I know traditionally you would want to pair a spice cake with cream cheese frosting but trust me when I tell you that this coupling of chai spice and vanilla bean buttercream is flawless! Sometimes cream cheese frosting can be a bit overbearing and distract you from the real star of the show…the cake! Although this buttercream has a distinct flavor, it does not block the warm and welcoming blend of spices from coming through the cake, making this an ideal choice to enjoy this fall season.

A double layer cake with frosting.

Chai Spice Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

A twist on your traditional spice cake! Paired with a vanilla bean buttercream frosting, makes this an ideal choice to enjoy this fall season.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Frosting the cake 5 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 14


  • 2 8" round cake pans
  • Bake even strips (optional)


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • big pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp chai spice mix recipe in notes
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk or milk alternative
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp milk or milk alternative
  • 1/2 tsp chai spice mix
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • pinch of salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray your two 8" round cake pans with cooking spray. Have "bake even" strips ready if you plan on using them. Set aside.
  • In stand mixer, combine sugar and butter. Beat on medium high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add in eggs, one at a time. Add in sour cream, 1/2 cup of milk and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, and chai spice.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix by hand with a spatula.
  • Place your "bake even" strips around the cake pans. Pour even amount of cake mixture into both pans. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothoick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool in pans on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before removing from cake pans. Be sure to level your 2 cakes if you did not use the "bake even" strips. Wait until cake is completely cooled before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting

  • You can make this while your cake is baking. Using your stand or hand mixer, mix the butter, confectioners sugar, and 3 tbsp of milk together. Then add in vanilla extract, chai spice, and scrapings from vanilla bean.
  • This amount of frosting is enough to cover a "naked" style cake. Feel free to make more if desired!



Chai Spice Mix Recipe:
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp ground all spice
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
  • 6 tsp ground ginger
Mix all ingredients together. Store in a small container.
Chai spice mix recipe by Lee at Fit Foodie Finds
Keyword buttercream, buttercream frosting, cake, chai cake, spice cake