Copycat Recipe: Tastes Just Like Dunkin’ Donuts Vanilla Chai

vanilla chai copycat dunkin donuts

So, I’m so excited about today’s post! Because I’ve finally figured out how to make Vanilla Chai tea that tastes JUST like Dunkin’ Donuts! I have 2 DD’s within 2 miles of my house, and I’m a frequent there for iced coffee. But my friend introduced me to the Vanilla Chai and I thought it was divine.

I did some serious research around the internet and couldn’t come up with the recipe anywhere. There are spiced chai teas out there that did prove helpful. But they were watery compared to Dunkin’s sugary creamy goodness. {You see, the kids and I HAD to go to DD’s to buy a couple— okay maybe more than a couple—so that I could taste test mine with the real thing side by side. I had to. It wouldn’t have been scientific not to. It was, like part of the process. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. :)}

I was able to “sleuth” out that DD’s version is a powder, has 8 {gasp!} grams of fat, contains milk, tea, sugar and spices. I also got some help from some very helpful ladies on Facebook, so thank you!

So, here’s the deal. This tastes JUST like Dunkin Donuts. I hope that it saves you lots of money and doesn’t add inches to your hips! 😉 Enjoy!

Vanilla Chai Tea

To make the bulk spice mix combine:

1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea granules (find it in jars near the Lipton instant iced tea. Except you want unsweetened. I use Walmart brand.)

2 t. ground ginger

2 t. ground cinnamon

1 t. ground cloves

1 t. ground cardamom

1/2 t. nutmeg

1/2 t. all spice

2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 c dry French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer

1 c. powdered non-dairy creamer

Mix well and store in a covered plastic container or Mason Jar with cute tag. :)

To make a Vanilla Chai heat 8 oz milk in the microwave until hot. Then,

Add 2 T of the spice mix. Stir well. Froth, using a hand wisk or by pouring the tea from one cup to another several times (do this over the sink! lol–ask me how I know!) This thickens and froths the drink and makes it the consistency of DD’s. ENJOY!

***These will make great Christmas gifts! You could put the mix in mason jars with cute tags and instructions for brewing the milk/tea! I’m already making some to ship to my girls in college! :)

****You can blend this in a mixer, to ensure that it dissolves better, but trust, me–>You want to use a blender/mixer with a GLASS canister. I used my Ninja with a plastic “grinding bowl” and it totally scratched and ruined it. USE glass!!

Also, some freebies you should know about:

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  1. This looks wonderful! I’m thinking too that it would be really nice to include a box of Irish Breakfast tea (or at least a half dozen of the teabags or so) along with the jar of mix. Thanks for sharing your findings with us!

    • Yes, I thought the same thing. A box of tea, a small jar of the spice mix and a cute instruction card, along with a small bag of gingerbread cookie cut outs or spice drop cookies. Yum.

    • i found Twiing chai tea bags its real good going to try steeping in milk and add a little vanilla coffee creamer

  2. Nice work! You had more perserverance than I, to be sure! I had to laugh about the fact that it required sleuthing to discover that DD used a mix; I found that out when I ordered one once that had a pile of sludge on the bottom! Overall, I’m not a fan of mixes, hot chocolate or otherwise, but I may try using your spice blend to make my sweetened condensed milk concentrate; I’m sure it would be good! At some point, you’ll have to try a Starbucks chai – which you can make exactly as they do with a carton of the Tazo chai concentrate – to compare the two, since they are different. And if you ever have a chance – maybe at an Indian restaurant? – to try an authentic chai, you’ll just have to!! I wish I liked coffee, but a good chai fits the bill for me.. :)

    • I would love to try authentic Indian chai. :) Actually, the sleuthing came in as I read the nutritional values and realized that it had 8 grams of fat per serving! I was trying to do the math to figure out if they used straight up cream or what in this thing! lol Enjoy!

  3. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love the Dunkin Donuts vanilla chai tea. I do have one question though to make sure I make it correctly. Does the ‘t’ in ingredients mean teaspoon and ‘T’ in the directions mean tablespoon?

  4. Any particular brand of Irish Breakfast that works better than others? Thanks!

  5. I am a HUGE fan of DD Vanilla Chai. I just tried this recipe and I must be doing something wrong. I heated up the milk, steeped the tea bag, added the mix, and poured it all between a mugs several times. But when it was all done, the mix didn’t dissolve :( Any ideas on what I’m doing wrong?

    • The spices won’t dissolve, but will settle on the bottom. The sugar and creamers should dissolve though. Was your milk super hot? Off the bat, I can’t think why. The spices are finely ground but there will always be a little left at the bottom. Hope this helps!

      • I’m confused. What does Angie mean by steeping tea? I didn’t see that in the instructions

  6. In my hunt for a recipe I’ve noticed people grinding the spices in a food processor. I wonder if that would help them dissolve.

    • Yes, I tried that in one batch and completely ruined/scratched my Ninja blender! If you do, use a glass blender so you don’t scratch up your plastic processor! :)

  7. Just want you to know that I have been searching for this recipe forever! Thank you so much for experimenting and posting for us to see. Would still be lost without you, can’t wait to try this. You are awesome and greatly appreciated!

  8. I made this recipe over the weekend and it does taste just like Dunkin Donuts, only better because you will save money.

  9. You can strain the spices after they infuse into the milk. Can’t wait to try this..

    • Here are the changes I made: I used Bieglow Vanilla Chai tea bags (my preference), half Stevia and half real sugar, sugar-free vanilla powdered creamer, and fat free milk and this is still so delicious that I am saving time and cash at Dunkin Donuts. Thanks so much for sharing! I am making this two to four mornings a week!

      • Thanks! People have wondered if you could use Stevia. I don’t use it, myself, so I didn’t know what to tell them.

  10. Perfect method and ingredients. I couldn’t find the granules but it worked out well without them. Also I throw it in my mini blender for a few second to get it nice and frothy :-) if that’s how you say. Works pretty well. Thanks a bunch.

  11. Has anyone used Majestic Chai? I steep “Twinnings” black tea Chai tea bags in water, mix in my morning protein drink plus soy milk and then add a tablespoon of Majestic Chai. I have lost 40 pounds over a 6 month period and have been able to keep the weight off. The protein is Spiru-teen and I mix it half and half with soy protein. (Spiru-teen is green secondary to pea and sea weed dry mixture.) Mixing it with chai tea and Majestic Chai not only makes it tolerable, BUT really excellent tasting. I drink it hot in the a.m.

  12. Hoping you have a suggestion. I was SO happy I found this and just made it. I mixed the spices well in a blender. I actually mixed the milk and mix in a blenderball before heating so it was well blended, which worked perfect! I find it tastes a bit more like regular chai tea and less like vanilla chai tea, personally. Think Starbucks vs DD. Any idea on how to make it taste more vanilla? My first attempt will be simply to use less mix in my milk, of course but I’m not sure if that will work. Thanks again for this recipe! The closest DD is an hour from me and with winter coming I was ready to start experimenting with vanilla flavoring and chai tea bags.

    • Boy, I have never had Starbucks, but I need to now!! Hmmm…I am thinking that perhaps adding some vanilla bean to the mixture might liven it up for you…either that or increase the vanilla creamer?

      • I’ve heard to try vanilla pudding mix to make it more vanilla-y. ?

  13. I’ve been looking for this forever. I am excited to buy all the ingredients soon and buy this. I am obsessed with the dunkin vanilla chai but it’s $3 now and that adds up quickly. Quick question, what milk works best? Skim, 1%, 2%, whole milk? Yay can’t wait! THANKS!

    • I was so glad to find this recipe too! I have used 2% and skim. I’m sure whole milk would taste best but I calorie count so I go with low fat in just about everything. I prefer 2% to skim.

  14. I made the mix without the sugar and added one packet of Stevia after I stirred the mix into the hot milk. I also used sugar free French vanilla creamer to cut back on calories. It is almost like DD. Thanks!!

  15. I just made this, and it tastes so good! very very close to the DD french Vanilla Chai! The only thing I changed was that I boiled the milk with the mix, then strained it. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  16. Just made some of this and all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!! Just like DD, but the savings are incredible!!!

  17. I am a DD vanilla chai tea fanatic and I have NEVER been able to find a recipe that came even close to the original until I found this one. I don’t know how you did it but I’m sure glad you did!!!! The boyfriend is gonna flip when he tries this….thanks for posting this up.

  18. Do you happen to know the measurements to make a single serving instead of bulk?

  19. I was just curious if it is unsweetened instant iced tea? I didn’t see anything that wasn’t just unsweetened instant tea. Thank you

  20. I am so happy that I found this site! I have been looking and trying to figure out what the ingredients were to make my own Vanilla Chai for some time now. Thank you for sharing!

  21. wow you are the best I must go to Dunkin Donuts four times a day for my vanilla chai tea and you’re right nobody makes it like them,I’ve tried everywhere everywhere I will definitely be trying this I hope that it comes out as you say I am a little bit confused as far as making the mixture is that something that is all dry powders? and how long it stays good for is that something you just all mixed together and put into a container and just stick in the fridge and then if you want to make a cup do you take the two scoops and put in with your milk.. is that basically with you do ? can you please respond and tell me how long it does taste and stay good for before I do go ahead and make all of it. also what if we don’t have a blender and I only have the plastic containers does it still say good or do I have to get a glass bowl and saran wrap for something can you please please advise you can email me at I wish you had a video that you made the show me cuz you have no idea this is my favorite drink in the entire world and I myself had just tried it about 2 months ago and I became addicted and immediately. Thank you do Much, you just may be my hero….

    • Hi Mary. Yes, this is a dry powder mixture. You make up a big batch and add 2T (or to taste) to a mug of hot milk. It will last in an airtight container for about six months. You really need to use a blender to get all the particles the same size…you get a much better product. :) I used my plastic blender and it scratched up the bowl part of it. Glass is the way to go. (Maybe borrow a friends?) I hope you love it!!

  22. This looks awesome. I can’t wait to try it! Would you please clarify though, you heat the milk, mix in the mix and then steep a teabag? I am sorry to seem so confused but I kept reading the comments on types of teabags and was confused because after reding the recipe I didn’t see where a tea bag was needed. If it isn’t and it is just the milk and mix please let me know. Thanks in advance.

    • Katrina, The original recipe used a teabag steeped in milk, but I amended it to use instant tea which was easier for the dry mix. :) This was it’s easier to send to college students or make in jars for gifts. :)

      • Thank you SO much! That makes perfect sense. I actually love the idea of a dry mix. I have my shopping list together and will be giving it a try later today. Thanks again!

  23. Oh my God… bless your heart. I’m totally going to try and do this. I’ve been a DD’s Vanilla Chai addict for so long but now I can beat the system omg xD

    • You’ll love it. Some of my Haitian friends tell me that the American version is not spicy enough. This is the sweeet DD version. :)

  24. I just made this recipe and it’s delicious. Yay fir saving $$$. Good job and thanks!

  25. Ok I just made this recipe…. And it DOES taste just like DUNkIN DONUTS!!!!! Omg I’m soooooo happy cuz I love!!!!! DDs vanilla chia tea … The batch is almost a 2 quart container so it will last a long time !!!!!! Thank you for sharing!!! Gonna save me a lot of money :)

  26. Thanks- I too love Dd vanilla chai.
    Just tried recipe – it is great. I didn’tt have glass container- so I sifted mix – seems to work great.
    What a treat- thanks!

  27. I just made this recipe and have to say THANK YOU!!!!! This tastes JUST LIKE Dunkin’s vanilla chai. YUM-O! Now, if I could just find a copycat recipe for Dunkin’s Iced Latte with Vanilla and Caramel swirl, my heart and wallet would be content!!! Hint, hint….. Thanks again!!

  28. I have a question, after you mix the dry spices do you pour it in boiling water or just the milk?

  29. OMG…Thanks so much for this recipe, I used my nutribullet for the taste amazing…just like DD.
    Thanks again!

  30. walmart was out of the tea granules so I used unsweetened lipton instant tea mix (for iced tea) and it turned out just as great!! Thank you SO much for sharing!!

  31. You can make this iced as well just by blening it then add ice after. It’s yummy! Thank u for the recipe!

  32. I can’t seem to find the instant tea granule. I found nestea unsweetened iced tea. Is that the same?

  33. Found a spice at dollar store with everything but cardamom. used sugar free vanilla creamer didn’t add extra creamer or sugar. Used skim mik came out great! Love it! Have a little whisker to froth it!Sorry dunkin donuts I won’t be buying chai there!

  34. Thanks for the recepie I am in heaven!! Do not have to run out in the cold made up two mixes of it so far and plan on making more. I used Lipton unsweetened ice tea mix. Mixed every thing in a bowl with a lid. I should say shook it up. Than took the powder mix and put a little at a time in my Mr. coffee coffee grinder and grinded it on fine. Worked great.

  35. So I made this recipe once and it was amazing then I realized that I forgot the tea 😂. It was still great without it tho but I’m making it again now for holiday gifts and was wondering do you think steeping a tea bag and then adding a mix give the best flavor or does the instant tea version of the mix have a better flavor?

  36. Has anyone tried this using dry milk powder in mix and then just adding hot water when you make it?

  37. I would like to thank you for this recipe I have been looking for it since ever hhh. however, I have 2 little qs:
    1q- you said “1/2 t. all spice” do you mean from all spice you have mentioned up before this step or you mean something else.
    2q- you mentioned to kind of powder which are non-dairy
    “1 1/2 c dry French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer
    1 c. powdered non-dairy creamer” do they have to be in the recipe both or they are options. thanks again

  38. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for doing all that experimentation! Dunkin Donuts’ V.C is my weakness. Just made a batch of this mix and, because it is summer, put 2T in a blender with some almond milk and a frozen banana. Cool and Yummy!!

  39. You did it ! This is fantastic ! Thanks for doing all of the hard work to create this recreation !

  40. This is delicious and I can use it with my unsweetened almond milk and it’s perfect!!! Thank you for this recipe!

  41. My daughter and I found our self going to DD everyday to get their Vanilla Chai but after coming across ur recipe I can honestly say no more DD for us. This taste just like store bought. U made our day(s). Thank You

  42. I can’t wait to try. Copying the recipe so I never lose it. Vanilla Chai from DD’s is my obsession!

  43. For those wanting more of a vanilla case try using vanilla chai tea bags. I use the Bigelow brand. I also used to almond milk vanilla flavored Plus a tablespoon of sweet condensed

  44. This is soooo good! I only spent about $20 on ingredients and I have a ton of this…it will last forever. No more DD or Starbucks for me. My wallet thanks you!!! I am going to put some in a jar and give it to my grandmother. She will enjoy it I am sure. Thank you for doing the research and putting this together.

  45. It’s really great! Thank you! As for making it finer, try taking the mixer and grinding it in your coffee grinder. It makes a fine powder.

  46. So the non-dairy creamer gets mixed with spices and tea mix then you add that mixture into warm milk? Have been looking for recipe so that I can make with coconut milk. Thanks

  47. After paying $5 at DD for one, I found this recipe. Made it just before Christmas, OMG!!! it is heaven. So so so good!

  48. I just made it and it’s amazing! Thank you so much! How did you figure out what the recipe would be?

  49. You have made me so happy !! I cant wait to try it!! While trying to drop the holiday weight , I couldnt figure out why the scale wasn’t budging,even while eating a very healthy diet, I thought my 2 daily D.D. vanilla chai ‘ s were my low cal treats. I was astonished to find out I was ” drinking all my calories”!! Those drinks pack a whopping 340 calories each (9 g fat )and they dont even give you a full cup!! I had to give them up….and ridiculously expensive! you are an angel!! thankyou!!!!😇