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Chai Tea Crumb Cake

A tender cake infused with chai tea and chai spices, finished with a crumb topping and lightly spiced icing.
Recipe and photo by Celebrating Sweets

30 minute prep time 50 minute cook time
12 servings



  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chai spice see note
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 Bigelow Vanilla Chai tea bags
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour see note
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons chai spice see note
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chai spice see note
  • 2-3 teaspoons milk



In a small bowl, combine flour, sugars, chai spice and salt. Add melted butter and stir until combined. Set aside.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside.

  2. Place 1 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat milk until it just begins to simmer, then remove from the heat and immediately add 4 tea bags. Set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, continue with the cake.

  3. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar for several minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla extract. Add sour cream and beat until combined.

  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and chai spice. 

  5. Once the milk and tea have steeped for 10 minutes, remove the tea bags, gently squeezing them into the milk to extract additional flavor. Discard the tea bags.

  6. To the butter mixture, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the chai milk, mixing well after each addition. I beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, 1/2 the milk, 1/3 dry ingredients, remaining milk, then the remaining dry ingredients. Once the batter is fully combined pour it into the prepared pan. Crumble the topping over the top of the batter, pressing some of it between your fingers to form clumps. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  7. In a small bowl, stir together all the icing ingredients. Add more milk or powdered sugar, if necessary, to get your desired consistency. Allow the cake to cool slightly then drizzle the icing over the cake. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes:

Proper flour measuring: Use the measuring cup to fluff the flour. Scoop the flour (don't pack it in) and level it with the back of a knife. 

Chai spice: You can purchase this as a spice blend, or you can make your own by combining: 1 teaspoon cardamom, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, and 3 teaspoons ground ginger. This will make more than what you will need for this recipe. Store it in your spice cabinet and use it for other recipes.

May we suggest English Breakfast Tea - Case of 6 boxes- total of 120 teabags to pair with this recipe?
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