You can thank my friend Sarah for this recipe. She sent me a photo of a beautiful cake and I was excited to have some cream cheese buttercream frosting again. It had been too long. I went to the store and purchased a spice cake and when I got home, Sarah taught me that I should heat up some milk (the amount of water in the cake recipe) and steep some chai in it. So, here you go...
1 box spice cake mix
2 chai teabags
8 oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pecans
some amount of salt
Put the cream cheese and butter out on the counter to soften. Preheat oven - use the back of the box... Heat milk (the recipe will call for water, replace with the same amount of milk) in microwave for 90 seconds. Steep chai for 5 minutes. Mix up the cake mix, eggs, oil and chai for 2 minutes. Put in whatever pan you like to bake in. Put it in the oven.
Put pecans in a frying pan and add salt - please don't measure the pecans. Just pour in as much as you think you'll want. Toast them on low heat while the cake bakes, turning them every now and again. After we tried my cake, we decided that chopped pecans would be better.
Beat the softened cream cheese and butter until they are well incorporated. If you have a stand up mixer, this is the time to use it. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix on low until combined. Turn speed up to high and beat for 4-5 minutes until smooth, light, and creamy.
Once the cake is cooled, add frosting and top with (chopped) pecans. Enjoy!
And if you wanna be cool like Sarah, make a simple syrup with chai and soak the cake in that! Maybe she'll give you the recipe.