Thai Tea Crinkle Cookies


These cookies have perfect chew and get their delicately spiced, sweet flavor from instant Thai tea powder.

Thai Tea Crinkle Cookies

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling Ali Domrongchai

Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
12 Cookies

Thai tea is a sweet, aromatic tea that is relatively new drink in Thailand (introduced in the 1980s), but quickly became a Thai American staple. It is made from a blend of black tea and fragrant spices — like star anise, cardamom, and tamarind — and is usually sweetened with sugar or condensed milk. The tea is traditionally brewed with a special pot called a cha hai, which allows the tea leaves to infuse with the spices and milk. The iconic bright orange color comes from the food coloring added and is often served in a tall glass with ice.

Alexandra Domrongchai was inspired by chocolate crinkle cookies when she created this recipe. She swapped in instant Thai tea powder for a time saving ease and cardamom for the cocoa powder, and after a few experimental rounds, created the cookies that have become a signature among her friends.

Despite not being quite as fragrant and flavorful as freshly brewed Thai tea, instant Thai tea is a quick and easy way to make these stunning crinkle cookies.

The key to making these cookies is letting them firm up in the refrigerator for at least an hour before rolling them in the powdered sugar, making sure they are heavily coated. The chilling time allows the flavors in the dough to develop and makes the dough firm enough to be scoopable, so it can easily be rolled into a ball.


  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons Thai tea powder (such as, DEDE Instant Thai tea; see note)

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Using a fine mesh strainer, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom into a small bowl.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla, sugar, and instant Thai tea powder. Slowly pour in melted butter and whisk until fully combined.

  3. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients, mixing until combined. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface and shape into a round disk. Tightly wrap disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough disks from refrigerator. Using a 1-inch (about 3/4-ounce) cookie scoop, scoop dough evenly into balls (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each). Roll each portion into a ball between your palms. Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Roll dough balls in sugar until well coated. Arrange dough balls about 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.

  5. Bake cookies until tops are crackled and the cookies have flattened slightly, 11 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To Make Ahead

Dough can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated overnight before baking.


If using an unsweetened powdered Thai tea, add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar to dough.

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