Chai-Spiced Honey Cake (Pareve)

Chai-Spiced Honey Cake. © Miri Rotkovitz
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 55 mins
  • Yield: Serves 12-14
Ratings (6)

Moist and fragrantly spiced with cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg, this dairy-free honey cake is an intriguing spin on a traditional Rosh Hashana dessert. Brewed chai tea replaces the coffee found in most honey cake recipes, and adds depth without bitterness. 

Tips: Make sure your tea is cooled to room temperature before adding it to the wet ingredients, or else you'll run the risk of curdling the eggs. 

To minimize sticking, measure the honey in the same measuring cup you used for the oil -- it will be much easier to pour into the batter! 

Baking this batter in a Bundt pan makes for a pretty presentation, but it can be tricky to unmold. If you opt for a Bundt pan, be sure to grease it well (a pastry brush is helpful for getting into the crevices of the pan). 

A 2-piece tube pan -- especially one with a non-stick coating -- is a more foolproof option for keeping the cake intact. 

What You'll Need

  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 1 1/4 cups (295 ml) water
  • 3 1/2 cups (440 g) all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2  tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (145 g) sugar
  • 1 cup neutral oil (235 ml), such as grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 cup (340 g) honey
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

How to Make It

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C). Grease a tube pan or Bundt pan and set aside. Place the teabags in a heatproof bowl or mug. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan, and pour over the teabags. Allow to steep for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove the teabags, squeezing gently to extract additional flavor. Set aside to cool. (You can place the tea in the refrigerator to speed the cooling process.)

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg. Set aside. 

3. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until lemon-colored. Whisk in the oil, honey, brewed chai tea, and vanilla extract. Scrape in the vanilla bean seeds and whisk until they are well-distributed. 

4. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry in 4 additions, whisking until the the ingredients are well mixed before each new addition. Continue to whisk just until the batter is smooth and lump-free. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown, springs back to the touch, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  

5. Allow the cake to cool in its pan on a rack for 20 to 30 minutes. Run an offset spatula or thin, sharp knife between the cake and the pan to loosen before unmolding. Transfer carefully to a cake plate. If desired, mix the confectioners' sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl, place in a fine mesh strainer, and sprinkle over the cake. Leftovers may be stored, well-wrapped in foil, for up to a week at room temperature, or for 3 months in the freezer. Enjoy!