These Chai Carrot Cake Scones with cream cheese frosting combine everything you love about carrot cake into a perfectly spiced treat that's delicious for dessert or breakfast!
Spring is officially here and with it comes all kinds of spring desserts made with lemon, strawberries, blueberries, and other seasonal fruits. OK, and LOTS of Cadbury Eggs (Cream AND Mini), Peeps, and jelly beans.
In order to balance out all that sweet fruit and sugary Easter candy, I guess we should talk about seasonal vegetables, too, right? Sigh. But vegetables can be fun, too! Especially if you're strategically adding them into baked goods instead of salads.
And I mean, if we're going to be baking, scones are "healthier" than most desserts we could make. Though, I have definitely made Cadbury Mini Egg Scones before (and omg you should absolutely make them, too!), so with those, my "healthy" argument could be moot.
But just because they're not the most sugary, decadent desserts of all time, doesn't mean scones are boring. If you think scones are boring, you just haven't had a good one yet! Now that I've been making them so often and perfecting my recipes, scones are one of my absolute favorite desserts. Maybe because they're also totally acceptable for breakfast.
HOW TO MAKE CHAI CARROT CAKE SCONES
I love carrot cake and I also love all things chai spice flavored, so once the idea for chai carrot cake scones popped into my head, these scones were an immediate must-make for me. They take no time at all and if you have a box grater (here's an affiliate link to the one I own), even the carrots are a breeze to grate!
How to Make Chai Spice Mix
You can certainly buy a Chai spice mix, but if you do, make sure you look for one that just contains the spices (like this one -affiliate linked) and not an actual latte mix with milk powder and other ingredients in it.
However, its also super easy to make your own chai spice mix! I just mixed each individual spice into my scone's dry mixture. Here are the spices I used:
If you wanted to make a big batch of the chai spice mix or are using a store-bought mixture, you can simply multiply the ratios I recommend and keep the spice mix in a jar. And when you make this recipe, use 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture. You'll mix those spices in with all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, and salt.
And then cut in a stick of chilled butter cut into cubes and mix in grated carrots, heavy cream, and chopped walnuts if you want.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a bit and form into a mound that's about ¾" thick.
Cut dough round into 8 wedges, place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and brush lightly with heavy cream.
Bake at 400 degrees for 13-16 minutes until scones are turning golden around the edges. Let the scones cool on the pan for a couple minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
While the scones are cooling, make the chai cream cheese frosting! The frosting is simply cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, more of those delicious chai spices, salt, and cream.
omg try your hardest not to eat this right out of the bowl.
When scones are completely cooled, drizzle them with chai cream cheese frosting. Or can spread it on if you want. I also added more chopped walnuts and shredded carrots to the top of my chai carrot cake scones.
I briefly considered adding raisins into the scones, but I'm fully aware that raisins have been known to cause a lot of controversy, so I decided to stay away from them. I DID add walnuts, but if you prefer a nut-free version, you can certainly leave them out.
I honestly don't know what I loved best about these chai carrot cake scones. The deliciously spicy (in a chai spice way and not a HOT spice way) flavor of the scones, the plethora of carrots, or that cream cheese frosting.
I used to hate cream cheese frosting. I wasted a lot of time with that hatred. Especially now that I know the joys of chai cream cheese frosting.
Of course, standard carrot cake is delicious, but I now know I would prefer to have it in scone form. You can't really excuse carrot cake for breakfast, can you?? But carrot cake scones? Those are perfectly acceptable with your morning cup of tea or coffee.
They make great snacks, too. Basically, you can't go wrong with a chai carrot cake scone at any time of day.
And really, any time of year, considering carrots are readily available year-round.
But carrot cake scones are extra appropriate for springtime and Easter brunch. I might even say they make the perfect side to that Easter ham. Or just your morning coffee while you wait for the Easter bunny.
Happy spring y'all!! I hope the weather is starting to warm up where you are.
What are your favorite spring ingredients?
If you love this recipe, be sure to check out all my scone recipes. You may also want to make these Carrot Cake Oreo Truffles! I also really want to try these Carrot Cake Overnight Oats from Lemons and Zest!
Chai Carrot Cake Scones
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ground ginger
- ¾ tsp ground allspice
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- ½ cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing scones
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups grated carrots (from about 3 large carrots), plus more for topping
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts, plus more for topping (optional)
Chai Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp ground allspice
- Pinch ground cardamom
- Pinch salt
- Pinch pepper
- ½ cup heavy cream or milk
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cardamom, salt, and pepper.
- Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork (or your hands), until pea-size pieces form with some larger chunks remaining.
- In a small bowl, whisk together cream and eggs. Using a spatula, fold the cream/egg mixture, grated carrots, and chopped walnuts into the dry mixture until just combined.
- On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough a few times. Then using your hands, form a circle about ¾" thick. Slice dough into 8 triangles and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush scones lightly with heavy cream.
- Bake for 13-16 minutes, until scones are just turning golden around edges.
- Let scones cool before drizzling with chai cream cheese frosting and sprinkling with additional grated carrots and chopped walnuts.
Chai Cream Cheese Icing
- Using a hand mixer or a whisk, beat cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cardamom, salt, and pepper and beat until combined.
- Add milk or cream to bowl ¼ cup at a time, beating well after each addition until frosting is smooth and at desired consistency.