Thandai Cake

Do you love Thandai? Then you’ll love this easy and quick Eggless Thandai cake that’s perfect for Holi or any celebrations!

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As kids, we would wait for Holi for too many reasons – the colours, the water, the balloons, the approval of parents to officially create a mess for a day, AND chilled glasses of THANDAI!

Yes the mildly spiced, sweet and cooling beverage that has long been associated with the Indian festival of Mahashivratri and Holi! Bottles of Thandai syrup would magically start appearing on the kitchen counters as we approached Holi and my grandmom – herself a Thandai fan – would serve us all kids, small glasses of the drink – albeit a milder and lesser spiced version. It was one of the few times we were allowed to have “cold drinks” and that made it even more special.

On Holi day, one of my cousins or uncles, would often be spotted stirring a really large vessel of Thandai that would later be served to guests during the Holi bash we would have at our terrace.

Years later, I discovered that the kids were served from another container, and the large one was mixed with ‘bhang’ – a hallucinogen from the buds, leaves, and flowers of the female cannabis, or marijuana, plant which is legally available and widely used in India, most popularly in Thandai.

While our love for Thandai has descended continents, my fascination for it as a baker has transitioned from simply adding it to milk to using it in my desserts. Some years back, I made a Thandai Panna Cotta Tart at a culinary academy I was studying and working at – our visitor – a renowned chef – was so impressed with the novelty of the idea and the execution that he decided to add it to his restaurant menu. Of course my photography skills were questionable at the time so the best picture I have of that is this but honestly, the picture does no justice to what this dessert had turned out to be.

Now over the last few years, with my family’s preference for simpler tea cakes, I’ve started to use Thandai as a flavor in regular cakes too. Like this eggless Thandai cake that I’m sharing here. It’s a super moist cake that is bursting with flavors of Thandai and is perfect to serve for Holi!

Thandai Cake

It’s made using the simplest cake ingredients

  • Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Oil
  • Sugar
  • Yogurt
  • and Thandai Milk, of course

The star of the recipe so it’s important that you know all about it –

Thandai Milk

The Thandai milk the recipe calls for is the traditional beverage that is made for Holi. You can make it any way you like – using store-brought syrup (my favourite brand is Guruji Thandai), Thandai powder (home-made or store-brought) or any other way as long as it involves the typical Thandai spices. I shared a super easy recipe for making your own Thandai here – Thandai Powder and lots of readers on Instagram have already tried it with some great feedback. While adding to the batter, the thandai milk can be warm or room temperature but not cold.

Rose Thandai Frosting

While we usually prefer our cakes plain and without any frosting, I decided to deck up this one a bit because it was Holi! I went with a simple whipped cream frosting but flavored it with thandai syrup and rose water which just gave the whole thing a beautiful appearance and taste. I also garnished it with some edible rose petals and slivered pistachios but you could use any nuts of your choice.

Thandai Cake Slice

Baking, Storing, Serving

I’ve used a 7 inch round cake pan to make this recipe and have also made cupcakes with it. Cupcakes take about 20 minutes to bake. You could also a bundt pan or bake-and-serve moulds. Do let the cake cool completely though before frosting or the cream will melt and flatten. To really give the feeling of having cold Thandai, serve the cake chilled after refrigerating it for a few hours. This eggless Thandai cake stores well for upto 7 days refrigerated without the frosting. However if you do use frosting, it’s best to eat it within 3 days so that it doesn’t look dry or stale.

So go on and try this recipe for Holi and let me know how it turned out for you by giving me a shout-out on Instagram here or in the comments below!

You may also like these other recipes that are great for Holi –

Eggless Thandai Cake with Rose Thandai Frosting

A light and moist cake with flavors of Thandai perfect for Holi!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins


  • 1.5 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1+¼ tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ cup Yogurt
  • cup Oil
  • ¾ cup Castor Sugar
  • 1 tsp Rose Water
  • ¾ cup Thandai Milk

For Rose Thandai Frosting

  • ½ cup Whipping Cream
  • 1 tsp Rose Water
  • 2 tsp Thandai Syrup
  • Pink Food Colouring few drops



  • Grease or line a 7 inch pan and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree C.
  • Sieve together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda and set aside.
  •  In another bowl, combine the yogurt, oil, sugar and rose water and mix well till everything is well combined and you can’t see the oil separated from the other ingredients.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients and slowly add the thandai milk. Mix till you have a smooth batter but don’t overmix.
  • Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool on a wire rack before frosting.

For the Rose Thandai Frosting

  • Whip the cream to stiff peaks.
  • Add the rose water, pink colour and thandai syrup or powder. Fold it in to the whipped cream ensuring you don't deflate the cream.
  • Spread over the cooled cake and garnish with slivered pistachios and rose petals.


For measurement conversions to grams and ml, refer the conversion guide here – Measurements Conversion Guide

Join the Conversation

  1. Hey pooja, I have been trying your recipes for a while now and I am absolutely in love with them.. just a quick help
    My cake turns out be sour (maybe coz of the yoghurt). Please help❤️

    1. Hi Harshita, yes if you use yogurt that’s a day or two old, your baked goods will taste a bit sour. Use fresh hung curd/store brought yogurt thats not more than a day old. Also, thank you for your kind words 🙂

  2. Shreya Banka says:

    Hey Chef,
    If we use thandai powder here , what should be the quantity of the same ?

  3. Shreya Banka says:

    Hello Chef,
    If we use thandai powder here , what should be the quantity of the same ?

  4. Hi Pooja,
    I just love your recipes. I have tried few tea time cakes from your blog and I loved them.
    Wanted to ask you that can I serve this Thandai cake as it is without frosting it?

    1. Hi Nidhi, thank you so much for your kind words. Yes this cake tastes great without frosting too 🙂

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