), and some pieces of butter will still be large, which is ideal for a tender, flaky scone. Pull the cream & egg mixture out of the freezer. Slowly and gradually pulse it into the butter & flour mixture, until the dough just forms a ball and starts to pull away from the sides of the food processor. The dough should be slightly wet to the touch, with pieces of butter still visible. You may not need to use all of the cream mixture – that’s okay!
- Rest the dough: Transfer the scone dough to a lightly floured surface. Working quickly, form it into a ball and press it into a disc. The dough may break apart a little bit, and that’s fine! Just work quickly to get it into another ball, then pat it down into a disc. Wrap the dough in plastic & transfer it to the freezer to rest for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the scones: Remove the scone dough from the freezer, placing it on a lightly floured surface. For full-sized scones, roll the dough into a circle, 1 inch thick. Use a sharp knife or bench scraper to cut the dough into 8 wedges. For mini scones, roll the dough into a rectangle, 1/2-inch thick. Cut the rectangle into strips, about 2 inches wide. Slice each strip into smaller triangles, 2 inches wide & 3 inches long.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet & brush generously with the egg wash.
- Bake the scones for 20-22 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove from the oven & allow to cool before glazing. Mini scones can be baked at the same oven temperature & for the same duration just be sure to check periodically for doneness & remove from oven to cool once the scones begin to puff & the edges begin to brown.
- Make the maple chai glaze: Meanwhile, as the scones bake, combine powdered sugar, chai spice, vanilla extract, heavy cream, maple syrup & salt in a small bowl. Whisk until combined into a thick glaze.
- Glaze the scones: Submerge the top of a scone into the glaze, generously coating each scone. I like to glaze the scones once, let them set up for a little bit, then glaze them a second time, in order to get a very thick layer of glaze. Let the glaze set up for 10 minutes or so before serving the scones. They’re great with coffee or tea! Enjoy!!
- Storage: Homemade chai scones will keep, stored in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: These chai scones are also incredibly freezer-friendly. To freeze: arrange on a baking sheet & flash freeze until chilled through. Transfer to an airtight freezer container or bag & store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
- Make-ahead: One of my favorite hostess tricks is baking fresh scones for guests using dough I’ve made ahead of time. Major wow factor! To make-ahead, prepare & roll out the chai scones according to Steps 1-5, above. Arrange on a baking sheet & flash freeze the scone dough, until firm. Once firm, transfer to an airtight freezer container or bag & store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To bake fresh scones, thaw the dough out overnight in the refrigerator. Bake & glaze according to Steps 6-9 – easy!
Keywords: chai scones, chai spice, chai spice scones, flaky, tender, glazed, freezer, make-ahead, homemade, simple, easy, maple glaze, scone recipe, maple glaze for scones
Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Eat Love Eat
Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest for more easy, modern recipes & fun!
Flakiest and most delicious scones I’ve ever made. Very helpful directions and tips. However, is there a way to make the frosting without confectioners’ sugar and use honey/maple syrup/something else? I just read Michelle’s glaze post. Any other ideas?
Hi Carol! We are so glad to hear that 🙂 We’ve never tried without the confectioner’s sugar so can’t say for sure that an alternative would achieve the same texture. You can certainly swap out our Maple Chai Glaze for another maple glaze it may just be lighter. Let us know if you give it a try!
I used my stand mixer and began with the pastry paddle for incorporating the butter (grated). These turned out so light and tender! I did a simple maple syrup, cream and butter glaze with a little chai spice and vanilla bean added.
Sounds delicious, Michelle! We’re so glad you loved the scones 🙂
What a yummy fall treat! Was hesitant because I don’t have a food processor and had to improvise by mixing by hand but it turned out amazing. My family fully approved and finished in less than a day. Thank you!
Hi Audrey! Thanks so much for leaving a comment, we are SO glad you & your family enjoyed these scones – truly the perfect way to welcome Fall!! 🙂
Can’t wait to make for a tea party! How long do you recommend baking the minis? Thanks!!
Hi Rachel! These would be perfect for a tea party! For the minis you can still bake for the same 20-22 mins as directed for the full-size version – just be mindful that ovens can vary so we always recommend checking periodically for doneness! You’ll know the scones are ready once they’re puffy & the edges begin to brown! 🙂 Can’t wait to hear what you think, enjoy!!
Full of chai flavor! (I used your recipe for the spice mix with the addition of the black pepper). I didn’t have heavy cream so used half and half – worked beautifully. Light, tender and flaky scones. Highly recommend for anyone who likes chai!
Thanks so much Michaela! We’re so glad you enjoyed the chai flavor!!💜
LOVED this recipe!!! Did a sample batch and loved so I made them again for a Tea Party! Perfect blend of Chai spices complimented by the sweet glaze! I know they will be a hit!
My husband found this recipe and decided we were making them. So happy he did, they are amazing! Easy, clear instructions made for a delicious, soft, flavorful scone. Thank you!
Hi Brittany! We are so glad to hear that you both enjoyed – we love the Fall flavors! Thank you for sharing!
Very delicious and came together well! I used my blender instead of a food processor, and it still worked out. The chai flavors are excellent and the icing is perfection.
Hi Amy! We are thrilled to hear that you loved these scones & the flavors! Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂
I can not resist chai spice during the winter months. I love scones but hate cutting butter in, this recipe made making scones so simple! And I didn’t even have to dirty up a bowl. They baked up beautifully and are so light and flaky.
I’m SO glad you loved them, Cameron! Using a food processor is a game changer with scone dough! xx
Chai glaze?? Girrrrrrl, you are speaking my language! These are going on my list of things to try!
haha, yes! please let me know if you give them a try, christine. i think you’d love them!
These are too cute to handle. Can you just come bake for me every single day for the rest of like… ever? Thanks.
well, if you insist. 😉
You aren’t the only one – I hate pumpkin spice too! Definitely making these soon because chai is life. Gorgeous photos as usual!
thank you emma! you’re going to love them. FULL of chai flavor!
Well these are just absolutely perfect! I love chai anything and everything. And all of these photos! So pretty 🙂
i totally agree, ashley – chai anything is basically the best. thanks so much!
Ok, I’ve got to say I LOVE anything pumpkin spice – I mean, what’s not to like about cinnamon, nutmeg, etc?! But there are definitely not enough chai spiced things in the world. These look INCREDIBLE!
thank you christine! your pumpkin hummus makes me re-think everything i ever felt about pumpkin, that’s for sure.
I’m a chai girl – 100%! No wonder we get along 😉 but seriously, I need these in my life! Pinned and cannot wait to make them! Plus, they’re mini which makes them a gajillion times better.
chai fraaaands!!! it explains everything! 🙂 totally agree that mini is the best. because then you can eat ten. #logic!