A fragrant eggless Masala Chai cake with Indian spices that will make the chai lover in you jump in joy!
This is the second in my series of festive fusion recipes. I’m so happy that so many of you tried and loved the rose and pistachio cookies! This recipe is for a tea cake which is different in so many ways, and yet the flavor familiar to most Indians – MASALA CHAI!
The Indian Chai – or Masala Tea is not just a drink – it’s an emotion to millions of Indians. I know of people that have upto 5-6 cups a day and this simple, ubiquitous beverage has found its way to every place from a daily morning ritual to social gatherings and acts like a comfort drink for everything from pre-exam anxiety, to post break-up distress!
While I’m more of a coffee drinker myself, I’ve grown up in, and married into families where drinking tea is like breathing – matter-of-fact and non-negotiable! And so, when I thought of making a festive recipe that represented my families, there’s nothing that made more sense than Masala Chai! And thus this cake came into being. It’s everything that a chai lover likes – a bit spicy, mildly sweet, packed with the fragrance of our favorite masala chai blend! No points for guessing that the main ingredient of this cake is the Chai and some spices to amp up the masala quotient! But apart from that, the other ingredients are basic cake staples –
Tea Leaves & Spices
The recipe uses a generous quantity of tea leaves otherwise the tea flavor doesn’t really come through. You can use any brand of Indian tea leaves that you like. If you like your chai ‘kadak’ – or if the leaves you use aren’t very strong, you could even add more.
In addition to the tea leaves, the recipe uses cloves, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon – typical masala chai spices. You could skip the whole spices and just use a store-brought chai masala blend instead.
Brewing the Tea
The tea and spices are brewed with the milk first and then strained to extract maximum flavour and to avoid adding the whole spices to the cake. After adding the tea and spices to the milk, bring it to a boil, switch off the flame and let it sit covered for 3-4 minutes. Then strain the milk and let it cool before using in the batter.
While the spices and tea infuse with the hot milk, there will be some loss owing to evaporation. Hence, we start with a little extra milk by using a whole cup even though the batter needs only 2/3 cup.
The icing on this cake is a simple sugar + milk glaze that uses rose water and cardamom to add additional flavor.
A few drops of pink color makes the cake a real stunner. You could skip the food coloring and keep it a simple white glaze or even avoid the glaze altogether. Even without it, this cake is great on its own.
So go on then, try this amazing recipe, a perfect accompaniment to your festive ‘chai pe charcha’.
For other festive recipes, check these out
- Rose Pistachio cookies
- Thandai Panna Cotta
- Banoffee pie cups
- Date and almond truffles
- Hazelnut praline tart
If you make this cake, do share your experience in the comments below.
What other festive or fusion recipes would you like to see? Tell me on Instagram!
Eggless Masala Chai Cake with Rose Cardamom Glaze
- 1 cup Milk (240 ml)
- 2-3 tbsp Tea leaves
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 2-3 Cloves
- ½ tsp Ginger (grated)
- ⅔ cup Yogurt (160g)
- 1 cup Sugar
- ½ cup Oil (120 ml)
- 1½ cup All purpose flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- ½ tsp Baking soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Cardamom powder
- ½ cup Icing Sugar
- 2 tbsp Milk/cream
- 1 tsp Rose water
- ¼ tsp Cardamom powder
- Few drops Pink food coloring
- Brewing the tea – Add the milk, tea leaves, cinnamon stick, grated ginger, and cloves to a pan, bring the milk to a boil and switch off the gas. Cover the pan and let the tea brew for 3-4 minutes. Strain the milk and allow it to cool. There will be some loss due to evaporation and you should have 2/3 cup (160 ml) of milk tea left for the batter.
- Grease a bundt pan or grease and line an 8 inch pan and preheat the oven at 180°c.
- Sieve together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom powder and keep aside.
- In a bowl, whisk the yogurt and sugar. Add the oil and mix vigorously till well combined.
- Now alternately add the dry ingredients and the brewed tea to the yogurt mix and whisk to ensure no lumps of flour form. Fold in everything with a spatula. Do not overmix the batter.
- Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean. In an 8 inch pan it should take 30-35 minutes, whereas a bundt could take upto 40-45 minutes.
- Sieve the icing sugar to ensure it has no lumps. Add cardamom powder, milk or cream, and pink food color and mix well to get a smooth glaze. Adjust the colour and consistency as desired.
- Drizzle over the cooled cake, garnish with crushed nuts and serve.