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Chocolate Chai Pound Cake with Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve been seeing chocolate chai everywhere these days. It started at Starbucks, with their Chocolate Chai Latte, and then it started popping up all over the blogosphere. Christina’s Chocolate Chai Donuts, for example. This Chocolate Chai Pound Cake grew out of my obsession with all those beautiful spices, and tea.

Anyone who knows me knows that since living in England, I’m obsessed with a perfect cup of tea. Usually I go for a strong every day tea, or Earl Grey, but I’ll certainly admit that a milky chai has its place. Add chocolate? I’m sooooo there.

And as much as I love tea? The Brit is even more obsessed. He loves chai in all its many forms. When this Chocolate Chai Pound Cake emerged from the oven, he could barely contain his excitement. Then I covered it in his favorite kind of frosting, cream cheese frosting filled with all the spices you’d find in chai. As he will tell you, this cake is diet breaker worthy.

James preferred his slices directly out of the refrigerator, and the cake is so dense that I’ll tell you, even 5 days later, it was moist and flavorful, and full of happiness. Serve a slice alongside your favorite brand of chai and you’ve got one excellent afternoon pick-me-up.

I baked my cake in a pullman loaf pan to get a perfectly flat, rectangular cake. It’s not necessary though. Bake it in any shape you like. Even cupcakes, though I don’t know how many it would make.

I also think this cake would be a holiday potluck superstar. The flavors are just different enough from the usual holiday table flavor to make people take notice, while still highlighting all the toasty favorite spices of the season. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chai Pound Cake with Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Chai Pound Cake with Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 1 8" loaf cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1/2 cup brewed Chai
  • 2 oz baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

For the Frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
  • half and half or heavy cream if needed

Instructions

For the Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8" bread pan with baking spray, or butter and flour it.
Brew tea until nice and strong, about 5 minutes.
In a microwave, melt 2 ounces unsweetened or bittersweet baking chocolate. I used Ghirardelli's new Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers. Heat for 30 seconds in a small bowl, then stir. Heat for an additional 30 seconds if needed.
Combine tea, chocolate, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
Add softened butter and mix again, then the eggs, one at a time. Beat on medium high speed until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla extract and sour cream and mix again until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, combine all purpose flour, baking soda, and kosher salt. Whisk together to distribute and aerate.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing on low speed. Scrap the sides of the bowl often, and mix until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting

While the cake cools, combine cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium or high speed until well combined.
Add powdered sugar and spices, and beat again until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla extract and beat again.
If needed to reach desired consistency, add half and half or heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time. Mix after each addition until desired texture is reached.
Frost cake when it is completely cool, then allow cake to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This dense cake is good for up to 5 days.

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Mandy W.

Monday 16th of December 2013

What perfect timing! I have a friend that loves Chai, and I was planning on sending her a little Christmas treat. Thanks!

Amber

Monday 16th of December 2013

Mandy, so happy to oblige! I hope she loves it.

Aimee Wimbush-Bourque

Monday 16th of December 2013

My Monday needs a slice of this, preferably with another coffee.

Amber

Monday 16th of December 2013

Wish I could bring one over, friend.

Casey@Good. Food. Stories.

Monday 16th of December 2013

I don't know where my cravings come from, but right now I want to take that frosting and eat it straight from the bowl. All the spices!!

Amber

Monday 16th of December 2013

Perfectly acceptable breakfast for a 30-something-year-old. Perfectly.

Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

Monday 16th of December 2013

I don't think I've ever even tried chocolate chai but I think I need to change that, in cake form! This looks so yummy.

Amber

Monday 16th of December 2013

Stephanie, I was a little dubious at first. I'm verrrrry particular about what gets mixed in with my chocolate - for example, I refuse to allow pumpkin or orange and chocolate to date. But I really really enjoyed this cake. Normally I don't take more than one or two bites of a recipe like this before handing it off to James to take to work - but I had 2 slices of this cake before it went out the door!

aimee @ shugarysweets

Monday 16th of December 2013

I drink boat loads of coffee. But every night the hubs and I have a cup of tea. I LOVE chai. This pound cake would go well with my nightly tea, yes??? Gorgeous photo too!

Amber

Monday 16th of December 2013

This would go PERFECTLY with your nightly tea, Aimee! And thanks - I'm quite pleased with these ones (for a change!).