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Gingerbread? Chocolate? Or Spice? Cake to Enjoy this Holiday

Chocolate Chai Cake on cake tray
Photo caption and photographer credit: Christy Mayer Real Estate

Whenever this cake is served, people savor the flavor wondering…is it a gingerbread cake? Chocolate cake? Or a spice cake, maybe? The chocolate is not overbearing, and the flavor is unique.  Semi-sweet chocolate baking squares are used for the chocolate flavor.  A chai mix is added to the batter for the spice flavor.  Sour cream keeps the cake moist if gluten-free flour is used, and few will realize that you have substituted a gluten-free flour blend! A tube pan is the preferred pan of choice for this chocolate chai cake.  Although a bundt pan is a type of tube pan and can be used for this recipe, a tube pan keeps the cake light and airy.  Bundt cake pans usually have angled sides which are decorated or sculpted.  A tube pan is a simpler straight-sided pan that’s uncoated (and ungreased) so that the batter can cling to the sides of the pan as it expands, helping it rise tall. The texture of the cake was brought to my attention when someone commented on how light and airy the cake was when I baked it in my tubular ‘flan’ pan. Feel free to experiment with the type of pan and its resulting texture!  Enjoy!

Chocolate Chai Cake

Servings 12

Chocolate mixture:

  • 1 cup water
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate baking bar/square

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream (add to wet ingredient mixture, alternately with dry ingredient mixture)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour (gluten free optional, I use Cup4Cup gluten free flour blend)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of chai mix (no caffeine, sugar, or milk powder) or 1/3 cup chai tea latte mix
  • Chai mix (no caffeine, sugar, or milk powder) recipe:
    • 4 Tablespoons cinnamon
    • 3 Tablespoons ground ginger
    • 4 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
    • 1 Tablespoons ground black pepper (reduce by at least 1/2 for less spice)
    • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 3/4 teaspoon cloves


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon of chai mix (no sugar or milk powder) or 1 Tablespoon instant chai tea latte mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 teaspoons milk


  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350F. Grease a tube or bundt pan. A tube pan is preferred to keep the cake light and airy, not dense.
  2. In the microwave melt chocolate with water and stir until smooth. Set the chocolate mixture aside to cool slightly.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients as follows. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla, then chocolate mixture.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternating with sour cream. Mix by hand with a spoon until fully combined.  If using gluten-free flour, do NOT over-mix, just mix until combined.
  6. Bake until cake feels firm to touch and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 – 50 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes.  Run a thin knife along the edge of the cake to loosen.  Remove cake from pan and let cool on rack, about 1 hour.
  7. Combine all glaze ingredients exceptmilk in bowl. Beat at medium speed, adding enough milk for desired spreading consistency. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake. Bon Appetit!

This recipe has been adapted from a recipe by https://www.landolakes.com/recipes/