Spiced Chai Layer Cake

Baking, Cake

Ingredients

  • 450ml Whole Milk
  • 4 Chai Tea Bags 
  • 560g Plain Flour
  • 3.5 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Cardamom
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 570g Caster Sugar
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 1 tbs Vanilla Extract
  • 300ml Vegetable Oil

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 225g Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 225g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 750g Icing Sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp spice blend reserved from the spices above
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 tbsp Heavy Cream, plus more if needed

Method

Add the milk and teabags to a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring the milk to a simmer then remove from the heat. Place a piece of plastic over the surface of the milk to stop a skin forming and place into the fridge to cool and steep for about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 160c fan / 180c / 350f and prepare three 18cm / 7” loose bottomed cake tins by greasing and then lining with baking parchment circles in the base. I used these tins from Masterclass https://www.masterclass.co/bakeware-4/cake-tins-3/non-stick-18cm-loose-base-deep-cake-pan-kcmchb11.htm they are nice and solid, great quality and give the cakes a nice even bake.

In a small bowl mix together the spices. In a large sized mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and all of the spices bar one tablespoon Reserve for the frosting), then whisk together to combine.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Beat on high for around 5 minutes until the mixture looks thick, fluffy, and be tripled in volume. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then slowly drizzle in the oil. After all the oil has been added, beat for an additional minute.

Turn the mixer to low and add the dry mixture to the stand mixer, mixing until just combined. Add in the tea-infused milk and mix just until the batter becomes smooth. Add the batter evenly to the cake tins, then bake in the oven for around 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before stacking and icing.

In a stand mixer, fitted with the whip attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese at medium-high speed for about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add in the icing sugar and the reserved one tablespoon of the spice blend in small amounts, beating on low between each addition and scraping the sides down each time. After all the sugar has been added, add in the vanilla, salt, and heavy cream, and beat on low to combine. Turn stand mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 2-3 minutes. The frosting should look creamy and light and should be very easy to work with.

Level off each of the cake layers to remove any doming from the cakes.

Place one cake layer onto your serving plate or onto a cardboard cake circle. Spread an even layer of frosting and then add the second layer on top, then repeat step 2. Add the final layer onto the cake and then put in the fridge for 15 minutes or so to firm up. Frost the outside and top with the remaining frosting and put back in the fridge for another 20 minutes or so. Decorate the top with some berries, nuts, cinnamon sticks etc