Chai and Vanilla Cake with soft, fluffy Vanilla Buttercream frosting - A spectacular swirled Easter cake with a gorgeous pastel watercolor effect, decorated with Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies and a caramelized nest on top! A sunny, happy and outrageously delicious cake to celebrate all of life's special occasions and nostalgic memories!

Chai and Vanilla Cake (Easter Cake)

Author: Dini from The Flavor Bender
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Ingredients

Chai and Vanilla Cake

  • 340 g / 12oz unsalted butter softened
  • 425 g / 15 oz white sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup warm milk
  • 2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 340 g / 12 oz AP flour
  • 3 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp Chai Diaries Masala Chai powder

Fluffy Salted Vanilla Buttercream

  • 680 g /1.5 lbs unsalted butter softened
  • 850 g / 1.8lbs confectioner's sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 6 - 8 tbsp cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • Pink and yellow gel coloring

Caramel Easter Nest

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tbsp corn syrup to prevent crystalization
  • 3 tbsp water

To Decorate

  • Cadbury mini eggs 4 - 5 mini bags or 1 large 10 oz bag
  • Lindt Bunnies large or mini - whichever you prefer

Instructions

Chai and Vanilla Cake

  1. Butter and line 3 x 8 inch cake pans. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Place the butter, salt and white sugar in a bowl and whisk until light and creamy.
  3. Add the milk, and vanilla and mix in the vanilla well.
  4. Add the eggs (one at a time), mixing well between each addition.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Add the flour to the wet ingredients in 2 additions and fold in to mix.
  6. Divide the batter into two bowls and add the chai powder to ONE of the bowls. Stir gently until just mixed in.
  7. Dollop each of the batter into the 3 prepared cake tins evenly to create a swirled look (you can use a butter knife to swirl the batter if you like as well).
  8. Gently shake the pan to spread the batter evenly, and knock out any gas in the batter.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes until the middle is springy to the touch. Check after 10 minutes to make sure you don’t over-bake.
  10. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool down completely.

Salted Vanilla Buttercream

  1. Place the butter and salt in a large bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar, a little at a time at low speed, until it’s all incorporated.
  2. Add the vanilla and whisk at medium high until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Make sure you scrape down the sides periodically.
  3. While the buttercream is being mixed, add the cream in a drizzle and whisk for 1 minute until the buttercream is light, fluffy and well mixed. Cover and set aside until you are ready to use. If the buttercream sets, whisk it to make it fluffy again before frosting the cake.

Caramel Nest

  1. Use an open whisk, or cut off the rounded wire tips of an old whisk to form an open whisk (see picture in the post).
  2. Place the sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar is completely melted - swirl the saucepan to help the sugar melt evenly.
  3. Cover the pot and let the sugar syrup simmer for 2 minutes - the condensation will help wash down the sugar crystals from the sides of the pot.
  4. Uncover and let the sugar syrup boil away (do not disturb the pot), until the sugar turns into a golden amber color.
  5. While the sugar is cooking, line your table top with a large piece of parchment paper, or turn a bowl (about 7 inches in diameter) upside down and lightly oil the outside of the bowl.
  6. When the sugar is ready, use a whisk to dip into the caramel and then gently fling caramel threads on to the bowl / parchment paper.
  7. Shape the caramel into a bowl-like (nest-like) shape, and let the caramel set.
  8. Store in an airtight container (with some desiccant to make sure it lasts longer).

Assembling & Decorating The Cake

  1. Place one cake layer (flat side down) on a cake tray. Add ¾ cup of the buttercream frosting on top and spread it evenly. Repeat with all the cake layers, with the last layer placed with the flat side up.
  2. Apply a thin coating of vanilla frosting on the sides and on top to form a cake crumb layer, and to fill in the sides of the cake layers. Refrigerate for a few minutes until the coating has set.
  3. Once set, generously spread frosting on the sides and on top (this will be the frosting layer). Use a cake scraper or spatula to smoothen the sides and the top so that you have clean straight surfaces. Refrigerate to set.
  4. Add about ½ cup each of buttercream into two bowls and color them with pink and yellow.
  5. Once the cake has set again, dot the surface of the cake with pink, yellow and white frosting, and smoothen the sides again to form a watercolor frosting effect with the pastel colors.
  6. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve the cake.
  7. Transfer the cake to a cake serving platter, and pipe a border along the bottom of the cake.
  8. The cake can be served as is, or decorated with chocolate on top.
  9. Place Easter eggs along the top border of the cake. Top with the caramel nest in the middle and fill it up with chocolate eggs and bunnies, just before serving. Enjoy!