Nutrition Chai spice cake

Chai spice cake


As I blogged last week, Mr. and Dr. Elbows came to dinner last Friday and we had a North African feast. Dessert was chai spice cake. I just love chai-spiced food items. During my extensive research for this post (consulting Wikipedia), I found out that the word “chai” is the generic word for tea in most parts of South Asia. In North America, we tend to use the term to refer to masala chai, which is a blend of milk, tea, sweeteners and spices. Spices that go in to chai tea may include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, peppercorn and fennel.

I found this recipe by Googling “chai spice cake”. Recipe and beautiful pictures can be found here. Here’s my best photographic efforts:

chai spice cake

Please note that this is not my cake. I had already taken several bites out of my slice before I remembered that I might want to photograph it for posterity. Elbows kindly delayed digging in to hers to allow me to snap some shorts of hers. A true friend!

Makes one 8-inch round cake, about 12 servings


  • 6 chai tea bags
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 4 oz (8 tbsp, 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup unflavored vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • Confectioners’ sugar for garnish


Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 F.

Butter the inside of the cake pan, dust with flour. Place a circle of parchment paper into the bottom of the pan.

Place the tea bags in a medium bowl. Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and leave to steep for 5 minutes.

Remove the tea bags, squeezing them to release as much liquid as possible. Cool the tea in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

 Put the butter in the large bowl. Using electric beaters beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add ¼ cup granulated sugar and all brown sugar, cream together well. Add the oil and the cooled tea to the butter mixture and blend thoroughly. Scrape occasionally the sides of the bowl.

 Sift together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.

 Alternately add the dry ingredients with the buttermilk to the butter mixture in 4 stages, starting and ending with dry ingredients.

 Place the egg whites in the grease-free bowl of an electric mixer. Whip the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and whip until soft peaks form. Gradually, working on medium-high speed add the rest ¼ cup sugar, beating well after each addition. Whip until the whites hold glossy and firm, but not stiff, peaks.

Gently fold the whipped whites into the batter in 3 to 4 stages.

 Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula even the top. Bake for 1hr 5 to 1hr 15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven. Cool on a rack in the pan for 15 minutes, unmold the cake and cool completely on the rack. Lightly dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Beverage pairings: Although I am usually a complete oenophile, I would not recommend wine for this dessert. Important wine rule: You never, ever want to drink wine with food that is sweeter than the wine because the combination will detract from both. For this dessert, I would recommend bourbon or even Grand Marnier if you feel like classing it up.

cake with bourbon


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