Vanilla Chai Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting

Vanilla Chai Cake is uniquely full of warmth with its softly sweetened chai spices throughout. Pairing beautifully with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting that delivers such richness and creaminess that makes taking a bite into this chai cake, reminiscent of drinking a cup of creamy chai tea.

Vanilla Chai Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES

It’s easy to create a dessert that tastes much like your favorite [prepackaged] tea, much like these chai muffins. But what if you don’t have the tea? I wouldn’t expect you to go out to buy a box of 20 tea bags just to use a few for a single recipe. Which is why I created a cake to where I’m pretty confident I’ve nailed the chai flavor. Keep in mind, chai tea comes in a few variations. I chose a variation that was closest to my preferred brand. But at the very least, this vanilla mascarpone frosting is fire! You don’t want to miss it!

Despite having a constant supply of chai tea in my cupboard, I felt the need to make this chai cake using only ground spices. According to Food & Wine, it’s been said the best flavor comes from whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, etc. but to make things more simple, I used the ground version.

Vanilla Chai Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES

This recipe was in the making since last year and after looking through the tea/coffee aisle at my local grocer, comparing differences in the list of ingredients from different brands, I found they all had a few common ingredients. Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper were the common spices. There were a few brands with a variation of other spices such as all-spice, fennel and star anise. I’m not entirely crazy about the flavor of fennel and star anise so I left those out.

Chai isn’t my favorite cup of tea but it’s one I do enjoy during the winter months. The brand I prefer adds an orange citrus note to the herbs so I’ve included orange zest into the batter and sprinkled a few over the top of the cake. The brown “powder” seen on top of the cake is my homemade sugared chai spice. Quick and easy to make and perfect for that extra kick of chai flavor with a hint of sweetness.

Vanilla Chai Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES

I have to be honest, I feel indifferent by the sponge cake’s muddy, grayish-brown color. For the first time, my photos may have worked in my favor giving this vanilla chai cake a warmer tone similar to that of my pumpkin cake. It should be to no surprise because this spiced cake resulted the same. You’ve been forewarned. Ha! You know, as they always say, it’s the flavor that counts.

Speaking of flavor! A huge component to this chai cake is vanilla and oh my goodness! The vanilla pairs beautifully with the spices of chai where neither flavor overlaps the other. In every bite you can distinctly taste both. This is surprising because chai can have a robust or spicy-like flavor. Adding vanilla was able to combat this by softening the intensity and giving a sense of warmth and lightness to the strong taste. Furthermore, as any true chai fanatic would know, chai tea is commonly enjoyed with milk to give it a creamy taste and mouthfeel which leads me to this frosting!

Vanilla Chai Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES

This vanilla mascarpone frosting had me swooning for more. Not a fan of too much frosting and though this vanilla chai cake may look like there’s plenty of it, believe when I say, you too, would be asking for more. This frosting is a thicker version of whipped cream; thanks to the mascarpone, providing extra richness and creaminess!

Vanilla Chai Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES
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Vanilla Chai Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting | URBAN BAKES

Vanilla Chai Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting


  • Author: URBAN BAKES
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 6 inch cake 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Vanilla Chai Cake is uniquely full of warmth with its softly sweetened chai spices throughout. Pairing beautifully with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting that delivers such richness and creaminess that makes taking a bite into this chai cake, reminiscent of drinking a cup of creamy chai tea.


Ingredients

Scale

VANILLA CHAI CAKE 

  • 2 2/3 cups (320 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) orange zest, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (8 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (339 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) sour cream
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams)
  • 3/4 cup (180 grams) oat milk or whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon (13 grams) vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract

VANILLA MASCARPONE FROSTING

  • 2 cups (480 grams) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup (86 grams) powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (26 grams) vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) pure vanilla extract

SUGARED CHAI SPICE

  • 1 tablespoon (13 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (8 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

  • 4 to 6 star anise
  • 4 to 6 cinnamon sticks

 


Instructions

  1. CAKE: Heat oven to 350°F (175°C).  Generously grease and flour bottom and sides of four 6-inch (15 cm) or two 9-inch (23 cm) round baking pans; set aside.  
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, 1 tablespoon of orange zest, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, salt, nutmeg, baking soda and black pepper; set aside.
  3. In a bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment on medium speed, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add sour cream and continue to mix until just combined. Gradually mix in 1 egg at a time until well combined.  Mix in 1 cup of flour mixture on low speed alternating with half of the milk and ending with the flour mixture.  Continue to mix until just combined.  
  4. Divide batter evenly among the prepared baking pans about 2/3 full.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few dry crumbs. 
  5. Allow cakes to rest in the pans for 15 minutes.  Then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.  
  6. FROSTING: In a bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, mix heavy cream and powdered sugar on low to medium speed for 1 minute.  Gradually increase speed to medium-high and continue to mix until soft peaks begin to form.  Add in mascarpone cheese and vanilla, continue to mix until stiff peaks form. 
  7. ASSEMBLY:  Spread about 1/2 cup of vanilla mascarpone frosting on top of the bottom cake layer.  If needed, add more frosting to achieve a frosting layer that is 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Place a second cake layer on top and spread frosting once more.  Repeat process for any remaining cake layers. 
  8. Spread a thin coat of frosting around the sides of the cake to create a crumb coat. Chill cake uncovered for 20 minutes or up to 1 hour. Once the sides are cool to the touch and semi-dry, remove the cake and spread more frosting around the top and sides. 
  9. In a small bowl using a fork, mix all ingredients of the sugared chai spice. Add more sugar if desired. Sprinkle the chai spice over the top of the cake. 
  10. Fill a pastry or piping bag with a star tip and create a few swirls over the top of the cake.  Decorate with star anise and cinnamon sticks. Sprinkle remaining orange zest over the top for the finishing touch.  Slice and ENJOY!

 

Notes

  • Cake is best served at room temperature and should be stored covered in the fridge.
  • Depending on the number of pans baking at once, this could increase the need to add more baking time.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chai cake, vanilla chai cake, vanilla mascarpone frosting

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4 thoughts on “Vanilla Chai Cake with Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting”

  1. Hi, Connie. I just discovered your blog looking for chai spiced cake recipes and your photos are so beautiful, I can’t wait to try it. Five stars for the photos alone! I have a question: What size pan is needed to achieve the four layer cake you pictured? Your instructions call for three 6 in cake pans or two nine inch, but your photos show a four layer cake. Will four layers require extra batter and frosting to achieve, or does it need different sizes pans?

    1. Hi Trese,
      I’m so used to making cakes that are no more than 3 layers that I missed that small detail on the size of the pan. It should state 4 6-inch pans or 2 9-inch pans. No need for extra batter or frosting. The quantities listed in the ingredients will suffice for the either size you choose. Thank you for bringing this to my attention and for your kind words about the photos. <3
      - Connie

    1. Hi Stacie,
      I haven’t made this recipe into cupcakes but I’m sure you can. Based on the quantity, I would imagine, the batter could make about 2 dozen cupcakes. If you happen to try them, let me know how it turned out for you or if you have any questions. Good luck and Happy Baking!
      – Connie

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