Good afternoon everybody! So my birthday is over……I don’t feel 35 yet. I’ll check again tomorrow;) We had a fabulous birthday cake to celebrate. I’m not normally one for store bought cakes….I think I’ve mentioned that before. In fact, I am not the world’s biggest cake fan. I prefer other desserts. But since I have two small children, I have to blow out candles on an actual birthday cake. My kids would be devastated if I didn’t. But back to the point I was trying to make…I don’t like store bought cakes. And since nobody was making one for me….I made it myself.
I have been really into chai lattes lately. Have you had one? I got into them at Christmas time because they taste like Christmas in a cup. I especially like them “dirty”, which means it has a shot of espresso thrown in. When I was trying to come up with a new cake recipe….I thought I might as well try to make a chai flavored cake. It turned out so crazy good. Better than I even expected!
Do you know what chai is? According to the good people at “Wikipedia”, Chai is a generic term for tea in many parts of Asia and Europe. For us here in the ‘ol US of A….chai is usually black tea, simmered with black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, anise and sometimes nutmeg. This brew is served with steamed milk to become a “chai latte”. I figured that would be easy enough to make a cake with……
I started with a boxed vanilla cake mix. If you are noticing that my box looks mangled….it is because my 7 year old removes “box tops” for her school the second I get home from the grocery store. I also used a chai concentrate. This is what you would use if you wanted to make a latte at home. You simmer together the concentrate with equal parts milk. Since it is a concentrate….on its own, it is strong.
I also used eggs and oil, just like the box told me to.
To bump up the chai-ness of this cake, I added more cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. At this point, you could choose to bump up the flavors from the chai that you prefer. Since I would rather eat rocks then anise, I left that out. I also skipped adding more black pepper. Truthfully, I would have added more ginger, but I was out of ground ginger. This is your chance to choose.
I dumped all the ingredients in a large bowl. This is why I love using boxed cake mixes. They are so super easy! It is also really simple to make additions and substitutions to any boxed mix. You can create a brand new cake….from one box. Plus, they make the box mixes pretty idiot proof, so you just dump and blend.
See? Dump and blend. I followed the instructions and blended for 2 minutes. Then, I licked the beaters, which the box did not tell me to do. I can think for myself, thank you very much.
I did my cake as a layer cake. Mainly because I wanted to be able to sneak more frosting on, but also because the Today Show said that layer cakes are very "in" for 2012, and I am nothing if not in style;)
I used two 8 inch baking pans. I sprayed them with cooking spray and also lined the bottoms with parchment paper.
I split the batter evenly and baked these bad boys at 350 for about 25 minutes.
Now for the best part…..the frosting!!
This is no ordinary buttercream, my friends. I made a browned butter frosting. I used two sticks of butter, whole milk and powdered sugar.
The first step is to brown the butter. This takes a bit of time. I put the two sticks of butter in a small pot and let it go for about 20 minutes over medium heat. I did stir from time to time, and I always kept an eye on it. The butter will separate into liquid and solids. It will also brown. Browned butter is nutty and delicious. Don’t confuse it with burned butter because that is just gross.
Once the butter is browned, pour the liquid into a small dish. Leave the solids in the pan. Pop the browned butter into the fridge for about one hour.
Once the browned butter had chilled and solidified, I beat it together with a bit of milk and tons of powdered sugar.
Once my cakes were cooled off, I was ready to frost. The first step is to get a flat bottom layer. I cut the top off of one layer. This will be my base, and the cut off top part will be my snack. I earned it.
I popped my bottom layer on a cake plate and plopped some frosting in the middle. I spread it out gently towards the side, leaving a small border all the way around. This way, when the top layer gets put on, all the frosting won’t sploosh out the sides.
And no “sploosh” is not a real word. I tried to play it on “Words with Friends” and it was a no-go. But I will still use it.
Once I put the top on, I frosted the whole thing. It is easiest to start by putting big globs of frosting in the center and spreading that out towards the sides, and down the sides.
Happy Birthday to me! This cake was spicy, sweet and so delicious! The frosting was the perfect complement to the spiciness of the cake. And by spicy, I don’t mean peppery spicy, I mean warm cinnamon type spicy. The frosting was nutty and just perfect!
This cake recipe is a must try! It is easy, yet it totally doesn’t taste, or look, like it came from a box. You should make it and totally impress your friends and family!
See you next week!!
Chai Latte Cake with Browned Butter Frosting
One boxed cake mix, Vanilla
1 cup Chai Latte concentrate, Tazo brand
½ cup oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 sticks butter, (one cup)
32 ounces powdered sugar
½-3/4 cup milk
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat together all ingredients with a hand mixer. Beat for approximately 2 minutes.
Grease 2 8 inch cake pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment paper. Pour batter, evenly, into two pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 24 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let cakes cool for at least 1 hour before removing from pans. Once removed from pans, cut the top off one cake to make a flat bottom layer.
To make frosting:
Place butter in a small sauce pan and let melt. Cook, over medium heat, until butter is browned. This will take about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Place browned butter in the refrigerator for one hour.
Once butter is chilled, beat together butter and powdered sugar. Add milk slowly while beating until you have desired consistency.
Frost top of bottom layer, leaving a ½ inch border around the edge. Place 2nd cake on top. Frost entire cake.