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Chai White Chocolate Raspberry Cake – tender chai flavored cake layers with a silky smooth white chocolate buttercream and fresh raspberries.
I’ve been wanting to make a chai flavored cake for a while now. I’ve always loved chai spices and live for winters full of homemade chai steamers. Have you ever made one? It’s so easy! Use some of the chai seasoning from this recipe and boil some milk. Add your seasonings, stir with a frother, and enjoy! The flavors are so warm and flavorful. What’s not to love?
For my chai cake layers, I started with my Eggnog Cake as a base for the layers. It has a similar spice cake flavor and texture that I wanted with my chai cake. I switched out the brown sugar for all white sugar to make it a little lighter in texture. I also added a few more seasonings to get the chai flavor. And obviously, I switched out the eggnog for buttermilk.
White Chocolate Buttercream
As I thought about a frosting pairing for the chai cake, I couldn’t stop thinking about white chocolate. It just sounded like a Starbucks drink to me – chai white chocolate latte… don’t you think? And if Starbucks would make the combination for one of their drinks, no doubt it will make a great cake combination.
I’ve used my white chocolate buttercream recipe for several years now, but there’s times where I (and I know some of you) have struggled to get the white chocolate incorporated into the buttercream without the chocolate hardening. As I was talking about this the other day on Instagram, my friend Annie had one of the best suggestions! She recommended heating the cream and the white chocolate to make a ganache (like we do with our drips), and then adding it to the buttercream. Genius! It worked like a charm and I’ll never make my white chocolate buttercream another way!
Tip: when you’re making the ganache for the buttercream, first heat your cream in a microwave safe bowl, without the white chocolate. You’ll then pour the cream over the white chocolate and stir to combine. If you try to heat your cream and the white chocolate at the same time, you’ll likely see that your chocolate seizes. White chocolate is super temperamental, so we have to be careful how we heat it.
I also think you’ll love the fresh raspberries as an added element of texture and flavor in the cake. And don’t you think the color is perfect for the holidays?
- Remember to use room temperature ingredients in your cake batter. Room temperature wet ingredients are better absorbed by the dry ingredients, which helps your cake to rise more evenly.
- Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl before adding them to the wet ingredients. You want the seasonings and leavening agents well blended so you don’t have to try mixing them too much in the batter. Over mixing your batter will cause your cakes to sink in the oven and taste dense.
- Watch your bake time. If your cakes are coming out dry, you’re likely over baking them. All of our ovens are different and will bake differently. When you insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, it should come out with a few moist crumbs on it.
Chai White Chocolate Raspberry Cake
Chai flavored cake layers with a silky smooth white chocolate buttercream and fresh raspberries
For the Cake
- 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
- 1 tbsp (12 g) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp (2.8 g) salt
- 1/2 tsp (4 g) cardamon
- 1/2 tsp (1.5 g) ground cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp (4 g) ground ginger
- 1 tsp (2.64 g) cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp (2.8 g) all-spice
- 1/8 tsp (.6 g) black pepper
- 1/8 tsp (.6 g) nutmeg
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 3 egg yolks room temperature
- 1 tsp (4.2 g) vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups (300 g) buttermilk room temperature
For the Buttercream
- 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly cold
- 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
- 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy whipping cream
- 6 ounces (112.5 g) white chocolate chips I prefer Guittard White Cookie Drops
- 1 tsp (4.2 g) vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.
Filling and Garnish
- 2 cups (240 g) fresh raspberries
For the Cake
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combined the cake flour, baking powder, salt and all of the seasonings. Whisk to combine the ingredients evenly. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again for another minute.
- With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time. Make sure to mix well between each addition. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
- With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Stir for about 20 seconds and then add 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat the additions with another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the second half of the buttermilk and then the final 1/3 of the flour mixture. It's important to alternate adding these ingredients so they mix evenly, which will help your cake to rise more evenly. Only mix until the ingredients are incorporated. Over mixing your batter will cause it to be dense and/or sink in the oven.
- Pour about 16 ounces of batter into each of the three 6-inch cake pans. Bake the cake layers on the middle rack in your oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Watch this cake closely at the end. Over baking your cakes will cause them to taste dry. When you insert a toothpick in the center of this cake, it should come out with a few moist crumbs on it.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, before inverting them onto cooling racks to cool completely. Once cooled completely, you can level the cakes and then wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them until you're ready to stack and decorate the cake.
For the Buttercream
- Heat your cream in a microwave safe bowl for about 1 minute. Pour the cream over the white chocolate chips and stir until all of the chips are melted. Set aside.
- In the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for a couple minutes on its own. The butter will get lighter in color and texture.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar until combined. Add the vanilla and salt.
- With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add the cream and white chocolate mixture. Once added, turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for about 3 minutes. The frosting should be silky smooth.
- Place your first cake layer, top side up, on a cake board or cake plate. Cover the cake layer with about 3/4 cup buttercream and spread evenly, making sure to get eye level with the cake to ensure it's even.
- Place your raspberries on the buttercream and press into place with your fingers.
- Follow the above steps for the second cake layer, buttercream and raspberries.
- Place the final cake layer, top side down, on the raspberries and buttercream. Apply a thin coat of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze your cake for about 10 to 15 minutes to set the crumb coat and lock in your crumbs.
- After the crumb coat is set, use the remaining frosting to decorate your cake. Garnish with the remaining fresh raspberries and serve the cake at room temperature.