Rita Serano

Chai spice cake

You can go in almost any grocery store in The Netherlands and find a cake called “Ontbijtkoek”. Although we think this cake is typically Dutch, it is filled with exotic spices. The Dutch were during the 17th and 18th century well known for their spice trade with the far East. Certain spices like peppercorn were even more expensive then gold. Gradually these spices became very common in our kitchen and were much more affordable. So someone was bound to come up with spicing a cake with them. In this recipe I use chai spices from my favorite tea blend, but you can also use a spice blend such as “quatre epices” or pumpkin spice. The flavour of the cake gets better after a couple of days, so I recommend to bake it, leave to cool, wrap it in cling film and forget it for 2-3 days. If you can of course…


  • 350 ml almond milk (or any non sweetened plant based milk).
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
  • 400 grams of wholegrain flour, I use sprouted spelt flour.
  • 100 grams of coconut blossom sugar.
  • 80 ml of coconut blossom syrup or maple syrup.
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder.
  • 1 tablespoon of chai spices, I used the content of two teabags of chai tea.

Preheat your oven on 180C. Mix the almond milk and the juice in a bowl and set aside to curdle. Combine the flour, baking soda and the coconut blossom sugar in another bowl. Now mix in the coconut blossom syrup (or maple syrup) together with the almond milk and lemon juice mixture. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well until no clumps remain. Oil your cake tin or use a silicon mold. Put in the cake mixture in your mold and bake for 45-55 minutes. Check if it is ready by inserting a tooth pick into the middle, if it comes out clean it is ready. Leave to cool.

The cake is delicious on its own, but becomes a real treat with some of the following variations:

  • Mix in 250 grams of frozen blueberries to make an blueberry and spice cake, press some of the berries on top before baking.
  • Make a Pear and Spice cake by adding 1 chopped pear to the batter and 1 pear sliced on top.
  • For a beautifully decorated cake, bake the cake in a round tin. Then gently heat 1/2 cup of coconut butter on a low flame until liquid. Take off the heat and mix 1/2 cup of rice syrup or agave syrup with a whisk until well mixed. Cover the cake with the frosting and use some sliced and cut seasonal fruits and some coconut flakes.
rhubarb compotepear chai cake
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Chai Spice Cake
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