Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting on Chai Tea Cake

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Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting on Chai Tea Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

  2. Begin cake by combining water, 3 tea bags, ginger root, cardamom pods, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon cloves in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.

  3. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg; mix well.

  4. Mix flour, baking soda, cardamom, and salt with remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon cloves in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, one half at a time; stir to combine. Strain hot tea and slowly pour into the batter and stir until smooth; batter will be thin. Pour into the prepared cake pans.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a table knife around the edges to loosen. Invert carefully onto a serving plate or cooling rack. Let cool, about 30 minutes.

  6. While the cakes are cooling, combine water, sugar, and tea bags for simple syrup in a small pot over medium-high heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

  7. Brush simple syrup over cooled and leveled cakes until the majority of the cake has absorbed the syrup. Do not oversoak the cakes; you want enough syrup to soak in and keep cakes moist and flavorful without flooding them. Place cakes in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until ready to decorate.

  8. Combine cream cheese, butter, and ginger for frosting in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add sugar and blend until smooth. Frost cake.

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Cook’s Notes:

I like to use a strong British tea blend as I find it makes the cake more aromatic and truer to a masala chai.

If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also make a black tea syrup that’s very similar to the consistency of molasses and substitute that into the recipe. Bring 3 cups water, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 to 3 tea bags, spices, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring often to make sure the sugar doesn’t stick or burn. After 45 minutes, turn the heat down slightly and let simmer for an additional 15 minutes. The syrup will thicken as it cools. Strain before use and substitute 1:1 with molasses.

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