Chai Spice Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

4.8 from 11 reviews


for the cake

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk

for the frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons candied ginger
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • edible gold leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line three 6-inch cake pans* with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating between additions. Continue to beat until batter forms a pale yellow color. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  5. Alternate folding in the flour mixture and the buttermilk, mixing only until combined.
  6. Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  7. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt and whip to combine, about 1 minute more.
  8. Place the first cake on a plate, then top with a large dollop of frosting. Layer the second and third layers, frosting in between each. Finish with frosting the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting. I used a cake scraper to give my cake that unfinished, naked look! 
  9. Last, top your cake with garnishes. I used blackberries, chopped pistachios, candied ginger, cinnamon sticks, black sesame seeds, and edible gold leaves!


*you can also use two 8-inch cake pans.