Spiced Apple + Chai Cake
Yield: one 3-layer 6-inch cake + 4 jumbo cupcakes
- 9 oz Honeycrisp apple, grated
- 10.60 oz Cake Mix
- 5 oz Roux Mix
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp allspice
- 7.50 oz sugar
- 6.75 oz brown sugar
- 10 oz canola oil
- 4 eggs
Chai Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz vegetable shortening
- 4 oz butter, softened
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lb 10 oz powdered sugar, sifted
- 6 Tbsp powdered chai (I used Oregon Chai here but am also a fan of Big Train Chai)
- 1 tsp hot water
- 1 batch Triple Threat Candied Pecans for decorating
Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat three 6-inch round cake pans evenly with cooking spray and line with parchment. Place 4 tulip liners in a standard muffin pan*.
- Using box grater, grate apples and pat dry with paper towels to soak up as much juice as possible. Set aside.
- Whisk together Cake Mix, Roux Mix, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and allspice in medium bowl. Set aside.
- In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together both sugars, oil, and eggs on medium speed until thoroughly combined.
- Add dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.
- Adjusting mixer to low, add grated apple and mix until just combined. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with spatula to make sure everything is incorporated into batter.
- Portion 12.50 ounces of batter into each prepared cake pan. Portion remaining batter into prepared cupcake liners.
- Bake cake layers for 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cake/cupcakes are done when toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- Let cake cool before inverting. While cooling, make frosting.
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together shortening and butter until thoroughly incorporated and completely smooth. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl.
- With mixer on medium speed, slowly add cream cheese to butter mixture. Once added, beat on high until mixture is completely smooth. You do not want any lumps of cream cheese remaining. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl.
- Adjust mixer to low and add vanilla extract and salt. Continue beating on low while slowly adding in sifted powdered sugar.
- Combine powdered chai and hot water in a small bowl to form a thick paste. Add chai paste to frosting while beating on low until thoroughly combined.
- To begin, secure 7-inch cardboard cake circle to top of revolving cake stand by placing a smidgen of frosting in between cake circle and stand.
- Cut tops off of all three 6-inch layers with serrated knife so that they are flat. The easiest way to do this is to start on one side of a layer and make no more than a 1-inch cut towards center of cake. Make sure you are cutting across top of cake and not into cake. Continue to make small cuts while rotating cake. When you get back to where you began, cut through to center of cake. The top should easily peel off. If layer isn’t completely flat, don’t sweat it, this is a tricky step to master! The cake is going to be great regardless
- Place one layer on cake circle and top with layer of frosting. Spread frosting out evenly with offset spatula; it is okay if some goes over edge.
- Place second layer on top of first and top with layer of frosting. Spread frosting out evenly with offset spatula; it is okay if some goes over edge.
- Place final layer on top of second, cut side down. Spread a thin layer of frosting over top and sides of cake. If you have frosting oozing out of middle layers, simply spread evenly around cake. This thin layer is called your crumb coat.
- Refrigerate or freeze cake for 30 minutes before decorating.
- Finish cake off by adding an extra layer of frosting around exterior with large offset spatula. Then you can use a bench scrapper to create flat edges, a small offset spatula to create a spiral effect or rustic look, or piping bags fitted with decorating tips to create a design all your own.
- Place candied pecans on top of cake for finishing touch!
*Though tulip liners bake in a standard muffin pan, they actually hold a lot more batter than a typical cupcake liner. If using standard size cupcake liners, you will have 6-8 cupcakes rather than 4.