Kashmiri Kahwa Cake + Cardamom Choco Frosting

Kashmiri Kahwa Cake + Cardamom Choco Frosting

This, and the past month seems like a wild tornado has come and created chaos in my life – impromptu getaways, random travels, new people, and an idea for a whole new direction for Kitchen Therapy. And what’s even more surprising, is my patience and open mind to all the “un-planned” and sudden changes to my usually very strict routine and schedule. Maybe it’s called growing up, or maybe that sense of adventure was always in me – who knows, and I am not in the least complaining, I am just enjoying my life, my work and even though at moments I stop and ask myself – WHAT? I’m comforted by the fact that life is all about opportunities and what more constructive way than to venture into new fields of work, ideas and work with even more dynamic people?

I’ve had a long break from the kitchen, and my hands were itching to get back in and create something from scratch. A cake is always the best way to break a spell and at around 9 PM one night I decided on experimenting with teas – particularly a lovely Kashmiri Kahwa that I had in my cupboard. Kashmiri Kahwa is a beautiful blend of black tea, almonds, rose petals, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and spices that offer warmth. Some are a delicious hued pink shade, while some have darker hints of orange – each blend is unique in it’s own way, and sometimes even with a bit of saltiness.

I brewed the tea in milk and left it overnight in the fridge. The morning after, I strained out the tea leaves and whisked it into a cake – and the result was pretty darn good! But it needed a bit of frosting and what better than chocolate? I teamed it up with some cardamom for the hint of spice and I ensured using salted butter to give it that bit of kahwa-ness.

The Recipe
Serves 8


  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp Kashmiri Kahwa tea
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, soft
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla essence
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, soft
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla essence
  • whole almonds
  • edible roses


  • Gently warm the milk with the tea leaves for 10 minutes, never allowing the milk to boil. Remove from heat and set the milk aside for at least 2 hours, with the tea left in. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C and grease and line a 9” cake tin.
  • Strain the tea out of the milk and set aside,
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugar on low speed for 4-5 minutes.
  • Then add the eggs and vanilla and beat for a few more minutes.
  • Then alternate between the tea milk and flour 4 times, carefully folding until just incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool before removing from the tin.
  • Frosting:
  • Beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and cardamom and half the icing sugar and whisk. Add the remaining sugar and milk as required.
  • Spread the frosting on the cake with an offset spatula. Garnish with almonds and roses.

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.