For the Chai Cake
2 cups, minus 2 tbsp, plus 1/2 cup
vanilla almond milk *** see instructions
apple cider vinegar
chai tea bags, I used Tazo decaf
flour, I used half whole wheat, half all purpose white flour
2 1/2 Teaspoons
1 1/2 Cup
sugar, processed until fine. I used a coffee/spice grinder
organic canola oil
vanilla extract or paste
For the Frosting
vegan cream cheese, like tofutti or Trader Joe's brand
vegan butter, softened, like Earth Balance, sitcks are preferred
For the cake: start by pre-heating the oven to 350f. Then pull out a large bowl and a small sauce pan. Put 2 cups of vanilla almond milk in the bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons and put it in the sauce pan. Then add the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk in the sauce pan.
Add the apple cider vinegar to the large bowl, Gently stir a few times and let sit for 5 minutes to activate.
meanwhile, put the small sauce pan over low heat and add the 2 tea bags. Heat up milk but make sure it doesnt come to a boil, you are looking for steam to come off the milk. Once it reaches that point, turn off the heat, cover and let steep for up to 20 minutes.
In another medium mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients and shift to combine well. If you do not have a shifter, use a whisk or fork to remove the clumps.
Add the oil, and the extracts into the bowl with the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine. Then add in the flour mixture in 1/2 cup intervals, mixing as you go. You want this to be as smooth as possible.
Once it is combined, remove the sauce pan from the stove and pour the contents into the mixing bowl. Then cut (or rip) the tea bags open and pour the contents right into the batter. trust me- do this, so goood!
Then transfer your batter into your cake pan. I used 5 small cake pans from wilton (link above in body of post to where you can purchase the same ones I used). I put 3/4 cup batter in each cake pan and it worked out almost perfectly.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
If you are using two 9 inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, divide the batter up evenly and cook for 30-35 minutes.
For the frosting
After the cream cheese and butter has had some time to soften combine them in a bowl and cream them together with a hand mixer or fork. Add in the spices, mix again and then a 1/2 cup at a time add in the powdered sugar until it reaches a thick consistency and the fork or whisk leaves trails when mixing.
Put this in the fridge until cakes are ready.
There are several formulas out there to assemble the perfect layer cake but this is the method that has worked well for me.
Once the cakes are done baking, remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, remove cakes from the pans and transfer to a wire a rack to cool further. After about another 10 miuntes, move the cakes to the freezer and let freeze for 1 hour or so.
Then cut off the rounded portion from the top of the cake (this is like the muffin top of a muffin). You want to have your cakes be completely flat on top so when you layer the cakes it does not make a peak at the top.
Its important for your layers to all be the same height so if necessary use a ruler to measure each one and determine how much needs to be cut off of each. You can of course eye ball this as well. Use a serrated knife to remove the cake tops. Take your time during this step.
Once they are all flat, start layering!
Add about 1/4-1/2 cup of frosting in between each layer of cake, and frost all the sides and top.
I decorated mine with brown sugar and cinnamon!