A Taste of Thailand: Thai Tea Cookies


Infuse your next tea time with the sweet and spicy flavors of Thailand with these aromatic Thai tea cookies. Their golden color and hints of star anise and vanilla will transport your tastebuds to an open-air market in Bangkok.

Thai Milk Tea Cookies

As an explorer of unique tea traditions, I’m always delighted to discover desserts showcasing creative tea infusions. While many cookies highlight classic ingredients like chocolate or lemon, these crunchy Thai tea cookies offer an entirely different sensory experience through their distinctive Thai tea flavor. With its roots as a flavoring for traditional Thai ice cream, this Hong Kong-style Thai tea showcases distinctive notes of star anise, vanilla and evaporated milk.

The cookies mirror common dessert flavors in Thailand, with aromatic chai spices accentuating the bold black tea. Cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and cloves mingle with the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and anise flavors. While Thai tea leaves lend a reddish-orange hue to the dough, additional turmeric powder amps up the golden color. The result is a shortbread-like cookie bursting with sweet and spicy flavors in vivid Thai tea shades.

With a crispy, sandy texture that crumbles deliciously with each bite, they disappear quickly whenever I bring them to share at tea gatherings and potlucks. Offer these unique cookies on a tiered platter alongside English scones and French macarons at your next tea party for global flavors in every pour.

Thai Tea Cookies Makes 2 dozen cookies


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp Thai tea leaves (or 2 tsp Thai tea powder)
  • 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1⁄4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp ground star anise
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • Turmeric for color (optional)


  1. In a mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg, tea leaves, and extracts.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Slowly add into butter mixture until a dough forms. Divide in half and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  4. Scoop rounded tablespoons of chilled dough, shape into balls, then flatten slightly into disks. Space 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes until set and just barely browned on bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Store tightly covered for up to 1 week.