One of the first cakes I created for my project I call the Happbee Birthday Cake. I’m not exactly sure what inspired me to make this, but I randomly got the idea. I woke up in the middle of the night and thought of this cake. At its core, it’s a chai cake frosted with honey buttercream. It’s decorated bee-themed; however, going to that length is not necessary. When I thought about the Happbee Birthday Cake, I wanted to have a spiced and herbally cake which I landed on chai. As for buttercream, I was a bit stumped; I needed something to compliment the spiced, almost floral flavor of the cake but not overtake it. I knew the cake deserved something with depth; that’s where almond extract comes in. I figured with a chai and bee theme; honey would taste great. Still, I didn’t think honey would be enough flavor for the buttercream, so I experimented with adding some almond extract to compliment the chai and honey, which it ended up adding a ton of depth to the buttercream. The recipe for both is below.
¾ cup of softened unsalted butter
1 ½ cups of granulated sugar
4 LG eggs
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ cup whole milk
½ cup of chai concentrate
2 cups (or 4 sticks) of unsalted butter
2 lbs of powdered sugar
½ cup of honey
½ to 1 ½ tablespoon almond extract
Instructions for Chai Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 F, and prepare one 10 inch or two smaller cake pans with parchment paper and grease of some kind (spray or butter and flour).
- In a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer, cream together sugar and butter, adding in extract after creamed.
- In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder, and in a large cup or small bowl combine the milk and chai.
- Starting with the dry ingredients, add ½ of the dry and liquid ingredients at a time to the original creamed butter and sugar mixture. It’s important to take the time to do this, in turn, to avoid the cake batter becoming chunky and not combined evenly.
- Optional: For a more chai look, add brown food coloring to the batter to color it closer to a chai color.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean.
Instructions for the Almond-Honey Buttercream
For the buttercream, it is extremely important that the butter is softened but not warm or melted at all.
- With a paddle attachment on a stand mixer, mix the butter for 1 minute at a low speed to get a smooth consistency.
- Optional: Sift the powdered sugar to remove and eliminate clumps
- Starting on a low speed, add ½ to 1 cup of powdered sugar; once each cup is combined increase, to a medium speed. Doing this avoids major clouds of powdered sugar. Continue doing this until all the powdered sugar is combined.
- After all powdered sugar has been added, whip the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Whipping with a whisk attachment may also improve the texture at this step.
- The next step is adding your desired amount of almond extract. This can be anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon.
- The last step is to add your honey. This is mainly to taste; I used half of a cup of local honey to get the taste I wanted. Be wary of adding too much, or else the extra liquid could make the buttercream too loose. If this happens, add extra powdered sugar to get the light, fluffy texture.