Friday, July 13, 2012

Vanilla Chai Cake with Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Toasted Macadamia Nuts

I wanted to make a fancy schmancy cake for a co-worker's birthday. She is a big chai fan so I knew I wanted to use the same flavors in her cake.
I searched and searched and searched online to find a chai cake that suited the picture I had in my head. I didn't really find anything so I decided to Frankenstein a bazillion recipes together to come up with this one. I'm not going to note any sources as there really was a bazillion different recipes involved my own touches thrown in to boot.
I'm going to take credit for the invention of this deliciousness.
Because I want people to think I am a super genius.
I'm feeling pretty proud of myself right now.
The moist spice cake, sweet honey cinnamon frosting, and the toasted macadamia nuts combine extremely well together. The flavors and textures really compliment each other.

Vanilla Chai Cake

1 1/2 cups whipping cream (heavy cream)
6 bags chai tea, cut open
1/4 tsp ginger
1 vanilla bean pod
2 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch sea salt
1 cup butter, room temp
4 eggs
1 recipe Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
1 - 2 cups of toasted Macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 3 - 8" cake pans with cooking spray, set aside. (I also cut a circle of parchment paper to line the bottom of the pans and then lightly spray the paper.)
Place the cream, contents of tea bags, and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring often, and let bubble for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and cover. Set aside to steep for 5 minutes.
Strain the cream through a small strainer into a small bowl. Make sure to press the pulp to get as much of the liquid as possible. Discard pulp.
Cut vanilla bean pod in half vertically. Scrape out seeds and whisk into cream. Discard vanilla pod or save for another use.
Set cream in fridge while you continue making cake.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in eggs until well combined.
In the large bowl with the butter mixture, alternately beat in dry ingredients and chai cream alternately until just mixed, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
Divide batter evenly amongst the 3 prepared pans.

Bake at 350 for about 25 - 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto wire rack to cool completely.

Chill for at least 4 hours before frosting.

Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz brick cream cheese, room temp
1/4 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 cups icing sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually beat in honey and cinnamon until well combined. Add icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until you reach desired consistency. (You may need more icing sugar than recipe states so be prepared!)

To assemble cake:

Place one layer of cake onto serving platter. Frost with frosting.

Place second layer on top of first layer and frost with more frosting.

Place final layer on top and frost top of cake.

Spread remaining frosting on sides of cake.

Chop up the toasted macadamia nuts until fairly coarse. Press gently around sides of cake.

Chill until ready to serve.

Oooooh! Pretty!

Look at those layers of yumminess!

Okay. First just let me say...this was one of the most flavorful cakes I have made in a long time. You really could taste the many layers of flavor going on. The chai, the cinnamon, the cream cheese, the honey, the toasted nuts...they all shine through!
Definitely not your average spice cake.
Secondly, let me say I know how sad my cake looks in the photo with the sides iced. It has been soooooo hot here lately that everything just melts.
Including my delicious honey cinnamon frosting.
What I should have done was beat in more icing sugar to stabilize it and make it thicker BUT I had already spread it between the layers and was commited to just getting the frosting on the cake. Instead I put the icing and cake in the freezer for 15 minutes and went from there. It worked - kind of.
It was really droopy and didn't cover the space between the layers very well. That's where the toasted nuts come in! They are great at hiding those melty imperfections.

See......looks pretty.
Tastes delicious too.
Plus, you sound really cool saying I made a Vanilla Chai Cake with Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting with Toasted Macadamia Nuts.

Blissful and Domestic has some great links! Be sure to check them out :)
Don't forget about Six Sister's Stuff and Feeding Big and Cookin and Craftin too!
And, of course, Kayla's Creations has fun links too.


  1. Is the cream cheese in the frosting 1lb and 8oz or just 8oz? I work in grams so not sure??

  2. Hi,

    Just making this cake now :) our cakes are sinking when they come out of the each layer is no where near as thick as yours. Any advice?


    1. Hmmm....I've never had that happen. They shouldn't sink....are you sure they are cooked through? That's the only thing I can think of...... Sorry, I'm not much help!

  3. thanks for your reply. We cooked them for 30 mins, but will try longer next time. Taste great though!

  4. Yum!! I love the addition of the nuts!! Thanks for Sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday - Link Party!! Hope to see you again tomorrow!! Pinned!!