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Spicy Chai Caramel Cake

A delicious caramel cake infused with aromatic chai spices and dulche de leche swiss meringue buttercream.


  • 2 eggs, lighly beaten
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup boiling water with 4 chai tea bags Let tea steep for ten minutes. Remove bags.
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 1/2 cups brown (or coconut) sugar You can use castor sugar if desired
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup dulche de leche caramel * Feel free to use store bought caramel. I recommend Bonne maman.


  1. Preheat oven to 180C

  2. Spray and line 3 round 20cm cake tins. (This recipe can also make 18 cupcakes or you could put the mix into two tins, they will just be a bit higher/fuller.)

  3. In a medium bowl using a hand whisk, mix eggs, oil and sour cream.

  4. Add chai tea and caramel. Mix until well combined.

  5. In a separate bowl, sift flour, bicarb soda, baking powder and spices. Add sugar. Whisk well.

  6. Carefully pour wet mix into dry mix and whisk until well combined.

  7. Divide cake mix evenly between 3 cake tins. Bake for 25 minutes, then check every 5 minutes after that until cakes are brown, firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean.

  8. When cakes are cooked, leave on a wire rack to cool. Remove from tins. When completely cool, wrap individually in plastic wrap and refridgerate ideally overnight. The cakes are more stable, easier to put together and ice when they are a day old and cold.

  9. Use a serrated bread knife to level each cake. Apply a generous amount of frosting in between each layer. Flip the top layer upside down for a neater finish. Give the cake a crumb coat, which is basically a thin layer of buttercream to seal in the crumbs. Chill for half an hour. Finish frosting and use an open star tip for some sexy swirls around the top if you want. Enjoy! This cake is so delicious with a generous amount of spice. It will keep well at room temp for about 5 days.

Dulche de leche caramel

  1. Take the wrapper off a can (or two) of condensed milk. Fill a large pot with water, covering the can well. You may need to top it up to ensure complete coverage. Simmer for 3 hours. Use tongs to take the can out. Let it cool. Open the can and marvel at the magic!!

Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Put 6 (room temp) egg whites into an electric mixer bowl.

  2. Add 1 1/4 cups castor sugar. Stir until combined.

  3. Place mixing bowl over a small saucepan with 1 inch of simmering water, like a double boiler. Briskly hand whisk sugar and egg for about 20 seconds. Leave for about 4 - 5 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved. Rub mixture between your fingers and when you can't feel the sugar it is done. Switch bowl to electric mixer. Beat on high for about 5 minutes or until meringue like with stiff peaks.

  4. Chop 150g butter. Put mixer onto lowest speed. Add pieces one at a time until each is dissolved. Mixture will look soupy, then lumpy like scrambled eggs, before turning silky smooth. This may take about ten minutes, so be patient.

  5. When buttercream is ready, add 1/2 to 3/4 cups dulche de leche caramel, depending on your preference. If you ask me, go for the max caramel flavour!