This chai latte cake has the softest cake layers that are made with chai & french vanilla flavors, topped with a french vanilla mascarpone frosting, and lightly dusted with cocoa powder.
This post is sponsored by Amoretti. All opinions are my own - thank you for supporting the brands that make Sturbridge Bakery possible!
This is the perfect fall dessert (yes, there are other fall flavors besides apple & pumpkin!). The chai spice paired with the french vanilla flavoring and lightly whipped mascarpone frosting are *mwah* chef's kiss! It makes me feel like I am sipping a warm french vanilla chai latte on a crisp autumn evening.
This recipe was made using Amoretti's French Vanilla Compound - it gives this cake the BEST flavor - a flavor that I have not yet found in pure vanilla extract. French vanilla refers to the process or method of making ice cream, not a type of vanilla bean. It's made with an egg-custard base, which gives it a much richer, deeper, vanilla flavor!
This recipe was adapted from my Coffee Layer Cake - it has the same base for both the cake & the frosting. In this recipe, I have used two 8-inch cake layers instead of four 6-inch cake layers.
Why you will love this chai latte cake
- Chai flavor. Chai spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, etc., add such a depth of flavor to the cake layers! This, paired with the buttery, fluffy, cake & french vanilla flavoring will make you come back for another slice!
- Moist texture. This cake is made with butter and oil for optimal flavor and moisture. It has a delicate, tender crumb that just melts in your mouth when paired with the creamy mascarpone frosting.
- Mascarpone frosting. Think of this like a cream cheese frosting, only a little bit milder (not as tangy) in flavor. It is whipped to perfection and acts as the "milk/foam" in this chai latte cake.
- Impressive presentation. This cake will look spectacular on any dessert table, plus it's one of the easier cake recipes on the blog!
- Cake flour: cake flour is used to create a fine, tender crumb in the cake. It has a lower protein content than all purpose flour, resulting in a softer texture.
- Baking soda: baking soda reacts with the acidity to leaven the cake, creating fluffy and soft cake layers.
- Chai spices: using a combination of chai spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, etc., adds such a depth of flavor to the cake! See the recipe notes for a chai spice mix, if you cannot find one in stores or prefer to use homemade.
- Unsalted butter, vegetable oil, & milk: butter contributes a rich, buttery flavor, while vegetable oil & milk add moisture, resulting in a tender cake. We also use unsalted butter in the frosting.
- Sugar: granulated sugar sweetens the cake and, when creamed with the butter and oil, creates a light and airy texture. We also use powdered sugar in the mascarpone frosting.
- Eggs: eggs provide structure & moisture to the cake, helping it rise & keeping it moist.
- Vanilla: I used Amoretti's French Vanilla Compound in this cake! It adds the best french vanilla flavor, really giving that latte-like feel. It is used in both the cake & the frosting.
- Mascarpone cheese: mascarpone cheese is the base of the frosting, adding a creamy texture and hint of tang.
- Cocoa powder: Dusting the tops of the cakes with cocoa powder is optional but I love doing it! It levels off the sweetness and adds an elegant finish to the cake.
- Preparation. Preheat oven to 325F and line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
- Mix dry ingredients. In a bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking soda, salt, and chai spice mix. Set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients. Beat the room temperature butter & oil until well combined. Gradually add the granulated sugar while mixing, then incorporate the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Combine wet and dry. Mix in dry ingredients and whole milk in alternating batches, ensuring not to overmix.
- Bake. Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 33-35 minutes until the cakes are done. Let cool in the pan.
- Make the frosting. Beat the mascarpone cheese & butter until combined. Add the vanilla, salt, and one cup of the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Continue to add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until combined. Adjust consistency with milk, if needed.
- Assemble. Level the cake tops, spread frosting on one layer, then stack the second cake layer on top. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting.
- Enjoy! Dust with cocoa powder & dive in! Store the cake in an airtight container.
While cake flour is preferred for its finer texture, you can substitute all purpose flour. Keep in mind that the cake's texture may be slightly denser, but it will still be delicious. I would suggest looking up conversions for cake flour to all purpose flour to ensure accuracy.
Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For longer storage, you can freeze the cake, well-wrapped, for up to three months.
Yes, you can make the cake in advance. Baked and unfrosted layers can be wrapped tightly and frozen for a few weeks. Thaw them before frosting and assembling.
Dry cake can result from over-baking, which causes the moisture to evaporate. To prevent this, make sure to follow the recommended baking time closely. Using cake flour and not over-mixing the batter also helps maintain a moist texture. Additionally, storing the cake properly, such as in an airtight container, can keep it from drying out after it's baked.
A sinking cake is often due to over-mixing the batter, causing excess air to be beaten out, or opening the oven door too early during baking. To avoid this, mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined, and try not to open the oven door until the cake is close to being fully baked.
Yes! Feel free to use cream cheese instead if you cannot find mascarpone. Both are delish!
Cake baking tips
- Use a kitchen scale. I cannot stress this enough - a kitchen scale is the only way to ensure accurate results. They are cheap and will make cleaning up SO much easier.
- Follow the recommended flour. The recipe calls for cake flour for a reason. Cake flour has a lower protein content than all purpose flour, resulting in a softer, more delicate crumb. While you can substitute all purpose flour, if possible, stick to cake flour for the best texture.
- Gentle mixing. When combining wet and dry ingredients, mix just until they come together. Over-mixing can lead to a dense cake. The batter should be smooth but not overworked.
- Avoid opening the oven door. Resist the temptation to open the oven door to check on your cake too early. Sudden temperature fluctuations can cause the cake to sink in the middle. Only open the oven door when you believe the cake is close to being fully baked.
- Test for doneness. To determine if the cake is ready, insert a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean or with a few crumbs, but not wet batter. Remember, baking times can vary, so rely on the toothpick test rather than an exact time.
- Allow for cooling time. Cakes continue to bake after they are removed from the oven, so make sure to allow for ample cooling time in order for the cakes to set properly.
Baking in grams
I rely on gram measurements when testing recipes because they offer the highest level of accuracy (and less cleanup!). Unlike volume measurements, which can vary, grams provide a reliable and consistent standard. I carefully test all of my recipes using this kitchen scale, therefore I cannot guarantee the outcome when using volume measurements. However, volume measurements are available in the recipe card.
Other cake recipes to try
Have you tried this recipe? I would love to know how it turned out! Leave a star rating & review below and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram so I can see photos & videos of your yummy bakes! Want to save this recipe for later? Tap the heart button on the right side of your screen!
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Chai Latte Cake
- 3 cups (360 grams) cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ teaspoons chai spice mix*
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup (100 grams) vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Amoretti's Naturally Flavored French Vanilla Compound or vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk room temperature
- 8 oz (226 grams) mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Amoretti's Naturally Flavored French Vanilla Compound or vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups (480 grams) powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream if needed
- unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
- Preheat oven to 325F and line two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper. If you are greasing the pans with spray, make sure to not overspray otherwise the sides/edges will brown/crisp up because of the excess fat from the spray.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking soda, salt, and chai spice. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and oil together on medium-high speed until completely combined. About 2-3 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, stream in the granulated sugar then beat on medium speed until combined and fluffy. 1-2 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well on low speed in between each addition, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the vanilla and mix on low-medium speed until combined.
- With the mixer on low, add half of the dry ingredients. Once almost fully incorporated, add half of the milk and mix until almost combined. Repeat this with the other halves of the dry ingredients and the milk. Do not over mix.
- Divide the batter evenly amongst the two cake pans. Bake the cakes for 33-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The edges of the cake will be slightly pulling away from the pan. Let the cakes cool completely in the pan.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the mascarpone frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the mascarpone and butter together on medium-high speed until combined and no more lumps exist.
- Add the vanilla, salt, & one cup of the powdered sugar and beat until combined - starting at low speed so the sugar doesn’t fly out of the bowl, then bumping it up to high speed. Continue to add one cup of powdered sugar add a time and beat.
- If needed, add the milk then mix until combined. Once everything is combined, beat on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes until fluffy. You may need to add more powdered sugar (to thicken) or more milk (to thin) depending on desired consistency.
- Once the cakes are completely cool, level off the tops of the cakes with a knife or cake leveler. Spread the frosting into an even layer on top of one of the cake slices, then place the other cake slice on top. Use the remaining icing to frost the sides and tops of the cakes.
- Dust with cocoa powder & enjoy!
- If you need a chai spice mix, this is what I use:
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Adjust the amount of filling depending on the size of your cookie cutter. If you are using anything less than a 3-inch cookie cutter, I would reduce the amount of filling to 1-2 teaspoons.
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!