Chai & Pistachio Cake

This cake was inspired by the Chai Tea doughnut from Crosstown Doughnuts (best doughnuts in London, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!). The cake version of the doughnut takes inspiration from the chai custard filling and chai glaze and pistachios sprinkling. 

My cake version is made up of a light chai-spiced sponge, filled with cream cheese frosting and decorated with pistachios. I felt that a chai-spiced frosting might’ve been too much, given that chai is such a strong flavour already! 

Chai & Pistachio Cake
6" two layer cake
For the sponge
  1. 240g plain flour
  2. 270g caster sugar
  3. 1tbsp baking powder
  4. 2tsp chai spice (see notes below for how you can make your own)
  5. 80g unsalted butter
  6. 240ml whole milk
  7. 2 eggs
For the cream cheese frosting
  1. 3 egg whites
  2. 200g caster sugar
  3. 150g unsalted buter
  4. 100g cream cheese
For the topping
  1. 1tsp caster sugar
  2. 1tsp cinnamon
  3. 1/4tsp ground cardamon
  4. Handful of de-shelled pistachios
  1. Set oven to 180 degrees celsius, grease and line two 6" round cake tins and set aside
For the sponge
  1. Sift together the dry ingredients - sugar, flour, baking powder and chai
  2. Add butter and mix at a medium speed until it turns into breadcrumb consistency
  3. In a jug, beat together eggs and milk. With the mixer on a slow speed, add this to the dry mixture a third at a time until well incorporated
  4. Pour mixture into cake tins, splitting evenly between the three and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees
For the swiss meringue buttercream
  1. Whilst the sponges are cooling, start on the buttercream
  2. Set some water to boil in a saucepan on a low heat and place a glass bowl over the top, making sure it doesn't touch the water. In the glass bowl, add sugar and egg whites and mix well.
  3. The egg whites are ready once the sugar has dissolved and have reached 60 degrees celsius
  4. Once ready, pour into mixing bowl and whisk at high speed until it increases in size and stiff peaks form.
  5. Add cubed pieces of butter (make sure it's cold!) to the mixture slowly and keep mixing, this will eventually become thicker and creamier until it's buttercream / spreadable texture.
  6. Add cream cheese and mix until well combined
  7. It might be worth refrigerating before you use the buttercream as cream cheese tends to make the consistency a little runnier than normal
For the topping
  1. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and cardamon. Sprinkle this over the edge of the cake, then top with pistachios
Chai spice mixture
  1. 1tsp ground ginger
  2. 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  3. 1/4tsp ground cardamon
  4. 1/4tsp ground cloves
  5. 1/4tsp ground allspice
  6. 1/4tsp ground nutmeg
  7. Combine all spices together until well mixed. This will make more than enough chai spice for the cake, so save some for later!
Sam's Cupcakery

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