What’s sweet, creamy, and has a touch of spice? The Vanilla Spice from Dunkin’ Donuts, of course!
Although Dunkin’ Donuts still has vanilla chai tea on its menu, it’s not the original Vanilla Spice version.
Diehard fans of this drink have started a petition to bring the tasty drink back on the menu, but it has yet to happen.
Fortunately, you’ve got this recipe post to help you recreate this yummy drink at home. Read on for all the details!
And if you prefer to skip to the good stuff, click here to jump right to the recipe.
What is the Vanilla Spice Dunkin’?
The Vanilla Spice from Dunkin’ Donuts was vanilla chai. It was made with a powdered mix and milk.
Although the Dunkin’ Donuts chai latte is still a menu item, it’s made with concentrated chai syrup rather than powder.
This results in a slightly different flavor than the original Vanilla Spice chai tea latte.
Most loyal fans of the original Vanilla Spice agree that the current menu item doesn’t even come close to the original.
But thanks to a bit of research and a few failed attempts, I’ve come up with a version that’s about as close to the original as you’ll find.
What’s in a Vanilla Spice?
This homemade Vanilla Spice copycat recipe has two essential parts: the wet and dry ingredients.
Although many recipes you’ll find online create an ingredient-heavy powder designed to be mixed with plain water, this Vanilla Spice recreation demands a unique approach.
And the final product is a rich and velvety drink that will leave you begging for more!
Most powdered chai recipes include powdered milk and non-dairy creamer powder.
I’m sure this creates a delicious flavor, but I’m lactose intolerant.
And although “non-dairy” coffee creamer is advertised as such, the ingredients still list milk as an ingredient.
Talk about false advertising!
I decided to leave both out entirely to avoid milk and all the artificial flavors and shelf preservatives in these two ingredients.
The powdered component of my Vanilla Spice copycat recipe therefore includes:
- White sugar
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Ginger
- Ground Cardamom
- Ground Cloves
- Ground Nutmeg
Most recipes I found online for powdered chai also include iced tea powder.
Nothing against the powered form, but I thought it would be more authentic to include freshly brewed tea rather than a powder.
My version, therefore, includes brewing a fresh cup of black tea.
I use decaffeinated tea because I generally make this in the afternoon and want to avoid caffeinated insomnia, but you can use whatever version you prefer.,
Other wet ingredients include:
- Vanilla creamer (the kind you keep in the refrigerator)
- Vanilla flavoring extract
A few products take this drink to the next level of indulgence.
The first is a milk frother. I’ve been putting off buying one for a while but knew this special recipe deserved more than my typical saucepan/mixer combo.
After some research, I decided to go with the Instant Milk Frother and couldn’t be happier! It’s easy to use and does a great job of warming and foaming this and other coffee shop-style drinks.
The Instant Milk Frother has a few different settings, so you control how much foam you want to create.
Check it out on Amazon:
As you can see, there are several different spices in this drink. These spices don’t dissolve, leaving you with an off-putting gritty texture.
The solution is to combine the dry ingredients and run them through a coffee or spice grinder to obtain a more fine powder.
You can achieve a similar effect by combining the dry ingredients with the tea and running it through a fine strainer.
But a spice grinder is the optimal choice to achieve that authentic Dunkin’ Donuts Vanilla Spice flavor.
There are several to choose from on Amazon:, ,
Vanilla Spice Recipe
Copycat Vanilla Spice from Dunkin’ Donuts
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 black tea bag
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup creamer of your choice the refrigerated kind
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Boil water for the tea.
- While the water is boiling, combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg in a bowl. If you have a spice grinder, run the mixture through it to get a fine powder.
- Once the water is heated, add 1 tablespoon of the dry mixture and stir.
- Add the tea bag and steep the tea for 4-6 minutes.
- While the tea is steeping, combine the milk, creamer, and vanilla extract in the milk frother and select your desired setting.
- Once the milk is finished, pour into a mug, reserving the foam for the top.
- If you didn't run the dry ingredients through a spice grinder, pour the tea mixture through a strainer and into your mug.
- Top with foam or whipped cream and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Vanilla Spice from Dunkin’ Donuts include hot coffee?
No. This delicious drink does contain tea, but the original recipe has no coffee.
Does the Vanilla Spice from Dunkin’ Donuts have caffeine?
Yes, the original version does have caffeine. You can make a decaffeinated version by using decaf black tea.
Do you need any special equipment to make a Vanilla Spice at home?
The above recipe mentions a milk frother and spice grinder, but you can make this recipe without either.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan on the stove instead of the milk frother, and use a hand mixer to add froth if you want a foamier texture.
And try using a small strainer to remove the sediment from the drink if you don’t have a spice grinder.
This recipe is easily adaptable!
Can you substitute pre-made vanilla chai powder for homemade in this recipe?
Yes. My favorite is the liquid Oregan chai which you can find on Amazon or your local grocery store.
Big Train makes chai powder in several flavors, so check it out if you’re looking for something other than Vanilla flavor., ,
Each brand has a slightly different medley of spices that creates a unique flavor. Try several brands before determining your favorite.
Can you make a Vanilla Spice iced instead of hot?
Yes! This drink tastes delicious hot or cold. Skip the milk heating step and pour it into a mason jar for a refreshing treat you can enjoy any time of year!
Can you customize the spice mix in this drink?
Absolutely. You can try allspice instead of the mix of spices listed above. Some versions also include black pepper, so feel free to give that a try if you like a spicy taste in your chai.
I hope you enjoy making this copycat version of the Vanilla Spice Dunkin’ Donuts drink at home!
It’s a fun way to indulge without leaving the house or breaking the bank. Not to mention that, technically speaking, the Vanilla Spice is no longer on the official Dunkin’ Donuts menu.
I love experimenting with different kinds of milk, tea brands, and spices! Feel free to adjust this recipe however you like until you find the perfect combination.
What’s your favorite way to make a Vanilla Spice Dunkin’ Donuts drink? Let me know in the comments below! Happy sipping!
And if you loved this post, make sure to check out my other great content:
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- Powdered Sugar in Coffee: What You Need to Know About This Combination
- Iced Latte vs. Iced Coffee: Differences You Need to Know
- How to Make an Irresistible Twix Latte at Home
- How to Make a S’mores Mocha Latte
- How to Make the Perfect Peppermint Latte
- How to Make a Copycat Dunkin’ Donuts Dunkaccino at Home
- How to Make a Copycat Cinnamon Dolce Latte
- The Caramel Craze Latte from Dunkin’ Donuts
- How to Make Your Own Coffee Base for Homemade Frappes and More