Chai Tea Vanilla Layer Cake
Have you ever wanted to learn how to create those beautiful layer cakes that you see at your favorite bakery or cake shops? Many home cooks are intimidated by the seemingly daunting task of creating those perfectly layered cakes. I am here to assure you that you can do it!
Chai tea vanilla layer cake is an alluring combination of a richly spiced cake and a bold and creamy coffee buttercream. The cake gets its distinct flavor from our Chai Tea. Our blend of chai tea is a little bolder than other blends out there, putting more focus on the spices themselves than the actual tea leaves. You’ll find it very forward with ginger, black pepper, and clove making it exceptionally spicy. Cinnamon lies at the heart of each sip, clearing both the mind and sinuses. Finally, it tapers off with the rejuvenating touch of cardamom and allspice berries. Of course, the black tea is there to offer some tannin and pick-you-up.
To utilize this tea in our vanilla layer cake, the tea must be ground to a fine powder. This can be accomplished by using a coffee grinder. You can also grind the tea by hand with a mortar and pestle. There is something magical and simplistic about hand grinding your spices with a mortar and pestle. I encourage you to try it sometime!
Chai Tea Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe
Yields 8 slices or one whole 8 inch layer cake
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean of your choice (split and scraped)
- 1 ½ teaspoons finely ground chai tea (grind the tea in a coffee grinder until fine)
- 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ sticks softened salted butter
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 package instant vanilla latte granules
Add milk to a small saucepan. Split the vanilla beans, scrape the seeds into the milk, and add the scraped pod to the saucepan, as well. Bring the milk to a simmer over medium low heat. Remove pan from heat and add the chai tea. Cover the pan and let steep for 20 minutes. Remove vanilla bean pod. Pour milk into a measuring cup and make sure you still have 1 cup of milk. If the liquid has reduced, add a bit more milk so you have a full cup. Let the tea-milk cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray baking spray onto the bottoms and sides of two 8-inch cake pans.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-6 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Pour in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the tea milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until the final bit of flour is just combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake layers in their pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully turn the cake layers out to cool completely directly on the wire racks.
Add the powdered sugar, softened butter and the instant vanilla latte granules to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on low and slowly add the milk. Beat until combined. Increase speed to high and beat for 3-4 minutes.
Assembling the cake layers:
If you would like, level your cake layers with a serrated knife. This can be easily accomplished if you wrap in plastic wrap and freeze your cake layers before hand. Then simply unwrap and slice the tops off the cake to make even. Place one cake layer on a cake circle or plate. Add about a cup of frosting to the top of the cake layer and spread evenly over the surface with an offset spatula. Place the second cake layer on top, pushing it gently in the center so the top is level. Work the remaining frosting over the top and down the sides of the cake with your offset spatula.
* You can use a cake turntable to slice your layers and frost the cake. Simply place your hand lightly on the top of the cake (away from the blade of your knife). Cut around the middle of the cake until you have made a layer. Carefully remove the layer and set aside. Frost between each layer. Carefully add the next layer until you reach the top. Frost the cake with a crumb coat (a very light layer of frosting) and place in the fridge until frosting has set. You can add another layer of icing once the crumb coat has set or simply eat as is.