Fragrant chai spice infuses this deeply flavored vegan chocolate spice cake recipe that is easy to make as cupcakes or a layer cake - delicious with or without frosting! And link for gingerbread men sprinkles is below!
Chocolate Spice Cake Recipe
This chai chocolate spice cake recipe is fragrant and full of flavor, as well as being light and chocolatey. The recipe is versatile, perfect for 12 cupcakes, or a 2-layer cake or even a sheet cake. And the frosting includes chai tea! All made with a homemade chai spice mix I provide within the recipe.
When to Serve Chai Chocolate Spice Cake?
Serve this cake to people who love spicy food and deep chocolate flavors. So it's perfect for birthdays, holidays, dinner parties, and just for yourself.
All About Chai Spices and Chai Tea
Chai tea is a flavorful spicy tea popular in India. Technically the term "chai" means tea in Hindi and many other Indian languages. And actually the term chai is translated to mean just plain tea in many other countries, including Russia.
It's only in the USA that the term chai means a spice form of tea only. To the rest of the world, when we say "I'll have a chai tea", they hear "I'll have a tea tea". Haha.
Regardless of what you call it, it's delicious, fragrant and creamy. Here is how to make your own chai spice.
How to Mix Homemade Chai Spices
Basically mix up ground spices of cardamom, which is the strongest flavor in the mix, as well as ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, and fennel seeds. That is a traditional chai mix.
You can customize it by adding more cinnamon to sweeten it, more ginger to add more spark, and even allspice, nutmeg and cloves for a more pumpkin spice or gingerbread spice flavor in your cake.
Actually I have a homemade holiday spice recipe blog post here in which I provide recipes to make all three of these mixes: Chai, pumpkin pie spice and gingerbread. You might want to check it out if you are interested in mixing your own spices.
When to Serve Chocolate Spice Cake?
This recipe is perfect for your holiday dessert line up, full of fall and holiday spices.
You can frost it with the chai frosting recipe I provided to match the spicy power of the dessert, or you can calm it down with a sweet vanilla frosting. You can also just dust the cake or cupcakes with cacao powder for an elegant tea cake taste.
How to Make a Chocolate Spice Cake
This recipe is similar to a traditional vegan or dairy-free cake recipe, with the simple addition of chai spices.
So the cake is basically flour, cacao powder, olive oil and apple sauce among other common ingredients.
The chai spice is the most unusual ingredient in the recipe.
You can buy chai spice or you can just mix five common spices together to make your own chai spice mix to use in this recipe and to make tea with.
To make the chocolate spice cake, simply mix up the batter, spoon into a cupcake tin or cake pans, bake, cook and frost. I also made a vanilla chai tea frosting that is almost like a glaze but you can use your favorite.
How to Change Recipe to Just Spice Cake
Chai spice is strong in flavor. If you want to calm it down, leave off the cardamom spice and reduce the amount of spice in general.
Are you interested in more Ginger recipes? Ginger is a great detoxer, as well as an antiseptic. Try these recipes that depend on ginger:
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Chocolate Spice Cake Recipe
Homemade Chai Spice Mix
- 2 tsp cardamom
- 5 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp fennel
- 1 tsp black pepper
Vegan Vanilla Chai Icing (spreadable, not pipable)
- 3 cups organic powdered sugar
- ½ cup vegan butter softened (1 stick)
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tbsp chai tea (Chai tea recipe below)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Make chai spice mix, and a cup of chai tea and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F.Line a 12-cupcake pan with paper liners. If making a layer cake, grease and dust with cacao powder the inside of two 9-inch round pans.
Make chai tea
- Mix up the chai spice tea mix and store in a dry glass jar. Spoon 2 tbsp of the spice mix into 1 cup of water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Strain the liquid and add a black tea teabag to the liquid, adding more water if it is less than ¾ cup. Let teabag steep for 5 minutes. Store tea in refrigerator for this recipe or to drink.
Mix the batter
- In a large mixing bowl, stir flour, sugar, cacao powder, 1 tbsp chai spice mix, baking soda, and salt.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, add applesauce, vegetable oil, vanilla, water and ACV, mix until batter is smooth. I actually have mixed the wet ingredients in the blender.
- Add the wet to the dry and blend until smooth.
- Spoon batter into the cupcake cups, filling each ¾ full. Or fill the cake pans.
- Bake in the oven until the cupcakes test clean, about 15-20 minutes. If baking a cake, bake about 25 minutes. Cool pans 15 minutes before removing baked goods.
To make the chai frosting:
- First bring milk to a near-boil, and then steep chai tea bags in it for 10 minutes.
- Put the powdered sugar in a blender or processor, add in the softened butter, vanilla, and add in milk a tbsp at a time (a bit more or less) until you achieve the creamy texture you want.
- Blend again until creamy. To keep this frosting from hardening as it cools, I soaked a paper towel in water and covered the bowl completely until I’m ready to frost it.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. On this blog you'll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.