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Chai Shortbread – Cookies and Cups


Chai Shortbread is a delicious twist on a classic cookie. Tea and spices give this cookie recipe its unique flavor, with the rich, buttery, sweet crisp of traditional shortbread. 

If you love shortbread make sure to try my classic 3 Ingredient Shortbread Recipe!

Chai Shortbread on a cooling rack half dipped in white chocolate

Buttery and Spiced Chai Shortbread Cookies

This Chai Shortbread recipe is a holiday favorite. The buttery shortbread is paired with all the chai spices, and you can even drizzle or dip them in white chocolate to mimic the sweet milk in a Chai Tea Latte! This is a simple cookie recipe that really stands out on a cookie platter!

What is Chai?

in the States we all know Chai as a type of tea that has cozy flavors including cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves. But in Hindi the word “chai” literally translates to tea. So basically when you order a Chai Tea at the coffee shop, you are actually ordering a “tea tea”. And what you are having your barista make is actually the standard way to prepare tea in India! 

stack of chai shortbread cookies

Chai Shortbread Ingredients:

  • Butter at room temperature. I really like to use a European butter for shortbread. It feels a bit more special, and it has a higher fat content really makes this cookies rich and decadent. 
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar. You could also use light brown sugar if you love the flavor brown sugar adds!
  • Black tea. I just opened up a few tea bags we had and used the tea from the bag. If you have whole leaf tea you will want to make sure it’s ground up. 
  • Pumpkin pie spice. I find that using pumpkin spice in this recipe is a shortcut way to get most of the chai spices added! You can make homemade pumpkin pie spice if you don’t have it prepackaged: 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon + 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger + 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.
  • Ground ginger
  • Allspice
  • Cardamom 
  • Kosher salt
  • All purpose flour


You can make these cookies more festive if you would like with some simple garnishes. Here are a few ideas:

  • White chocolate. I melt some white chocolate and dip about a quarter of the cookie. I like the little tough of white chocolate at the edge! You can also drizzle the white chocolate as well.
  • Semi-sweet or dark chocolate. If you don’t like white chocolate, go ahead and use dark!
  • Cinnamon Sugar. I like to sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on the melted chocolate. It looks pretty and gives it a nice little sparkle.
  • Sprinkles. Add some festive sprinkles onto the the melted chocolate to make them pretty.
  • Coarse sugar. A little coarse sugar or turbinado sugar is a fun addition as well!


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