Chookas Chai Spiced Hot Cross Buns!

HAPPY EASTER from my family to yours!

I came across this recipe by Em of Thistle + Fig and adapted it by infusing our loose leaf Chookas Chai into the milk.


Such a beautiful result - a subtle chai spice through the soft and sweet hot cross buns. Beautiful served warm with lashings of fresh butter and a very large cup of our Chookas Chai - traditional black tea masala chai - with milk.



Chookas Chai-Spiced Hot Cross Buns with Cream Cheese Icing

— makes 15 rolls

For the Rolls

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 generous teaspoons of Brewed By Belinda Chookas Chai
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar (divided)
  • 2 1/4 tsp. (or 1 package) active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup currants (the recipe called for raisins but I was a rebel...)

For the Icing

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 170 grams cream cheese

For the egg wash

  • 1 egg white
  • Splash of milk
  1. Place milk and Chookas Chai loose leaf tea in a medium saucepan. Steep on medium-low for 10 minutes. Do not allow the milk to come to a boil. If you begin to see bubbles, turn it down.
  2. Strain the tea leaves from milk and then return the milk to the saucepan, add the canola oil and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Turn heat up to medium and, stirring frequently, heat milk until very hot, but not boiling. Once hot, remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle yeast over warm milk mixture. Add 4 cups of the flour and stir. The dough will be super sticky, but that’s okay! Cover with a dish towel and allow to rise for at least one hour. **You may decide to mix your dough in a large bowl instead of the pan and that’s fine. Whatever gives you enough room to stir and rise.
  4. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup flour, baking power, baking soda, salt, 1/2 tsp. of the cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. of the cardamom, and 1/4 tsp. of the cloves. Add to the dough and stir until combined.
  5. In small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 tsp. of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cardamom, and 1/4 tsp. cloves.
  6. Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Press on the dough to flatten it out slightly. Sprinkle approximately one third of the sugar spice mixture over the dough. Then sprinkle approximately one third of the currants. Then fold the dough over and flatten again. Repeat with another third of sugar spice mixture and currants. Fold and flatten again. Repeat with last of the sugar spice mixture and currants.
  7. Line a 9×13 baking pan with baking paper. Working with heavily floured hands, pinch off slightly larger than golf ball sized piece of dough, roll it into a ball, and then turn the edges under so the top is nice and taut. Place in the baking dish. Repeat until you’ve used all the dough. You should have three rows of five rolls. For exact rolls, you can weigh the dough, then divide that number by 15 to get how much each roll should weigh and go from there. This step is a bit of a sticky mess. Don’t get frustrated, just roll with it. They’ll turn out fine!
  8. Cover baking dish with dish towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
  9. Heat oven to 200 degrees C.
  10. Make egg wash by mixing egg white with a splash of milk. Once oven is ready, brush egg wash over buns and bake for 20-22 minutes, until tops are nice and golden brown. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
  11. While rolls bake, make the icing — beat butter with hand mixer or stand mixer until pale, about 2 minutes. Add in icing sugar and continue beating until pale and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add cream cheese in pieces and beat until smooth. you want a kind of thick consistency here so the icing doesn’t spread. Add more icing sugar if necessary. Scoop into piping bag. Once rolls have cooled, pipe a long stripe down the center of the three long horizontal rows. Turn the pan and pipe a stripe down the center of the five short rows. This should create a cross on top of each roll.

Love you to tag us in your pics if you make these.

They are sooooo good and are perfect paired with a nice hot cup of our delicious Chookas Chai or our Warm Up Assam Black Tea.

Happy Baking + Happy Brewing!

Belinda x