I have this weird thing about rainy days and chai tea. Stemming all the way back to college– I remember a rainy Sunday one semester during my junior year I had been taking an oil painting class, and I was behind on my project a bit so I went into the studio to work on it. It was practically straight out of a terrible Lifetime movie, me with my chai tea (I had only recently discovered it), headphones in, steady rain outside, and just a girl and her….oil painting of crumpled up paper bags. The subject of the painting was a little weak the memory of the day is not. Ever since then, it’s almost guaranteed, if I wake up to a cloudy, rainy overcast morning, instead of immediately reaching for coffee I always crave a chai tea with a little milk. The warm specifically chai scent goes straight to my brain’s memory bank and something kicks in and I heat up the kettle.
It’s sort of like my brain was craving hygge before I even knew what that concept was. I need to be wrapped in a blanket and on the couch with a warm steaming mug of chai tea in my hand. Now in addition to that image of loveliness, I can add this painfully easy make-it-in-one-bowl, Chai Spiced Honey Bundt Cake to that picture. Doesn’t it sound so cozy?
So of course it figures as I am all mentally shifting towards said hygge, candles, sweaters and boots– what does September do? It flips on the heat. It laughs in the face of all those reaching for their sweaters and trying to swap wardrobes and says here! Have some more summer! We went from almost-turning-the-heat-on two weeks ago to cranking up the A/C and staying indoors because it’s going to be 88(!) degrees and yes– the leaves are changing colors but here kids, go play with the hose.
Fortunately, even if the weather is saying I can’t wear boots and sweaters, I can definitely bake. When the cooler weather hits, I am a fan of all things warm and toasty, specifically the spices found in chai tea. Ginger, cardamom, black pepper and cinnamon combine with grey overcast clouds to create just the atmosphere I need to stay in.
The inspiration for this cake came from the Spiced Chai Bundt Cake from Donna Hay magazine which was recently featured on a list of Epicurious’ Favorite Recipes. Who on earth is Donna Hay?? Well, she’s sort of like the Australian counterpart to Ina Garten or Martha Stewart. She’s an award-winning cookbook author, food stylist and she also has her own bimonthly magazine. To be honest, I’m a little ashamed that a picture on Instagram of an appealing spice cake is what introduced me to her. She is the Aussie queen of fast easy and delicious! I’m thankful for this cake, and for the discovery of her recipes. Maybe while I’m spending time indoors in the air conditioning I’ll just remember that in Australia they are just gearing up for Summer…and I’ll flip through her recipes and try to come to terms with the current temps.
I took the original bundt recipe from Donna Hay and tweaked it a bit to my taste. Chai tea, and an addition of additional allspice, cardamom and cinnamon, plus a good pinch of salt. A little honey for sweetness and added browning was great too. The cake literally comes together in one mixing bowl, is super pantry friendly, and took about 15 minutes from the time I gathered the ingredients to the time it was put in the oven. Forty-five minutes later my kitchen smelled of warm spices (better than any candle) and because it’s a bundt cake there’s no fussy layering or frosting required (the only exception being an optional glaze or dusting of powdered sugar). I could easily see myself bringing this to a friend who just had a baby, or serving it with brunch. It would be perfect for a little afternoon snack, or even dessert after dinner. It’s super versatile, easy, and delicious. Now I just need some rain.
One Bowl Chai Spiced Honey Bundt Cake
Makes 1 twelve inch bundt cake
1 bag of chai tea
2 Tbsp boiling water
2.5 C self-rising flour
1 C superfine sugar
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1 C Butter, melted and slightly cooled (2 sticks)
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tb honey
Add 2 Tbsp boiling water to small glass. Add tea bag and steep while oven preheats and ingredients are gathered.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350F. Spray a 12 Cup bundt pan with nonstick spray. I like to use the one with flour added for additional non-stick!
In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon allspice and salt with a whisk. Add eggs, melted butter, vanilla, honey and the steeped chai tea mixture. Whisk until combined. Pour mixture into bundt pan and bake on middle rack for 35-45 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes and invert onto wire rack, carefully lifting the bundt mold. Cool until room temperature and slice and serve! Is delicious with a hot beverage, a warm blanket, and a Netflix marathon.