Masala chai snickerdoodles

Masala chai snickerdoodles


1) I’m happy to announce that organic + 12 month aged REAL DEAL VANILLA EXTRACT is officially FOR SALE! If you’re giving it as a gift for the holidays (yes, plural – there’s more than one holiday in December), you’ll want to order it as soon as possible, as USPS gets bombarded with packages mid-December. Which means the recipient may not get it until later in the month. Or after the New Year.

>>> If you live outside the United States and wish to purchase vanilla extract, shoot me an email through my contact form with your whereabouts and I’ll calculate shipping + send you a Paypal invoice.

2) There will be a post for gingerbread cake with coconut whipped topping over on West Elm’s blog on Friday, so you should probably keep your eyes peeled because the cake is delicious. I tested the damn thing 11 times (because I’m fucking crazy I refused to share a recipe for a cake with a small crater in the middle) (I have serious OCD about properly leavening things) so that’s a matter of fact.

3) I’ve been getting hella emails about updating the travel blog/posting a vegan guide to Europe, and you’ll be happy to know I’m working on both. The guide to Europe won’t be posted until after the new year but the travel blog will be updated in the very near future. Poland is up next and we’re still trying to decide how deep we want to go with what we experienced there. It was heavy. In a way that’s completely and utterly distressing (and almost traumatizing) until you realize how resilient we are as human beings; how beautiful it is that our capacity to rebound cannot be cheapened by the past. (Side note: Poland was one of my favorite places we visited during the trip. Next to Croatia and the Cinque Terre, of course.)

I’ll be back next week with a recipe for Thom’s birthday cake. Or maybe nog french toast. Along with homemade nog that’s free of weird thickeners and “natural” flavors. Get your dates and cashews and rum ready, folks!

Brewin' chaiMasala chai spiced cookie doughMasala chai sugarMasala chai snickerdoodles in the makingMasala chai snickerdoodles+++ Real deal vanilla extractMasala chai snickerdoodlesMasala chai snickerdoodles

Notes: If you’re not into the whole chai thing, add 1/4 cup warm milk to the batter instead. And use 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon in place of all the other spices in the sugar coating. Or you can swap the chai tea bag for a different tea of your choice (orange, gingerbread, etc) and get creative with the sugar coating (orange zest, brown sugar, etc). Feel free to add more spices to the dough, but I found the coating to be spicy enough. For a gluten free option, replace the flour with 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend and 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum. And for the love of baby Jesus, do not try substituting baking powder for the baking soda and cream of tartar. Just buy the damn jar of cream of tartar. Or ask your neighbor to borrow some and return an hour later with a plate of warm cookies.


1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1 chai tea bag
1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup vegan butter, room temperature
1 cup cane sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup cane sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two large baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil. (You can also do this in your microwave but microwaves freak me the hell out. Oh, and we don’t own one.) Pour the milk into a small bowl and steep the tea bag for 10 minutes. Once steeped, wring excess liquid from bag and set milk aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, 1/4 cup of the chai milk, and vanilla extract, using a hand mixer on high speed, until combined. The mixture may look lumpy or curdled, but once you add the flour it will smooth out. Add the flour mixture in halves, beating on medium speed after each addition and just until combined. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets and freeze for 15 minutes.

Prepare the coating in a small bowl by combining the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and cloves. Remove baking sheets from the fridge and roll dough into round balls then into sugar mixture. Place them back on the baking sheet with at least 2 inches between each cookie. If you prefer thin snickerdoodles, gently press balls with the palm of your hand to just barely flatten the round tops. Bake at 350˚F for 8 minutes. Keep on baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cookies will keep for up to three days in an air tight container, but will likely be a bit harder on the third day.

Yield: About 30 cookies


  • Reply Gina 4 December 2013 at 7:34 AM

    Hi there! Just curious to know if you’ve tried this recipe with Bhakti Chai? Seems like it would be a good candidate. If you happened to try it, I’d love to know if you used it straight or half non-dairy milk, half Bhakti, or whatever. Thanks!

    • Reply Ashlae 7 February 2014 at 8:33 AM

      Hi Gina –

      I just got around to trying these with Bhakti chai (half chai, half soy milk) and it threw off the leavening a tiny bit but isn’t noticeable unless you’re comparing them to the original. They were damn good, but I prefer the steeped chai variety.

  • Reply Meghan 4 December 2013 at 7:48 AM

    Hey Ashlae! Where is the rimmed plate from? I need some in my life. I love chai and snickerdoodles, always a winning combination.

    • Reply Ashlae 4 December 2013 at 7:58 AM

      Hi Meghan! The plate is from Anthropologie, but I don’t see it on their website anymore. They’re selling a similar version here.

  • Reply Ashley 4 December 2013 at 7:53 AM

    Loving the simplicity of these cookies! I’m still savoring every drop of that bean-flecked vanilla extract and have been been slowly, slow-lyyy using it…and enjoying it. mmmm XO!

  • Reply Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health 4 December 2013 at 7:55 AM

    love love love twist with masala chai here. looking forward to read about your trip :)

  • Reply Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate 4 December 2013 at 10:25 AM

    I love this take on snickerdoodles. And also congrats on your vanilla project!

  • Reply Shannon 4 December 2013 at 11:09 AM

    I made garam masala snickerdoodles a few months ago, and this sounds like an even more appealing combination! I also have so many boxes of tea to use!

    I am looking forward to this gingerbread recipe! I have made mine three times already and each time it’s still sunk in the middddddddle. Driving me crazy!

  • Reply Ruthy @ Omeletta 4 December 2013 at 11:52 AM

    I can’t wait to read about your trip to Poland! We were there a few years ago for a friend’s wedding in the countryside, and spent a few extra days exploring. I knew I would enjoy myself but I was surprised by just how much. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it.

  • Reply Melissa @ Treats With a Twist 4 December 2013 at 11:57 AM

    I’m only recently in love with chai! And I love any version of a snickerdoodle (I made maple ones once and they were the bomb). And I love your frankness about the cream of tartar :)
    Can’t wait to read the update on Poland.

  • Reply Anna@CrunchyCreamySweet 4 December 2013 at 12:24 PM

    These sound fabulous! I love the photos!

  • Reply Kathryn 4 December 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Your cream of tartar warning made me laugh a lot. I bet you still get a load of complaints when the recipe doesn’t work without out though ;)

    Can’t work out if I’m more excited about the prospect of eating these cookies or eating that cake in the very near future.

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 4 December 2013 at 6:17 PM

    These are such a neat flavour! And look lovely too. Yum!

  • Reply Joy// For the Love of Leaves 4 December 2013 at 7:12 PM

    These cookies sound and look absolutely delicious! I love the idea of using chai! And I can’t wait to see the eggnog recipe!

  • Reply sara forte 4 December 2013 at 8:04 PM

    oh my! I love the look of these! So gorgeous and I’m a big fan of chai spices. Hooray for the vanilla being ready! I still have the jar that I blew threw of last years batch. I just keep refilling it with my not-so-real-deal vanilla so it looks pretty :) Always makes me think of you!

  • Reply Grace 4 December 2013 at 10:22 PM

    LOVE the look of these. So glad I snagged a bottle of vanilla this year.

  • Reply thelittleloaf 5 December 2013 at 2:50 AM

    So many exciting things coming up! That gingerbread cake looks AMAZING and will happily keep myself going with these cookies in the meantime.

  • Reply Skye 5 December 2013 at 10:08 AM

    So many exciting projects. These cookies look so enticing, though – all the comfort of a hot tea in cookie form. Willy Wonka-esque.

  • Reply Jess 5 December 2013 at 8:34 PM

    These photos are just too stunning Ashlae!! Love love!

  • Reply Laura 6 December 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Saw your gingerbread cake on West Elm, girl. So baller and SO worth those 11 trials. Fuck a sunk-in center. And I love any cookie with spice and chewy innards. Perf. xo

  • Reply Weekly Wants 7 December 2013 at 4:01 AM

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  • Reply Monica 7 December 2013 at 11:20 AM

    I just made these and they turned out great! You never fail to impress me with your baking ideas. So much that I bake vegan stuff although I’m not even vegan myself. So keep going, lady!

    Greets from an avid reader from Vienna, Austria

  • Reply Kimberly 12 December 2013 at 6:25 AM

    Question: Who is NOT into the ‘whole chai thing’? :) I almost flipped this morning when I thought I had run out!
    My grandmother used to make snickerdoodles and send us with a batch on our way home. Can’t wait to try this updated recipe!

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  • Reply Jennifer 17 December 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Made these last night and fell in love! I had to slightly modify mine using coconut sugar (only kind I had on hand), but they were absolutely delicious all the same. After the first bite, I declared them the ultimate holiday cookie! Thanks for such an inspired, tasty recipe :)

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  • Reply Emma 25 November 2015 at 4:32 PM

    Just made these & they turned out pretty good, but with a very salty aftertaste. Any ideas on why? I’m thinking it’s because the vegan butter I used was salted AND there’s salt in the recipe? Thanks!

    • Reply Ashlae 25 November 2015 at 4:43 PM

      Hi Emma –

      That would be correct.. try halving the salt!

  • Reply Jeanine 11 April 2016 at 1:49 PM

    Delicious recipe as well!! my non-vegetarian friends loved them too!

    Since I’m from Europe I didn’t have cream of Tartar (didn’t even know what that was, haha). I used baking Soda instead. Worked just fine and they look exactly the same as yours apart from the perfectly round shape…
    Instead of vegan butter I used margarine.

    The one thing I’d change next time: There’s too much sugar on the cookies for my taste. So I probably won’t roll them in sugar the next time… or just half of the sugar you used.

    And since I didn’t have a Cookie Scoop I had to use a tablespoon. I only got 19 Cookies instead of 30. But they turned out really well!

    Oh, and I used almond milk.

  • Reply Jenn 29 November 2016 at 10:43 PM

    Can I use nonfat milk and unsalted butter?
    Not vegan

    • Reply Ashlae 30 November 2016 at 5:57 AM

      Hi Jenn –

      I’m not sure but it wouldn’t hurt to try.

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