Homemade Masala Chai Spice Blend, a tasty spice blend of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper. Perfect for chai tea lattes and as a chai spice for baked goods. Let's get spicy!

a small glass jar with a masala chai spice blend

You may order a chai tea regularly, but did you know you can make your own batch of masala chai spice mix to use at home? We love mixing together this rich spice mix and using it in drinks or baked goods, or even giving it as a gift to friends and family for holidays and birthdays.

👉 Here are three reasons why you should be making your own blend of masala chai spices:

  • It's as simple as it gets. All you need to do is mix 5 spices together and it's ready to be added to milk, baked goods, or any other recipes that you'd like to use it with. Skip waiting in line for a chai latte or over-spending on a pre-made mix, and make your own from scratch!
  • It's good for you. The spices in this blend are known to have potential health benefits from their anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
  • It's comforting. This chai spice blend features warm spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg–whether you're enjoying them in a warm beverage in the morning or using in baked goods, it's sure to make you feel warm and cozy!

Want the recipe for this great make-ahead Homemade Masala Chai Tea Spice Blend? Let's do it!


👉 Ingredients

We tested many different variations of this masala chai blend recipe before landing on what we've found to be the perfect blend. Here's an overview of the spices used in this Homemade Masala Chai Spice Blend:

Cardamom

Cardamom is a strong spice made from the small pods of the Zingiberaceae plant species, which is grown in India and Southern Asia. It is used in both sweet and savory Asian cuisines, as well as more widely in baking.

Cardamom contains antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and may have antibacterial effects.

Ground Cinnamon

Cinnamon comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree species, which is grown in Southern Asia, specifically China and Indonesia. The bark is dried and then ground to produce ground cinnamon, which is commonly used in baked goods.

Like ginger, cinnamon has a long history of use as a digestive aid and some research suggests it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Ground Cloves

Cloves are small flower buds from a tree in the Myrtaceae family that is native to Indonesia. The small buds are dried and used whole or ground as spice for culinary use.

Cloves are a traditional remedy for pain, particularly toothache, in many Asian cultures, however, research is inconclusive and consuming large amounts of cloves (much more than this recipe uses) may cause issues in those with liver damage.

Ginger Powder

Ginger is a cousin of turmeric and is a flowering perennial plant with a root that is used in cooking both raw and dried and ground into ginger powder.

Ginger is from the southern part of India and Asia, as has long been used to cure nausea and upset stomach, and some studies show that ginger creates a calming effect when consumed.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is made from the ground seed of the Myristica tree, an evergreen tree found in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. It is used in both sweet and savory dishes worldwide and is used in alternative medicine for pain relief and digestion.

Black Pepper

Black pepper is the ground spice made from the peppercorn fruit from the Piperaceae plant, which is native to Southern India but is now also grown in Vietnam. It is now a staple spice used in cuisines throughout the world.

a spoonful of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper on marble

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Blend the spices together

To start, simply add ground cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and black pepper in a large bowl and mix well with a whisk or wooden spoon.

cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper in a white bowl

2️⃣ Step Two: Mix spices with milk

When you're ready to make a chai latte, just add 1-2 teaspoons of the masala chai spice mixture to a milk of your choice (hot or with ice) with a black tea bag.

Alternatively, to make a traditional chai tea, simply steep a black tea bag in hot water and add a splash of milk and masala chai spices.

a mixture of chai spices on a white plate with a wooden spoon

3️⃣ Step Three: Sweeten and enjoy!

If you like your chai lattes to have a sweeter taste, add a little sweetness with maple syrup or honey. Then serve and enjoy your delicious homemade chai latte.

a chai latte in a white mug on a blue table with red flowers

❓ Recipe questions + quick tips

What is masala chai made of?

Masala chai is made of fragrant, warm spices that are typically combined with milk and black tea. The most common spices used are cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper. It can be made with fresh or ground spices.

Is masala and chai the same thing?

Chai is another word for “tea” in Hindi, and masala means “spice”. In the case of masala chai, masala is the spice blend and chai is the combination of spice, milk, and tea.

What gives chai tea its flavor?

The flavors in chai tea come from masala, or the spice blend of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper.


🫖 How to serve

The possibilities are endless for how you can use this chai spice mix. The most common way is to use it in lattes, but you can also use it to add flavor to many other foods and recipes. Here are some ideas:

  • Mix into baked goods: Masala spice is a delicious addition to baked goods like cookies and cakes. Switch up your favorite desserts with tasty spices!
  • Try in savory dishes: Give your breakfast a burst of flavor by mixing some chai spice with oatmeal. Or, try it mixed with vegetables, curries, soups, or stews.
  • Spice up meat: Use this chai spice blend to add flavor to chicken or seafood.

🧊 How to store

Once you've made your spice blend, you can store it in an airtight container like a mason jar until you're ready to use it.

Note that spices lose their potency over time, but this blend will still taste and smell great after one year.

a small glass jar filled with homemade masala chai spices on a blue table

♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips

We're all about sustainability here at Fork in the Road. Here are some ways to make this masala chai spice recipe as eco-friendly as possible:

Go Fair Trade Certified: The world's spice industry is large and many of the most common spices are grown and processed in countries that do not have fair working wages or who have very serious human rights violations. For this reason, we try to always source our spices from Fair Trade Certified makers. Frontier Co-opCurio SpiceOaktown Spice are all Fork in the Road favorites

Buy the good stuff: Once you begin building your spice cabinet with well-sourced spices, you will notice the flavor difference compared to what you picked up at the local store. Spending a little more to ensure you’re sourcing from fair supply chains you’ll feel good AND your food will likely taste better. And you’ll find that a little of the good stuff goes a long way.

Buy in bulk when possible: Our local organic grocer has an amazing bulk section with organic, fair trade spices; do a little research in your area and see what your local store carries. If they don't have what you need, just ask! Many grocery buyers are happy to stock what you need.

a glass jar with chai spices and a small wooden spoon

🍵 More spice blend recipes

Love this simple DIY chai spice blend recipe? Check out our other spice blend recipes:

Homemade Masala Chai Spice Blend

Homemade Masala Chai Spice Blend, a tasty spice blend of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper. Perfect for chai tea lattes and as a chai spice for baked goods. Let’s get spicy!
4.50 stars (18 ratings)
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Ingredients

  • ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Blend spices together: In a medium mixing bowl, combine cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, and black pepper and mix with whisk until well combined.
  • Use in tea or other recipes: Mix the spice blend in cookies, cakes, pancakes, or use as a topping for oatmeal. You can also add spices to black tea or to milk for a twist on traditional masala chai.

Notes

  • Notes: This spice blend uses ground spices, which means it is best used in baked goods or as a spice topping. It can be added to a tea bag, however chai tea blends using whole spices instead of ground will make for better chai tea.
  • Tools needed: This spice blend recipe is very minimal and only requires glass mixing bowls and a whisk.
  • Prep ahead: This chai spice blend recipe is perfect to make ahead and save to use in baking throughout the year.
  • Leftovers and storage: Store in an airtight container (leftover jam or mason jars are great!) until needed. Over time spices will lose their potency but won't necessarily go “bad,” so use your judgement. However, this blend will still taste and smell great after one year.
  • Nutrition notes: This spice blend does not contain sugar, so it's a great spice addition to add flavor with adding calories.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving (1 teaspoon), Calories: 1kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 3mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 1mg

UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in January 2019 and was updated for clarity in February 2022.