A few weeks ago I had what I consider to be a uniquely modern dilemma. I was on Amazon searching for a tea that I remember really liking 5 or so years ago that I haven’t been able to find in stores for years. It’s nothing fancy, just Stash double spice chai, but it was the perfect strength for mixing with sugar and milk without the flavor being diluted too much. Of course Amazon had a good deal, almost too good of a deal. I could buy a standard box of 18 tea bags, OR I could buy 100 tea bags for only $3 more at the time… Here in America more is more, right?
Are you still wondering what I did? You shouldn’t be because I bought them. Of course I did! Chai tea for everybody now! Seriously…do you want some? I have plenty.
Now our office kitchen cabinets smell like chai, I’m drinking it like a maniac, and I’m putting it in cakes for you! This chai tea upside down plum cake is the perfect transitional dessert for when the days are hot and the farmer’s markets are still full of fruit, but the leaves are beginning to turn and you’re dreaming of fall flavors. The end product is a layer of jammy plums on top of a gently spiced cake. The plums will release their juices into the surrounding cake over the next few days after baking, but it’s best eaten within three days and should be refrigerated if storing past one day. A dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream would not be unwelcome here.
- 1 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ t. baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ c. + 2 T granulated sugar
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- ¼ t. Salt
- 3 T butter
- ⅓ c. whole milk
- 2 chai tea bags
- 5-6 plums
- ¼ c. granulated sugar
- 1 T. unsalted butter
- Line the bottom of an 8” round cake pan with parchment paper and spray the sides with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375°.
- Slice the plums into eighths and add to a saute pan with the sugar and butter. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted and the plums are slightly softened. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you prepare the cake batter.
- Whisk flour and baking soda in a bowl. Cut open the tea bags and add their contents to the flour mixture.
- With an electric mixer beat eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla until thick and pale. Beat in melted butter and flour mixture, then add milk and mix only until everything is evenly combined.
- Lay plums out in a single layer on the bottom of your pan, pouring any extra syrupy juices over the top. Spread cake batter on top in an even layer.
- Bake 30-35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 1 hour, then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a plate or cake stand.
- If the cake lasts longer than one day it's best to refrigerate it.