Masala Chai Walnut Cake
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
An exotically spiced masala chai cake, covered in an equally exotically spiced buttercream icing. Perfect served with a warming cup of hot masala chai.
Course: Cake
Cuisine: Baking
Servings: 12
Author: Gillian Thompson
For the Cake:
  • 200 g Self Raising flour
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g golden caster sugar
  • 100 g lightly roasted walnuts - I think this would work great with pecans too 50g for the cake and 50g for decorating
  • 3 large eggs weight 200g
  • 2 tbsp masala chai spice mix
  • pinch of pink salt
  • 2 tbsp of milk or masala chai - see link here
The Masala Chai Spice Mix:
  • 2 tbsp loose black tea leaves - Darjeeling or Assam
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns optional
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves optional
  • 1/4 tsp ground star anise optional
For the syrup:
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • 1/4 tsp masala chai spice mix
For the Frosting:
  • 300 g Icing sugar
  • 185 g softened butter or half butter half cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp masala chai spice mix
  • Remaining roasted walnuts to decorate
For The Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350f).
  2. Grease and line 5 x 6" cake tins (I used wilton pans). Otherwise you can use two 8" sandwich tins.
  3. Roast the100g of walnuts - set your timer for 10m so you don't forget about them!
  4. When roasted let cool.
  5. Process the walnuts until you have fine breadcrumbs.
  6. In a medium sized bowl combine flour, ground walnuts, masala chai spice mix and salt.
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the room temperature softened butter with the sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
  8. On a medium speed add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add a tablespoon of flour mixture if the cake mix looks like it will curdle.
  9. Once the eggs are all incorporated add the flour, walnuts and chai spice mixture, a third at a time and mix gently until all well incorporated.
  10. On lowest speed add the flour mixture and combine.
  11. At this stage, if using masala chai tea to add flavour, add it down the funnel now, with the motor still running. This will loosen the cake mixture. You should obtain a soft dropping consistency, add more masala chai or milk if needed to obtain desired consistency.
  12. Divide the cake mixture between your pans, the five tins and bake in the oven for 17-20 minutes. Or if using two 8" tins then 25-30mins. Check that the sponge has risen and feels springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.
  13. Let the cakes cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
  14. Once the cakes are cold you can wrap in cling film and let rest overnight at room temperature before icing.
For the Masala Chai Syrup:
  1. Place the water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Let the sugar dissolve completely and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes. Do not stir the mixture whilst it's boiling otherwise the syrup will crystallise. Remove from the heat and let cool. When cold place into a jar until you are ready to use.
For the Buttercream filling:
  1. Add the softened butter to the food processor and beat for a couple of minutes before gradually mixing in the sieved icing sugar.
  2. Add the masala chai spice mix and continue beating until the buttercream has increased in volume and is very pale and fluffy.
  3. Place one cake half upper side down on a cake stand, brush with the masala chai syrup, then sandwich the cakes together using half the buttercream. Place other half of cake on top and brush with syrup and decorate with the remaining buttercream and walnut pieces, which you can either leave whole and place strategically over the top, or bash them up slightly and scatter all over the top of the cake.
Recipe Notes

1.Roast the walnuts on a baking sheet in the oven set to 200C for about 10 minutes. Set the timer or you may just forget all about them and get burnt nuts!

2. Make masala tea and use to replace the milk in the recipe.

3. You can grind your tea leaves into the flour sugar along with the walnuts if you don't want to see the black tea leaves in the cake mixture.