Some recipes look intimidating because they’re long. Sometimes, recipes are long because they are very complex and involve a lot of totally different elements. Sometimes, they’re long because the involve a lot of the same elements. Good spice cakes are like this because they often have a half-dozen more ingredients than a plainer version of the same cake. Luckily for those of us who like spice cakes, that long ingredient list is deceptive and it is still very easy to put a spice cake together.
This cake is infused with some of the flavors that are found in chai tea. I love using these spices in cakes and desserts because it’s such a great blend and makes for a finished product with a great depth of flavor. The cake includes cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and black pepper, as well as vanilla and almond extracts. I mixed in some finely chopped candied ginger to spice things up even further. Aside from the spices, this recipe uses both butter and buttermilk and has a hint of buttery flavor and a tight, tender crumb.
The cake has a sturdy feel to it, which I like because it gives the impression that you can simply cut off a big chunk and take it with you, eating it straight out of a napkin or paper towel without having to fuss with a fork and plate. That said, this cake has such a great variety of spices to it that it goes very well with a drizzle of pastry cream or whipped cream, and can be turned into an elegant plated dessert if you slice it thinly. If you’re going for the more casual version, simply sprinkle your cake with some cinnamon sugar before serving.
Chai Spiced Bundt Cake with Candied Ginger
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger
cinnamon and powdered sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and all spices.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla and almond extracts. Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Add in another 1/3 of the flour mixing, the remaining buttermilk and then the last of the flour. Mix only until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Fold in candied ginger to distribute.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and powdered sugar before serving.