My daughter’s teacher is celebrating her birthday today and her favourite drink is a vanilla chai – so C and I decided to make her a chai-infused cake to celebrate. I’m a bit of a spice hoarder, so we already had everything we needed to make our own chai spice mix. The beauty of this cake recipe is that you’ll have chai mix left over to make yourself a nice pot of tea at the end if you choose. It’s also snowing today, despite it being spring (that’s Colorado weather for you) – so this recipe is perfect and warming for gloomy days like today.
This pound cake is dense and rich, with a strong chai flavour – infusing the milk or buttermilk with black tea helps to make this cake taste exactly like a sweet cup of warm chai. If you’re not a tea drinker, it would go beautifully with a cup of coffee as well. You can adjust the chai spice blend amount to suit your taste – we tend to like it a little stronger.
Chai Spice Blend
- 1 inch piece of dried ginger or 1 Tbsp dried ginger powder
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 3 pieces star anise
- 10 whole cloves
- 1 tsp cardamom seeds, removed from pods or ground cardamom
- Place all spices in a spice grinder (or clean coffee grinder) and grind until you achieve a fine powder.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place – will stay fresh for three months.
Chai Spice Pound Cake
For the Chai Spice Cake:
- 1 cup buttermilk (or whole milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar)
- 2 black tea bags I use Yorkshire Gold
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 to 2 Tbsp chai spice blend to taste (to make, see recipe above)
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Chai Vanilla Icing:
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 Tbsp whole milk
- 1 tsp chai spice blend to taste (to make, see recipe above)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
For the Chai Spice Cake:
- Preheat your oven to 325° fahrenheit. Grease a 10" bundt tin, two standard loaf tins, or four mini loaf tins.
- Warm your milk or buttermilk in a heat-proof measuring cup, for about a minute – until warm. Place your tea bags in the milk and allow to steep for five minutes. If you are using whole milk instead of buttermilk, once the tea is steeped remove the bags and add 1 Tbsp white vinegar, and allow to sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
- Measure your flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl – whisk to combine and set aside.
- In your stand mixer bowl, add your butter and sugar and beat until combined. Add the chai spice to the mixture, and the vanilla extract. Then add the buttermilk, and eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Slowly add your flour mixture until just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Bake in the 325° oven for 90 minutes (bundt tin), 60-65 minutes (loaf tin), or 45-50 minutes (mini loaf tin). Allow to cool for at least two hours on a baking rack before icing.
For the Vanilla Chai Icing:
- Mix the confectioners sugar, milk, vanilla, and chai spice until blended and a thick but pourable consistency.
- Once cake has cooled, pour the icing over the cake and serve.