Masala chai cake with ginger fudge frosting

Masala chai cake with ginger fudge frosting

The Birthday Cake Book
Laura Edwards

One of my favourite drinks in the world is strong, sweet masala chai, brewed in every home all over India. Here I have turned it into a delicious cake. First, make your tea. You will need 200 ml for the recipe. If you wish to drink a cup of tea while you bake, just double these quantities!

For the tea


Quantity Ingredient
350ml whole milk, plus more if needed
8 cardamom pods, crushed
3 peppercorns
1/2 cinnamon stick
2-3 slices fresh root ginger, chopped
2 strong everyday tea bags

For the cake

Quantity Ingredient
170g unsalted butter, diced, plus more for the tin
20 green cardamom pods
230g golden syrup
230g dark muscovado sugar
280g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten

For the ginger fudge frosting

Quantity Ingredient
150g unsalted butter
150g icing sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1-2 tablespoons ginger syrup, from a jar of stem ginger
2 pieces stem ginger, very finely chopped, (optional)
red chillies, to decorate (optional)


  1. Place the milk in a pan. Add the cardamom pods, peppercorns, cinnamon and ginger. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 10–15 minutes. Once the milk has reduced by almost half, add the tea bags and stew for another minute or so; it does need to be quite strong for the flavour to come through in the cake. Leave to cool. Strain and add more milk, if necessary, to make the total up to 200 ml.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 160°C. Butter a square 20 cm cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  3. To deseed the cardamom pods, split each pod with the point of a sharp knife, empty the tiny seeds into a mortar and grind to a powder with the pestle. If there are any pieces of husk, sift the powder to remove them.
  4. In a pan, melt the golden syrup, butter and sugar. Cool a little. In a large bowl, sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Stir in the cooled syrup mixture, the eggs and, lastly, gradually pour in the 200 ml of chai. Stir gently until well mixed and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until a skewer emerges clean. Rest in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack. Leave until absolutely cold. Remove the papers.
  5. For the frosting, cream together the butter and icing sugar for up to five minutes until light and fluffy. Very slowly add the lemon juice and ginger syrup. Add the stem ginger, if you like. Spread the frosting all over the top of the cake, and carefully transfer to a serving plate or cake stand. Top with a few red chillies, if you want.
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