vanilla chai cake

Vanilla chai cake

This is an exclusive post for all the chai lovers! I know, it is not the normal tea but it is a step more than that – a cake! Yep, it is vanilla chai cake with spiced chai cake layers along with a simple and mildly spiced vanilla cream cheese frosting.

So, the first two words of this post title might have made you think that this might be a drink, probably vanilla chai latte or something like that. But, the word cake changes everything, right?! Believe me people when I say that this is one of the most delicious cakes I have tasted.

So, I made this vanilla chai cake for an Instagram collaboration. I wanted to make something different, something that I haven’t tried so far. I actually had the plan of doing a chocolate mocha cake because I was craving for this coffee and chocolate taste.

While I was thinking on those lines, I had a sudden thought, why not a chai cake? When we can do a mocha cake, then we can do a chai cake too right? So, that was when I decided to make this vanilla chai cake. I thought vanilla would make a good pair with chai or even the chai spices. So, this cake has a subtle vanilla flavor too to enhance the overall taste along with the other spices used.

For those of you who still do not know what chai is, it is actually a hot beverage from India. While making chai, we add different spices to enhance its flavor. I have actually made spiced cake layers to replicate the taste that we get in masala chai.

For masala chai, we add whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, pepper corns and also ginger while boiling the tea leaves and let all the flavors seep into the milk before straining it. Though, the quantity of the spices added is totally according to one’s own wish, I would suggest that a good chai (or tea) has the perfect balance of all the flavors right from the tea leaves to all the spices and sugar added.

vanilla chai cake

This is a great beverage to be had for any rainy evening. So, I wanted to give it a twist and make this beverage transformed into a dessert. Our very own and the most loved beverage across India is in the form of a cake and can be had at any time during the day. No limits at all! Isn’t it great?

This vanilla chai cake has hints of vanilla along with the flavor of the chai spices (the ones used to make masala chai). The best part about this vanilla chai cake is the frosting. This is the best combo. It is silky, smooth and it has so much of flavors including the spices and not to forget the vanilla. This cream cheese frosting is just like satin. Oh my goodness!

With every piece of the cake that you have, you will evidently feel the flavor of the masala chai. You will also get a hint of vanilla flavor which is so subtle that before you notice, the taste just melts in your mouth. This vanilla chai cake is actually simple yet very flavorful and tasty!

I have decorated the cake with some butter cookie crumbs because I thought cake and biscuits go hand to hand always. Feel free to use your own ideas for the decoration. I have even topped the cake with some cookie crumbs and also pistachios. It is totally your choice, you lnow!

If you are a chai lover, then this cake is a must try. Even if you are not one, then definitely try the cake, because it will totally make you fall in love with chai immediately. Especially, masala chai! So, why wait. Just grab a piece of the cake. Whether hot or cold, this cake tastes out of the world in any weather!

Enjoy this delicious vanilla chai cake with your loved ones as a dessert or probably even breakfast, because it has chai in it. Come on guys, I have given you a reason to enjoy the cake throughout the day. Do not wait! Celebrate each day with good food! Stay safe; stay healthy! Happy cooking and eating!r

While you are here, do checkout my other dessert recipes. And yeah, celebrate every day possible and make it special with my other cakes recipes!

vanilla chai cake

Has meal planning been a little bit difficult during this lockdown? Look through my No Veggies, 21-Day Lockdown Series for ideas on what to cook during this lockdown.

If you have tried any of my recipes, then tag @the_busy_apron and share it on Instagram with the hashtag #thebusyapron. Also tag @TheBusyApron and share it on Twitter with the hashtag #thebusyapron

vanilla chai cake

Vanilla chai cake

Abhipriya Raghav
A vanilla chai cake with spiced chai cake layers along with a simple and mildly spiced vanilla cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Indian
Servings 12 servings


For the cake layers

  • cups milk
  • tbsp chai / tea powder
  • cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting

  • 225 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
  • cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • tsp ground allspice

For decorating the cake

  • ground biscuit crumbs, as needed
  • pistachios, powdered


To make the cake layers

  • Pre-heat an oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. In a pan bring the milk and chai / tea powder to a boil. Take it off the stove and let it seep for 10 minutes. Strain and keep aside.
    vanilla chai cake
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, baking powder and all the spices and whisk well.
    vanilla chai cake
  • In another mixing bowl, add the softened butter along with both the sugars. Beat until light and fluffy.
    vanilla chai cake
  • Add egg, one at a time and beat well.
    vanilla chai cake
  • Add the vanilla extract and mix it well.
    vanilla chai cake
  • Add ⅓ rd of the flour mixture and beat until fully incorporated.
    vanilla chai cake
  • Add ½ of the chai milk and beat until it is incorporated. Repeat the process for the rest too. (3 additions of flour and 2 additions of chai milk)
    vanilla chai cake
  • Grease the cake tins with butter and line it with parchment paper. Divide the batter equally into three cake pans and bake in a pre-heated oven for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    vanilla chai cake

To make the frosting

  • In another mixing bowl, add cream cheese and butter at room temperature and beat in a medium speed until smooth.
    vanilla chai cake
  • Add icing sugar, vanilla extract and all the spice powders and beat until combined and creamy.
    vanilla chai cake

To assemble the cake

  • Cool the cake layers completely. Place one cake layer on the cake stand and spread the frosting evenly. Repeat with all the layers and crumb coat the cake. Chill for 30 minutes before frosting the cake and decorating it. Serve chilled.
    vanilla chai cake


  • If you want the chai flavor to be very strong then let it seep for some more time too or even add another half tablespoon of chai powder.
  • You can use tea bags instead of powder too.
  • Make sure that all your ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Do not over beat the batter.
  • You can divide the batter in two pans if you want two layers.
  • Bake the cake layer for 25 minutes. If it is still uncooked , then bake for extra 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
  • Do not open the open often while baking. This will make your batter to not raise.
  • While beating the cream cheese and butter, beat just until fully incorporated. If you beat longer, then the cream cheese might start to separate.
  • If your frostings tends to sperate or curdle, then try chilling it for some time and then beating again.
  • For the frosting, use icing sugar only. Powdered sugar might contain granules which makes the cream cheese curdle.
  • You can replace vanilla extract with vanilla bean paste too.
  • Always cool the cake layers completely before frosting. It is even better if you chill the layers before frosting.
Keyword cake, chai, chai cake, spices, tea, tea cake, vanilla, vanilla cake, vanilla chai cake