This cake is lusciously fluffy, tender and deliciously spiced with Chai. Each layer is sandwiched between a mouthwatering brown butter buttercream that perfectly compliments the tea-infused sponge. Finally, it’s topped with a healthy serving of cinnamon powder.
I bake a variety of different types of cakes but this particular type is one I’ve been baking for years. It’s a fool-proof egg-less sponge sweetened using condensed milk. Nothing fancy or complex and is as simple as adding everything into a bowl and whisking. Yet it tastes amazing! Everyone that’s tried my egg-less cakes have pretty much loved them and they’re usually shocked when I mention that they lack eggs.
How to make Chai Spiced Cake?
Firstly, you want to make Chai tea. Well not really because you definitely wouldn’t drink this concoction. But we do want to extract all of that Chai goodness from the tea bags. So submerge two tea bags into just under a cup of hot water and stir then set aside.
Next, add all the dry ingredients to a separate bowl. Use a hand balloon whisk to stir the ingredients together.
Afterwards, you want to jump back to the concentrated chai tea and add it along with all of the wet ingredients, into a bowl separate from the dry ingredients. Use the whisk to mix the wet ingredients together until they are completely combined.
Add half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and use your hand whisk to mix. Add the other half and stop as soon as a batter forms.
This next step may sound tedious, but I recommend weighing your cake tins. It definitely makes it easier when cutting the tops off each layer and levelling it.
The Brown Butter Buttercream
As soon as you place the cakes in the oven start browning the butter. Usually, I begin making the buttercream for my cakes while the layers are out of the oven and cooling. But for this recipe, it’s best to begin the process as soon as the layers are in the oven. This allows extra time for the browned butter to cool.
Once browned allow it to sit out on the side for 10 – 15 minutes before placing in the fridge to cool. Don’t place it in the fridge while it is very hot.
When working with the buttercream temperature is essential. You want it to be cool to touch but soft enough to work with which can be a bit tricky especially if you don’t have a candy thermometer and the weather is warm.
Once the buttercream is whipped to fluffy stiff peaks start adding the icing sugar one cup at a time. Finally, you want to add the whipping cream and vanilla extract.
This stage is where things can get a bit tricky because if the buttercream is too warm it will look lumpy and icing the cake can be a nightmare. If buttercream feels closer to room temperature then stick it back in the fridge for 5 minutes before beating it again.
Assembling the chai spiced cake
I recommend allowing the cakes to cool down in their tins for about 10 minutes before removing them. Any sooner and you run the risk of the layer splitting. If you let it cool completely the edges become soggy and you’ll have to scrape it off. Not a big deal but it saves a lot of time and mess if avoided.
Once removed place the cakes to cool completely on a countertop then use a large serrated knife. Smear a small dab of buttercream on whatever dish you’re using to serve the cake and place one layer on top. Add a generous amount of buttercream between each layer and decorate the cake as desired.
What did you think of this recipe? If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I hope you enjoy this one!
Chai Spiced Cake with Brown Butter Buttercream
A fluffy, tender Chai infused cake sandwiched between a creamy browned butter buttercream.
Wet Ingredients (Sponge)
- ¾ Cup (180 ml) Chai tea, (see notes) *
- ¾ Cup (180 ml) Oil
- 1 ½ Cups (360 ml) Condensed milk, from 1 can
- 2 Tsp Vanilla extract
- ½ Tbsp Lemon juice
Dry Ingredients (Sponge)
- 2 ½ Cups (350 g) Self raising cake flour (see notes for substitutes)**
- ¼ Cup (45 g) Light brown sugar
- 1 Tsp Baking powder
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon powder
- ½ Tsp Ginger powder
- ½ Tsp Ground cardamom
- ¼ Tsp Ground cloves, (optional)
- ⅛ Tsp Ground black pepper
- ¼ Tsp Salt
Brown Butter Buttercream
- ½ Cup (125 g) Butter, for browning
- 6 Tbsp (90 g) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 4 Cups (500 g) Icing sugar
- 3 Tbsp Whipping cream
- 1 Tsp Vanilla extract
Add parchment paper to 3 x 6-inch cake tins or 2 x 8-inch cake tins. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
Prepare chai tea and set aside. (see notes)* Add oil, condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice into a bowl and use a hand whisk to mix all of the ingredients together until completely combined.
In a separate bowl add all of the dry ingredients and mix them together.
Add chai tea to the wet ingredients and mix again. Spoon half of the dry ingredient into the wet ingredients and use the whisk to mix the ingredients. Add the other half and gently mix just until a batter forms. (Don't over mix.)
Evenly split the batter between the baking tins and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the tins around and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes. Check that the cake is finished by placing a toothpick in the middle of each layer. It should come out clean.
While the cake is baking, you can start preparing the buttercream. (Starting at this stage will allow time for the browned butter to cool)
By now the layers should've finished baking. Remove tins from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes before removing the cake layers from their tins. Allow them to cool completely to room temperature.
Once cooled, level the cake layers using a large serrated knife and set aside for assembling.
Begin browning the butter by placing 125 g (½ cup) into a small saucepan on a medium heat. Swirl the butter around gently until it's melted. The butter will begin to foam and turn quickly from a golden yellow to medium brown.
At the point when you begin to smell a fragrant, nutty aroma remove the saucepan from the heat and strain of the residue and pour into a heatproof bowl to cool, this should take less than 5 minutes. Once the brown butter is warm to the touch, place it in the freezer for approximately 10 minutes.
Once the brown butter is cooled beat it along with unsalted butter until its white and forms stiff peaks similar to a meringue. Add 1 cup of icing sugar and beat. Repeat this process 3 more times then add the whipping cream and vanilla extract. Beat again until all of the ingredients are combined (see notes)***
Assemble by adding a thin layer of buttercream to your serving board/plate. Begin to layer, ice and decorate your cake as desired.
* Add 2 chai tea bags to 180 ml of hot water and set aside.
** Flour substitutes if you’re using:
Cake flour (that isn’t self-raising): Add 2 Tsp extra of baking powder (3 Tsp in total for this recipe)
Plain (all-purpose) flour: 1. Measure 2 cups + 3 tbsp plain flour. 2. Add 5 Tbsp cornstarch. 3. Add an extra 2 Tsp baking powder (so it will be 3 in total). 4. Use cake strips as it may dome more.
*** If the buttercream looks lumpy then place it in the fridge for 5 – 10 minutes and start whipping it again.