These Dirty Chai Blondies are vegan-friendly and made with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and drizzled with a quick espresso glaze for the ultimate dessert recipe.
These chai blondies are one of my favorite dessert recipes -- seriously!
I like them because they're soft and chewy (almost like my coconut cookies), filled with warm spices like cinnamon and ginger and suitable for anyone following a vegan diet.
Plus, as much as I love brownies (looking at you, sweet potato brownies and paleo brownies), these blondies are a delicious chocolate-free recipe!
All purpose flour: Can sub gluten free 1:1 all purpose flour to keep these gluten free; I have NOT tested them with any other types of flour.
Sugar: A combination of cane/granulated sugar and brown sugar is the way to go!
Flax eggs: A flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 2.5 tablespoon water) is the way to go if you want to keep these vegan-friendly. Not vegan? A regular egg will work, too.
Butter: To keep these vegan, be sure to use dairy-free butter, preferably unsalted. If you're using salted butter, reduce the amount of salt in the recipe to ¼ tsp.
Spices: A combination of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg creates the chai-flavoring, so don't omit!
Espresso powder: I like using espresso powder better than instant coffee; if you can't find any, you can omit and just keep these as "chai blondies" instead of dirty chai blondies.
Step 1: Cream butter and sugar. Add the softened butter to a large bowl, along with the cane sugar and brown sugar and mix on low for 1 minute until mixture is smooth. Then, add the flax egg and vanilla and stir for 30 more seconds.
Step 2: Add dry ingredients. To that same bowl, add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and whisk until mixture comes together.
Step 3: Bake the bars. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with coconut oil or nonstick spray, then scoop the batter into the pan and use a rubber spatula or your hands to press the batter down. Bake the bars for 16-18 minutes until the edges are set and a toothpick comes out clean.
Step 4: Add the glaze. The glaze is very simple: powdered sugar, espresso powder and milk. Simply whisk them together then drizzle the glaze overtop of the bars.
Tips and tricks
-Make sure the butter is softened before creaming it. To do so, either take it out of the refrigerator 1 hour before baking, or microwave it for 12-15 seconds. You should be able to easily press your finger into it, but it should NOT melted.
-Let the bars cool in the baking pan on top of a cooling rack.
-Wait until the bars have cooled to room temperature before adding the glaze; the glaze will solidify as it sits.
Help! I can't find espresso powder
Many grocery stores sell espresso powder either with the coffee or in the baking aisle. But, if you can't find any, instant coffee will work. Or, you can omit it and just use a simple glaze made with milk + powdered sugar instead.
Do I have to make these vegan?
Nope! You can use 1 regular egg in place of the flax egg, and regular unsalted butter instead of vegan butter if you prefer.
- Room temperature: Keep the blondies in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Refrigerator: If you want these to last a little longer, store them in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freezer: The final storage option is to keep the bars in a sealed bag in the freezer for 3 months.
More vegan dessert recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Dirty Chai Blondies
for the blondies:
- ½ cup unsalted butter dairy free
- ⅓ cup cane sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 2.5 tablespoon water)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
for the glaze:
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder or instant coffee
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon dairy free milk
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8x8 baking dish or line it with parchment paper then set aside.
- Cream butter, cane sugar and brown sugar together for 1 minute; then, add the flax egg and vanilla and stir to combine.
- To that same bowl, add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and stir until the batter comes together (be patient, this might take a minute).
- Scoop the batter into the baking pan and use a rubber spatula or your hands to press it into the baking pan. Bake the blondies for 16-18 minutes, or until the edges have set and a toothpick comes out clean. Immediately transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and allow the bars to cool in the pan completely.
- Once the blondies have cooled to room temperature, add the glaze. Whisk all glaze ingredients together, then use a spoon to drizzle it over top. Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in November 2018. It was updated with new text and photos in June 2021.
This is one of my favorite recipes! Coming back to it since I always lose my print out, and I don’t remember the previous version specifying unsalted butter? I already have [salted] Earth Balance bars, should I decrease the amount of salt if I use those?
Yes exactly! If you're using salted butter, reduce the amount of actual salt in the recipe 🙂
Can I substitute coconut oil for the butter?
I was worried these were still underbaked when I pulled them out after 20 minutes, but they turned out great! I served them to friends and they couldn't get enough 🙂
Thanks for the positive review, Jackie! 🙂
I made the golden brownies with gluten free flour and ate both with and without the expresso glaze golden brownie. The glaze makes the brownie incredible. I love these. I will be making them again. Thank you for the recipe
Bridget Kaiser says
Having not made this recipe, I am curious if it can be rolled and cut like a sugar cookie dough?
I haven't tried it--let me know if you do!
Can I make these with regular eggs and butter?
Yes you should be able to!
Anne Kepner says
Okay, yeah I totally need these in my life! YUMMMMM!
Debbie Carr says
Wow these look amazing! I love cinnamon, ginger and espresso! All my favourite things!
Debs @ https://tiger-mint.com
Kelly | Foodtasia says
Love the flavor combination! I didn't know what dirty chai was until just now!
Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite says
Expresso glaze?! Sold! 🙂
Jess @choosingchia says
Ok these look SO good! I'd say they're acceptable for breakfast since they have espresso in them after all 😉