Masala Chai Carrot Cake #CakeSliceBakers

Easter was a different experience this year. We watched our Easter church service from our couch, had a Zoom call with family scattered across the country, and just hung out as our family of five.

A different kind of Easter calls for a different kind of carrot cake.

I love a good carrot cake. 
And I love a 'cuppa chai. 

So when I saw this Masala Chai Carrot Cake as a choice for April's Cake Slice Bake, I knew I needed to make it.  Check out the links at the bottom of the post to see what the other lovely bakers chose!

Since this Easter was all about focusing on what is important, I wanted to have things everyone would enjoy. My 3 year old daughter is notoriously picky, and I was concerned that she might not like all the spices--it is spiked with black tea, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and black pepper in addition to the usual cinnamon. She liked it though!  It was zippy, but familiar, with a lightly sweetened cream cheese frosting.

The ginger and black pepper gave a pleasant touch of heat--but not enough to overwhelm my 3-year old's super sleuth taste buds. 

Because of the Indian spices, I decided to frost it with a henna-type design. Everyone was looking forward to trying the cake, and I was in a hurry to get it frosted and photographed so that we could have our Easter dessert.  My frantic piping was less than stellar, and I made a big blobby mistake--so I covered it with some carrots :) 

This was for the best--as it is my firm belief that carrot cakes should always have little piped carrots on them.
Socially distanced cake
Hang on, kiddo! Just a couple more pictures!

Sometimes (especially when it is a lightly colored cake) I like to trim off the caramelized edges to make the slices look prettier when cut. This cake was a beautiful, warm brown from the 1/4 cup of strong black tea. The edges were delightfully crispy and caramel-ly, so I'm glad that I left the cake as it was. The occasional slight crunch from a baked edge was one of my favorite parts of eating this cake.

The recipe called for English breakfast tea, but I didn't have any.  I did have some lovely black tea from an Indian grocery that I use for making actual chai, so I used that instead. I was a little disappointed to not be able to taste the tea in the sponge, but I still really enjoyed it.  I'd like to play around with infusing tea into butter and then using it in the cream cheese frosting--but I'll leave that to a time when I wouldn't feel so wasteful if it turned out awful.

I hope you all are doing well and hanging in there! Like many of you, I am both tired and extremely thankful for the beauty in my life and in the world. If you are looking for a new spin on a classic, or just need to use up a bag of carrots, give this Masala Chai Carrot Cake a try!

Masala Chai Carrot Cake

from The New Way To Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi

2 bags of English Breakfast tea
1/4 cup boiling water
2 3/4 c flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 1/4 c brown sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 c vegetable oil
3 c grated carrots (grated on the smallest holes of the grater)

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2/3 c softened butter
1 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 cream cheese

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8" cake pans with parchment rounds and grease the sides.

2. Steep the tea bags with 1/4 cup boiling water for 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags.  

3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices together.  In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs and tea until combined.  Add the oil and stir again.  Add the grated carrots to the wet ingredients, then fold in the flour mixture--mixing until just combined.  Make sure there is no unincorporated flour lurking at the bottom of the bowl.

4. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake for 35-40 minutes--or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.  Allow to cool in the pans, then turn out on to a wire rack.

5. Make the frosting by beating the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until it is smooth and pale (3-5 minutes). Add the cream cheese, and beat together until combined. Frost as desired. (The cookbook shows the cake with a thick layer in the center and top, and none on the sides.  I semi-iced the whole thing.  You do you, Boo.)

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is The New Way To Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes! Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the thumbnail pictures below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details. The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.
It is a new year and a new book - The New Way To Cake - and our choices for April 2020 were ~ Masala-Chai Carrot Cake
Lemon, Ricotta and Thyme Mini-Loaves 


  1. What an absolutely gorgeous cake. Decorated so beautifully. Stay safe.

  2. You went above and beyond with your cake! It's so beautiful!!

  3. This was an awesome Carrot Cake. I actually didn't realize there was pepper in it.

  4. I omitted the black pepper - I didn't think it would be too strong, but I also have a super sleuth taster in my house and was afraid it would turn her off completely! I'm glad your little approved!

  5. Beautiful decor on the cake! At first glance it reminded me of a henna design. Great choice, great cake!

  6. Your cake is absolutely stunning! I agree with Sandra that it looks like henna and perfectly fitting for this cake.

  7. Loving those silver and gold malted milk balls. Yours wins for best of show!!!


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