If you are a fan of chai, you will absolutely love this cake. Here I am using 'chai' in the way that it is commonly used by Westerners. 'Chai' is often used to refer to the blend of cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger (and/or other combinations) spices to create an aromatic blend of warm spices we know as 'chai' spice. In actuality, 'chai' means tea in Hindi. So as you have probably heard, saying 'chai tea' literally translates to 'tea tea.' What we commonly refer to as 'chai tea' is actually named 'masala chai.' Now that the actual meaning of the word 'chai' has been explained, back to the cake. If you love warm spices, this cake is for you! The cake itself gets the subtle flavour of masala chai from tea bags. The main spice swirl in the cake flavours the entire loaf tremendously because of the delicious mix of spices and dark brown sugar that is layered between cake batter. It is a perfect dessert, coffee or tea cake, and I promise you won't be able to stop eating it. If you are making this for one or two people and want to keep it fresh for a while, I highly suggest you slice it when it is cool, wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it. Take a slice out of the freezer whenever you want a fresh slice of this masala chai quick bread. Try this today because you will absolutely not regret it.
Masala Chai Swirl Cake 14 Steps
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a loaf tin by greasing with a bit of butter, oil or use non-stick spray.
In a bowl, prepare your filling by mixing all of your spices together with your dark brown sugar and set aside. If you can, freshly grind all or some of your spices, I suggest you do for even more outstanding flavour! If you are missing any of the spices above, just omit but spices you have to use to make this cake tasty are cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. If you are missing a spice, replace with the same quantity of cinnamon.
Heat up your whole milk in the microwave until very hot but make sure it does not begin to boil or foam up in the microwave. Place your 2 masala chai bags in the heated milk and set aside to steep.
In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, salt and set aside.
In another bowl mix together dark brown sugar and oil. Add your egg and mix well.
Add your vanilla extract and mix well. Next add your Greek yogurt and mix well.
Squeeze out the tea bags in your steamed milk thoroughly so your milk turns a light-medium brown colour.
Finally add your dry ingredients and your steeped milk to oil, sugar, egg and spice mixture and mix batter until all ingredients are incorporated but do not over mix.
Place half of the batter in a prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle all of your dark brown sugar and spice mixture on top but make sure to reserve about 2 tablespoons of spiced sugar, yes it will seem like a lot of sugar in the middle but you want the sugar layer to be visible in your loaf.
Top with the other half of your batter and spread to cover the thick dark brown sugar layer as best as possible. Sprinkle the remaining saved 2 tablespoons of spiced sugar on top of your cake.
Take a tooth pick or chopsticks and create a few swirls on top of your batter. Do not create too many swirls or you will not see a distinct sugar layer when you bake your loaf.
Bake in your preheated oven at 350°F for 50 minutes to 1 hour until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Remember to check after about 50 minutes to ensure your cake does not burn.
In the meantime, make your vanilla icing by mixing icing sugar, whipping cream and vanilla extract together in a bowl and whisking until there are no lumps.
When the cake comes out let cool until almost room temperature and drizzle your vanilla icing over top. Slice and enjoy this delicious masala chai cake!