Vanilla Bean Chai Syrup

By • January 12, 2014 19 Comments

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Author Notes: When we enter firmly into the stretch of January, February, and March, I am always on the lookout to add new recipes to my cold winter month warm beverage repertoire. When I came across a recipe for chai syrup in a Oregon newspaper, I couldn't wait to give it a go. The process couldn't be easier - mix sweetened condensed milk with practically all the contents of your spice cabinet - but when a spoonful or two is stirred into a hot cup of black tea the result is spicy and milky-sweet. It will last in the fridge for six months, but I can say from experience it won't last that long.buttermeupbk

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • pinches salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  1. In a medium bowl mix together sweetened condensed milk , spices, and vanilla bean seeds until combined. Transfer syrup to a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid and store in the fridge for up to six months. To serve, stir a spoonful or two of syrup into a cup of hot black tea.

More Great Recipes: Condiments|Booze-Free Drinks

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Comments (19) Questions (0)


over 1 year ago MomofChef

My Tibetan. niece converted us to chai two decades ago but you make a large pot so the spices infuse into the water, tea, and milk. And then strain. This is a wonderful short cut! Made my first batch today to help cope with THIS winter we are having. I adjusted spices to coincide with my chai spices so everyone should experiment-added bay leaf, coriander, and allspice and ditched the nutmeg and vanilla. Thanks for the recipe.


over 1 year ago Baconist

This makes a very tasty Chai, but with doe changes. First I brew English Breakfast tea in only about 4 oz of water for 5 minutes. EBT is a dry robust tea blended to stand up to milk and sugar, plus using only a little water makes strong tea flavor without diluting the Chai. After the tea is brewed I add the Chai syrup and then strain the mixture with a very fine sieve - absolutely cannot stand all the seeds and "stuff". Then I add a bunch of half and half and milk and reheat. Sometimes I even use almond milk which adds another complimentary flavor profile to the bev.


over 1 year ago Baconist

Wow spelling correction is so weird

PS Food52, why no edit button on posts?


over 1 year ago MaryAnnParadise

This is just delicious! So much better than a chai tea bag. Thanks for posting. I am in Chicago where the temp is -2 and dropping. This hit the spot.


over 1 year ago Lauren's Plate

Wow, just made this as a dirty chai latte. Used non GMO sweetened condensed milk and a shot of coffee (made extra this morning) and frothed some 2%. Ummmmm.


over 1 year ago Me(l)anie

I made this with coconut cream and then added honey to the hot tea before stirring in a few teaspoons. delightful.


over 1 year ago harkergirl

Simple and delicious - ten minutes after reading I was sitting down to a beautiful cup of chai! Thank you for posting!


over 1 year ago Diane

Brilliant! I was extra-ambitious and made my own sweetened condensed milk, only due to sheer stubbornness in not wanting to go to the store. This is wonderful in both coffee and tea.


over 1 year ago Jen Barlev

This stuff is incredible! I used vanilla powder and black pepper - so good.


over 1 year ago Brenda

I made a batch of this last night and used it in my tea this morning. Really delicious! I used black pepper and a few drops of vanilla extract because I didn't have a vanilla bean, but other than that used the amount of spice listed. Can't wait to get home and make another cup.


over 1 year ago Dominika Ujlaky

Simple and delicious! I've been wanting to make my own chai-mix for a while now, but was reluctant to spend the money on whole cardamom pods/cinnamon sticks/etc... I whipped this recipe up this morning with ingredients I always have in my kitchen. And it's great! Simple, fast, and can be used multiple ways. I tested it with brewed black tea, two spoons of this syrup, and a splash of half and half for creaminess - and it was lovely, and warming, a little spicy, and totally soothing. Tomorrow morning I will put a spoon or two in my coffee for an attempt at a chai-latte. But this would also be divine drizzled over ice cream, or bread pudding, or to flavor up some scones, etc. Thanks!


over 1 year ago Tokyo Yum

Tastes great! I've always made my chai by crushing cardamon pods, grating ginger and adding a clove and a bit of cinnamon and boiling. Love it, but sometimes more work than I am willing to do. This is a great short cut! Thanks!


over 1 year ago ENunn

This is really nice; not too sweet at all, which is always my fear with Chai. Thanks for posting it.


over 1 year ago MelT

This just screams "ice cream" to me. Thanks for the recipe!


over 1 year ago BadCat

Seriously, that's it?! Why, oh why have I been paying for overpriced chai tea for so many years?! I can't wait to try this!!


over 1 year ago Meredith Mileti

This sounds delicious! I'm trying to cut down on sugar and dairy so I wonder how this might work with coconut or almond milk and honey. Will try and report back!


over 1 year ago shoestringmama

Have you tried this with almond milk yet? I'm curious as i'm dairy free but love chai. wondering about trying it with vanilla almond milk ...


over 1 year ago CMyst

Chai is wonderful made with either almond milk or soy milk!


over 1 year ago Patti

Perfect cup of tea, yummy!