Chai Apple Cider Cake with Apple Cider Frosting

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Apples and spices are the epitome of wintery comfort food and this chai apple cider cake will give you a nice alternative from all of that apple pie. Chai is the equally addictive yet lesser celebrated cousin of pumpkin spice and this cake proves it a worthy contender. The chai and cider flavors come together to create a truly decadent holiday mouth party. This cake will take the cake at all of your Christmas parties, as it pairs so naturally with all of your Christmasy drinks and libations. 

The chai tea adds a subtle yet perceivable twist that fits right in with the cinnamon apple flavor. For the chai cider marriage, I simply warmed some apple cider and steeped a couple of bags of vanilla chai tea in it. 

I have an aesthetic crush on the rustic quality of naked cakes, so I opted to leave it undressed since this cake’s flavors were already so rich. I only frosted the centers with a delicious and perfectly complementary apple cider frosting, which was more than enough to get the point across, and then garnished the top with powdered sugar and cranberries. I thought it functioned heavenly without competing with gooey frosting but for those who prefer to lay it on thick, I have supplied the full frosting recipe, which will be enough to entirely cover the cake. 

If you are joining me on the naked cake bandwagon, then half the frosting recipe. Happy baking!


Chai Apple Cider Cake
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
For 3 layer Cake (8 in pans)
  1. ¾ cup unsalted butter
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup brown sugar
  4. 5 eggs
  5. 4.5 cup all purpose flour
  6. 2 tsp baking powder
  7. ¾ tsp salt
  8. 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  9. ½ tsp nutmeg
  10. ¼ tsp cloves
  11. 1 tsp all spice
  12. 2 bags of chai tea
  13. 1 ½ cup chai steeped in apple cider
Apple Cider Frosting
  1. 8 cup powdered sugar
  2. ¾ cup butter
  3. ½ cup apple cider
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon
  5. Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 3 8 inch cake pans with butter and cut parchment paper in 8 inch circles to fit to bottom of pan. Lightly coat the parchment paper with butter and set to side.
  2. Cream together butter until smooth and then add the sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
  3. Heat up apple cider and brew a couple of bags tea in it.
  4. In another bowl, sift flour, spices, salt and baking powder. Add this to the butter mixture and then drizzle chai apple cider slowly, with the mixer running on low. Mix until just combined.
  5. Pour batter evenly into the three pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Then move cakes to racks to cool.
  6. For the frosting, combine all ingredients- sugar, butter, cider, cinnamon and salt into a bowl and mix together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  7. Make sure cakes are completely cool before adding frosting.
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