A couple of months back when it started getting cold here in Northern California, I found myself craving cinnamon rolls. Cold weather has a way of making us crave comforting foods filled with spices and flavors that warm us from the inside out and nothing quite compares to cinnamon rolls when they are fresh out of the oven in all their sweet, cinnamon-y, gooey glory. But, it was not until I received my first Hatchery tasting box in the mail that the inspiration struck me to finally make those cinnamon rolls I had been craving. Inside the tasting box I found Dona Chai concentrate & Bobo’s Mountain Sugar and immediately I knew the first thing I would make would be a spin off of a traditional cinnamon roll. And that my friends, is how these maple chai buttermilk rolls were born.

maple chai buttermilk rolls dough

I made the rolls within 24 hours of receiving my tasting box. My first go had all of the right flavors, but I was not satisfied with how the dough turned out once baked. I did share the photo of my first attempt on Instagram and I got a lot of requests to share the recipe. I knew I had to go back to the drawing board in order to develop a recipe I believed in for the blog as soon as possible – especially since I had just spread the craving to so many other people!

maple chai buttermilk rolls filling

maple chai buttermilk rolls 1

The second attempt turned out beautifully. The rolls had that soft, supple, everything you hope for in a cinnamon roll texture. The flavor of the chai concentrate, the maple syrup, and the buttermilk make these rolls different from traditional cinnamon rolls in all the right ways without veering too far from what makes cinnamon rolls so special. The depth of the chai spices blended into the filling is amazing. And the glaze that gets spooned over the top of the hot rolls when they emerge from the oven is the perfect final touch that adds just the right amount sweetness and even more maple chai flavor.

maple chai buttermilk rolls 2

The only problem was that after the second attempt succeeded, I was tired of maple chai buttermilk rolls! I had my fill and could not bring myself to make them again for a photo shoot for the blog. So, I made them now because it has been about a month and ultimately I made a promise to provide the recipe and it has been eating away at me that I have not followed through on that promise. So for all of you that were hoping for this recipe, I hope that I did not let you down by making you wait so long. Maybe you got busy and forgot that you asked me? Or maybe that’s just my wishful thinking because I feel horrible for not meeting my commitment to you sooner. Either way, I hope that once you taste these maple chai buttermilk rolls, any of your disappointments are whisked away by the sweet and spicy bliss you will experience once these tender rolls fill your kitchen with their aroma and your tastebuds get to experience their goodness.

maple chai buttermilk rolls 3

maple chai buttermilk rolls 4

I also have a special offer to extend to any of you who purchase ingredients from Hatchery – they gave us a special coupon code to offer to our readers: Use FULFILLED15 when you make your purchase at ​to receive 15% off of your marketplace order – this coupon code is good through January 29, 2016!

This recipe is testament to the inspiration that can strike from receiving the collections of the unique, hand crafted items that Hatchery features in their tasting boxes. Every month when my box arrives, it is the coolest surprise to discover ingredients that are created all across America by talented makers doing what they love. If you would like to try out a Hatchery Tasting Box you can use discount code: FULFILLED to receive your first tasting box for only $10!


Yield: 8 large rolls


  • 6 oz buttermilk (or sub non dairy milk + vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 2 oz Dona Chai Concentrate
  • 1/4 palm shortening
  • 1/4 cup mascobado sugar (or sub brown sugar)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or sub 1.5 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups ap flour (we use einkorn) + 1/4 cup reserved
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine grain salt
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (we used Bobo's Mountain Sugar)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mascobado sugar (or sub brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup mascobado sugar (or sub brown sugar)
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk (or sub non dairy milk + vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (or sub non-dairy butter spread)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (we used Bobo's Mountain Sugar)
  • 2 tbsp Dona Chai Concentrate
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of fine grain salt


  • Melt palm shortening in a pot over medium low heat. Once melted, whisk in sugar, buttermilk, chai concentrate and vanilla seeds until mixture is well combined and heated through (if substituting with vanilla extract add this in once liquid is removed from heat)
  • Let liquid cool until warm, sprinkle yeast over liquid and let sit 1 minute
  • Sift 2 cups of flour into liquid & stir until just combined. Cover with a towel and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour
  • Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of flour with the baking powder, baking soda & salt. Add this to the dough and mix thoroughly to combine
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap & chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight
  • Combine softened butter, maple syrup, sugar, spices and salt in a small bowl & stir until smooth
  • Remove chilled dough from refrigerator & lightly knead on a floured surface until smooth
  • Flour a piece of parchment paper & roll dough into a rectangle approx. 10" wide by 14" long and approx. 3/8"-1/2" thick
  • Spread filling evenly over the dough, leaving about 1/2" edge exposed around the perimeter of the dough
  • Roll the dough into a spiral, starting at the edge furthest from you, taking care to keep the roll tight. You can use the parchment paper to help you along the way if necessary
  • When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down
  • Line a 12" cast iron skilled with parchment paper & preheat the oven to 375F degrees
  • Use a 12" piece of dental floss to cut the rolls into 8 portions - place the dental floss under the rolled dough, bring the floss up around the dough and cross it over the top, cutting through the dough and filling, set each portion into the parchment lined pan as you go
  • Let the rolls rise at room temperature while the oven pre-heats, about 20 minutes
  • Bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes until the dough is just barely beginning to brown
  • While the rolls are baking, make the glaze
  • In a medium saucepan, combine all of the glaze ingredients & cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until mixture has boiled for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat & reserve until rolls are done baking
  • Once rolls are done baking spoon the glaze over the rolls, making sure to coat every nook & cranny


If you will not be eating all of the rolls when they are fresh out of the oven, lift the rolls out of the cast iron pan by the parchment paper & once cool, store covered at room temperature (leftover rolls come back to life if you warm them up a bit before serving)



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