Okay, I admit it: cinnamon is my favourite spice. I like it in cookies, chocolates, cakes, muffins, breads, ice-creams, and teas. In fact, if I was stranded on a dessert, I mean desert Island, and I could only have one spice to flavour my food, it’d definitely be cinnamon. That’s probably why we have so many recipes on this site that include cinnamon.
This recipe is no exception. Not only did we use cinnamon again, but we also used maple syrup and maple sugar to give these rolls a uniquely Canadian twist. It’s probably no surprise that we’re fans of maple, but FYI: not all Canadians love the sweet golden nectar of our most iconic tree. We sure do though! We even made a recipe that used maple-flavoured whiskey, and in case you missed our Royal Maple Whiskey Cookies, well… we’ll just leave that link there to entice you.
These rolls are loaded with cinnamon and maple – but my wife, Mae, wanted to add a little chai spice to really mix things up. So, she kicked up a standard cinnamon roll spread with a bit of heat from a chai spice blend. The results were surprising, and delicious. These buns had a mild sweetness paired with a bite of pepper. She added raisins and diced apples to the mix, which were delicious with the cinnamon-y-chai flavours. She also topped them with slivered almonds and a drizzle of maple syrup prior to baking, but she suggests that you add these after baking (toasting the almonds and warming the syrup while the buns are in the oven). We found that the high baking temperature was too much for the nuts and syrup. It made the almonds darker than we would have liked (and in some cases burned the edges of the nut). While some of the maple syrup that touched the cookie sheet almost burned. You could also opt not to add either of these ingredients, but they do add a bit of aesthetic flair to the buns.
Here’s what you’ll need to make my wife’s I Wanna Chai Cinnamon Maple Rolls:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ butter, softened
- ⅛ cup brown sugar
- ⅛ cup maple sugar
- 1 apple, cored and diced
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ slivered almonds, toasted
- Maple syrup for drizzling
- 5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp cardamom
- 2 tsp gr. Cloves
- 1 tsp gr. Coriander
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 5-6 star anise seeds, crushed
- In bowl of stand mixer with dough hook attachment, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, egg, and milk until manageable dough forms. If dough is too sticky, add another tablespoon of flour and mix. Continue process until dough is workable.
- On lightly floured surface, roll into ¼ inch thick oval shape.
- Mix butter and spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, coriander, ginger, pepper, star anise) in small bowl.
- Toss apples and raisins with sugars (brown and maple, if using) in another bowl.
- Spread butter mixture onto rolled out dough. Top with apples-raisin mixture.
- Roll dough into log starting from one end of oval tip and rolling to the other.
- Cut into 1 inch slices and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake at 450 degrees about 10 minutes or a light golden colour.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool a couple minutes before moving to wire rack.
- Top with toasted almonds and brush with maple syrup and serve warm or allow to cool completely.
Gregg & Mae