Chai Spice White Chocolate Chip Cookies are thick, soft cookies that stir together in one bowl with warm chai spices, hazelnuts, and white chocolate chips. The best chocolate chip cookie recipe you’ll turn to again and again.
White chocolate can be a little too sweet, even for me. I'm definitely more on #teamdarkchocolate. BUT when white chocolate and warm chai spices get together ... perfection.
I think it's in that sweet-spicy place where white chocolate shines. Like the White Chocolate Frosting on this Gingerbread Bundt Cake. Or the white chocolate dip on these Lime Macaroons.
The fragrant chai and buttery white chocolate contrast beautifully into this practically-perfect-in-every-way cookie.
You’re going to love these
Chai spices. These cookies are kind of like a cup of chai tea in cookie form, with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and allspice.
The best white chocolate chip cookies. Chai spices and hazelnuts take these cookies to a whole ‘nother level of the white chocolate cookie-sphere-- even if you’re not usually a white chocolate person, these just might change your mind.
One-bowl cookie recipe. No need to dirty every bowl just to make a batch of cookies. These are easy to make and clean up is a snap.
Basic ingredients. There’s really nothing fancy in these cookies. All the ingredients are really simple, and you probably already have most of them in your pantry.
Big soft cookie. If you like thick, soft, chewy cookies, this might become your new favorite cookie recipe.
Make these your own. If you like to look at a recipe and think, hmmmm… now how can I change it? -- you'll love these. You can switch out the stir-ins, or even turn them into oatmeal cookies. Keep reading to find out how.
Butter. Use room temperature butter to ensure a soft, thick cookie that isn’t flat or greasy.
Brown sugar. Brown sugar adds deep, rich flavor to these cookies. Which is just what we’re after. The molasses in the brown sugar also helps keep the texture moist and chewy.
White sugar. If you’ve ever wondered why cookie recipes have both brown sugar and granulated sugar, it’s because they each have their own special gifts. And one of white sugar’s talents is helping cookies get brown and crispy.
Eggs. Use room temperature eggs in these to ensure all the ingredients blend cohesively together. Otherwise, if cold eggs hit warm butter, it can cause the butter to curdle.
Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and allspice. This combination of warm spices gives these delicious cookies rich, chai flavor.
Salt. Please don’t skip the salt. It’s where flavor comes from.
Cornstarch. Kind of weird to see cornstarch in a cookie recipe. But it has a purpose. It helps keep these cookies soft and tender and keeps the batter from spreading so you get nice, thick cookies.
Hazelnuts. When I was dreaming up this white chocolate chip cookie recipe, my mind auto-piloted to macadamia nuts. Then I had the chai spice idea, and hazelnuts made all the sense in the world. They add rich, earthy flavor to the warm and cozy chai spices.
White chocolate chips. White chocolate goes exceptionally well with chai spices -- like the milky part of chai tea.
Brown sugar. I always use dark brown sugar, but light brown sugar also works. If you're out of brown sugar, you can make your own by mixing one cup of white sugar with one tablespoon of molasses or maple syrup.
Chai spices. Maybe you like pepper or coriander in your chai. Or you don't like cloves. Feel free to create your own unique blend of chai spices.
Hazelnuts. You can use whatever nuts you like. Or none at all — which I totally get.
White chocolate chips. You can replace the white chips with milk chocolate. Or dark chocolate. Or peanut butter chips. Or turn them into double chocolate chip cookies. Go with your heart on this one.
With a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl. Mix in the eggs until fully incorporated, then the vanilla extract.
Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom, allspice, salt, and cornstarch.
If you don’t have a large strainer or sifter, you can also whisk the dry ingredients together in another bowl before adding them to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Don’t overmix.
Mix in the hazelnuts and white chocolate chips until just combined.
Chill the dough for at least one hour.
Heat oven to 420. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Use a cookie scoop to portion out the dough into rounded scoops. I used a 2-inch scoop. Do not flatten the dough. Bake cookies for 7-9 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Let the cookies rest for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
For gooey, oozy cookies, let them sit for about 15 minutes before digging in. For thick, dense cookies, let them cool all the way, about an hour.
Serve with a warm cup of chai, hot chocolate, or tall glass of milk.
This recipe makes about 18 cookies.
Store your chai spice cookies in an airtight container or zip-top bag for a couple of weeks.
How to Make Oatmeal Chai Spice White Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you’re looking for a killer oatmeal cookie to have in your arsenal, you can easily turn this recipe into oatmeal chai spice cookies.
Just use one less cup of flour, so 2 ½ cups, and add 2 cups of rolled oats during the same step as the hazelnuts and white chocolate chips.
Room temperature butter and eggs. Use room temperature butter and eggs in this white chocolate chip cookie recipe.
If the butter is too warm, your cookies could come out greasy. Room temperature butter isn’t super soft — it should just slightly give when you press on it.
And you really only need to leave your butter out about 30 minutes or so to get it to perfect room temperature. Cut it into pieces to warm it up more quickly.
How to quickly get butter to room temperature
If you forget to take your butter out ahead of time (which I do each and every time), here’s a quick tip: Warm up a cup of water in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
Place a plate with cubed butter inside the nice, warm microwave for about ten minutes and you'll end up with perfectly softened butter.
How to quickly get eggs to room temperature
If you remember right before you start baking that you need room temperature eggs, then you and I are exactly the same. Just place the eggs in a cup of warm water for about ten minutes.
Hot oven. One of the secrets to getting thick cookies that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside is to bake them in a hot oven. And I know 420 seems crazy high for cookies. But it works.
Chill the dough. Working with chilled dough is another way to ensure thick cookies — and prevent the dreaded spread. I like to chill cookie dough for at least an hour. But really, you can make the dough up to a couple of days ahead of time and keep it covered in the fridge until you’re ready to start baking.
Tall scoops. Scooping out the cookie dough into round balls will also help achieve thick cookies.
Mix everything until just incorporated. If cookie dough gets mixed too much, air gets incorporated into the dough and the cookies will puff up in the oven, then fall flat. The best way to prevent that is to not overmix the dough.
Measure the flour carefully. It’s so tempting to just scoop the flour out of the bag or canister. But I find that my cookie recipes come out more successfully if I spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a knife (just like my mom taught me). If your cookies don’t have enough flour, they’ll spread out thin. If there’s too much flour, they’ll come out dry and crumbly.
Yes. Just wrap baked cookies individually in plastic wrap then place them in a zip-top bag. Store cookies in the freezer for 8-12 months.
You bet! You can keep your cookie dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days before baking.
Yes! These cookies are the perfect treat to store in the freezer.
Just scoop out the cookie dough portions, place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and freeze them. Then, place the frozen cookie dough balls in a zip-top freezer bag.
Be sure to label the bag with the date and cooking instructions. Freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months.
No. Just preheat the oven as usual and add a few minutes to the baking time.
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Chai Spice White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- With a stand or hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Mix in the eggs until fully incorporated, then the vanilla.
- Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom, allspice, salt, and cornstarch. If you don’t have a large strainer or sifter, you can also whisk the dry ingredients together in another bowl before adding them to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Don’t overmix.
- Mix in the hazelnuts and white chocolate chips until just combined.
- Chill your dough for at least one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 420.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- With a medium (2-inch) scoop, portion out the dough into rounded scoops. Do not flatten the dough.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Let the cookies rest for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack. For gooey, oozy cookies, let them sit for about 15 minutes before digging in. For thick, dense cookies, let them cool all the way, or about an hour.
- This recipe makes about 18 chai spice white chocolate chip cookies.
I bake with gluten free flour, which may be why they didn't spread out at all and just remained in the original ball shape I put them on the cookie sheet. Also, I didn't see any instructions concerning how large a scoop of cookie dough. So, expecting them to spread a little, I measured out 1-1/2 ounces per cookie but wound up with twice as many as you said the recipe would yield.
Cara Lanz says
Hi, Debbie, thank you so much for your note! I haven't tried these with gluten-free flour, but I understand that can happen when making that substitution. I wonder if pressing them down a bit is the way to go when using gf flour? About the portions, thank you so much for mentioning that. I used a 2-inch scoop (I think it's actually an ice cream scoop) to portion out the dough. I'll be sure to add that note so it can help others. Thank you, Debbie, for your helpful comments!
Steve Hiner says
Amazing. I can't have regular chocolate so I'm always on the lookout for recipes with interesting flavors that don't use chocolate. I also love chai but can't normally drink it due to the caffeine in the tea. This cookie solved both problems.
I've made these cookies twice over the last week since I found it and they've turned out great both times. I tweaked the recipe a little bit the first time and even more the second time and my tweaks worked well.
The first time I added ground black pepper to the spice blend since black pepper is often used in chai. I also added finely diced candied ginger tot he cookies to lean into ginger flavors. They were great and did not at all seem like they had too much ginger or off-putting black pepper flavors.
I just made them the second time tonight. I let out the hazelnuts only because my nephew is in town and he is allergic to nuts. In order to get some nutty flavors into the cookie I browned half the butter then bloomed freshly ground spices in the butter right when I took it off the stove. I let the butter cool and added it to the creamed butter and sugar right after adding the eggs. I was concerned that it might alter the final texture of the cookie but it didn't seem to change that at all.
I did cook them at 375 today because they browned overly fast the first time. This time I added extra white chocolate chips on top of each cookie after shaping it. Those chips browned nicely in the oven which starts to get hints of butterscotch I to the cookies.
They were a hit both times. I'll be coming back to this recipe over and over again for sure. Very well might be my new favorite cookie. I'll likely keep all my current modifications and maybe try a few new ones, though I think the batch today was nearly perfect.
Cara Lanz says
Steve, Thank you so much for sharing this! I'm so glad these cookies fit your needs. And I am always thrilled when someone takes a recipe as inspiration to make their own creations. It's how I look at recipes, too. I love, love, love the black pepper tweak! And the browned butter sounds incredibly delicious. Isn't it lovely what happens to white chocolate when it gets a little caramelized? Thank you, again, for sharing this with me. It's so much fun to read about your unique changes.
just curious if you can substitute margarine for the butter ? these look sooo good 🙂
Cara Lanz says
Hi! Great question! I've never made them with margarine, but you should be able to substitute it in equal amounts. Good luck and let me know how it goes :).