chai apple butter on toast

Chai is synonymous with fall, in our opinion. Yet, while it may be the spice of the season, it can get pretty repetitive when its just on repeat in a mug.

That’s why we asked Amy Rothstein of Brooklyn-based Dona Chai (a current favorite around the office for its subtle, not-too-sweet flavor) to put together a complete morning-to-night menu using chai in some rather inventive ways. Below she’s sharing four unique ideas to get the most out of this delicious spice. 

chai plum compote

Greek Yogurt + Chai Plum Compote

(Yields 1 cup)
2 c chopped plums
4 T Dona Chai
½ T sugar (optional)

In a small saucepan combine plums, Dona Chai, and sugar (if using). Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a jar and let cool. Serve with yogurt, ice cream, ricotta and toast, etc.

chai apple butter on toast

Chai Apple Butter Ricotta Toast

(Yields 1 cup)
10 medium apples, peeled and chopped
8 oz chai
1 T lemon juice

Combine apples, chai, sugar, and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Place mixture over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring often, until apples are broken down, about 45 minutes. Mash any large pieces of apple with large wooden spoon to help them break down.

Reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until apples are completely broken down and butter is very thick and dark, about 1.5- 2 hours. Remove from the heat, and let stand to cool.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Chai Buttercream

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes + Chai Buttercream

(Yields 12 cupcakes)
1 ½ c all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
¾ t salt
½ c unsalted butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
½ c buttermilk

½ cup unsalted butter
2 ½ c powdered sugar
1 ½ T Dona Chai
½ T whole milk

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Scrape well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla bean to combine. Pour ? of the buttermilk into the batter and mix on low speed to combine. Add ? of the flour mixture and mix to combine. Repeat two more times until all of the liquid and flour is fully incorporated. Pour batter into cupcake pan, filling each cup ¾ of the way full. Bake 20-22 minutes. cool completely before frosting.

For the chai buttercream, cream butter and powdered sugar. Add chai and milk and continue to whip until light and fluffy.

chai mulled cider

Dona Chai Mulled Cider

(Yields three mugs)
16 oz (2 cups) apple cider
1.5 oz Dona Chai
Orange peel

Combine Dona Chai, apple cider, and orange peel in a saucepan. Bring to 150 degrees. Heat for ten minutes to infuse flavors. Serve in glasses and garnish with an orange peel.

Are you a chai fan?


  1. You should add chai hot chocolate to that list! It’s one of my most favorite holiday sweets. If you’re a fan of Mexican chocolate (chocolate with a pinch of cayenne to give it a nice “bite”) then mixing chai into your hot chocolate is definitely going to be your new favorite. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *