Breakfast & Brunch/ Dessert

Naked Chai Brunch Cake

A moist, not-too-sweet cake perfect for brunch. Chai spices and vanilla make a perfect morning treat.

A moist, not-too-sweet cake perfect for brunch. Chai spices and vanilla make a perfect morning treat.

Kenny’s parents have birthdays right around the holidays, which means that there’s quite a bit of celebrating these wonderful people in the winter months. This year, we decided to take them to see Star Wars with us. We laughed, we cried, we hugged. Huge, huge nerds… and proud of it. Also, it was my second time seeing it.

Anyhow, in addition to the thrill of Episode 7, I decided to have them over for a meal beforehand to show my love. Lunch, you ask? Oh, my young padawan, so much to learn you have. Brunch we do.

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” —Alan D. Wolfelt

This cake has been on my mind for awhile. I just love chai spice, and it’s a given that cake is one of my favorite things. And Swiss meringue? The BEST frosting there is. Light and fluffy, it just requires a little attention to detail, but it’s not hard.

This cake is not too sweet,  light, and satisfying. After eating a piece, you won’t feel gross and, for lack of a better work, off for the rest of the day.  You know the feeling? It also makes a lovely cake to serve around tea time (or simply for a snack!). At any rate, bring some good people together and enjoy this treat with a some laughter, kindness, and joy. Feel the love!

Naked Chai Brunch Cake

Print Recipe
Serves: 8-10 Cooking Time: 1 1/2 Hours


  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 5 eggs + 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground masala
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter (room temperature)
  • ​10 - 15 pistachios (for garnish)



Preheat the oven to 350F. Cream eggs and sugar together until light and smooth.


In a bowl, blend together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer (stand or hand-held) on medium, blend brown sugar, oil, eggs and 2 tsp vanilla until creamy, about 3 min. Reduce speed to low, alternately add in cooled milk and flour mixture and mix until smooth.The batter will be very liquid.


Divide equally among two or 3 pans. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes on middle rack of oven (depending on how many layers your decide on) rotating in the oven halfway through. Cakes are finishes when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 min. then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.


While the cake is baking, prepare the Swiss meringue by heating the egg whites and sugar in a double boiler over hot water, whisking constantly. This mixture needs to reach about 160°F, or just before it begins to boil.


Transfer the mixture once it reaches the correct temperature into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on high for at least 10 minutes. At this point the mixture has cooled. Continue beating on low as you add the butter tablespoon by tablespoon. Once the butter is fully incorporated, add in 2 tsp vanilla extract. Whisk just to combine.


Place the pistachios in a food processor and crush into fine pieces.


Using a serrated knife, cut the tops of the cakes so that they are level. Place 1/2 of the Swiss meringue on top of the first layer, then repeat with the second layer (and third). Sprinkle pistachio dust to garnish.


Cake keeps up to 4 days if covered and out of sight.

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