This is essentially a gussied-up applesauce cake with richer, more caramelly apple butter and a touch of peppery chai spice, which lends savory undertones. If you can find it, try Spicewalla’s chai masala, but if you want to make your own, mix 4 parts ground ginger, 3 parts cinnamon, 2 parts ground cloves, 2 parts ground cardamom and 1 part freshly ground black pepper.
For a special occasion, you can top the cake with cream cheese frosting, but it’s perfect on its own as an elegant, understated tea cake.
Storage: The cake can be stored at room temperature, tightly wrapped, for up to 4 days.
Where to Buy: Spicewalla chai masala is available online.
Cooking spray or unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
2 cups (250 grams) flour, plus more for dusting the pan
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons chai masala
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
1 cup (240 milliliters) apple butter
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) plain whole milk Greek yogurt
1/3 cup (80 milliliters) vegetable oil or another neutral oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (60 grams/2 ounces) chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; position the rack in the middle. Grease a Bundt pan with cooking spray or butter, dust with flour and tap out excess.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and chai masala spice until combined.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until combined; the mixture will lighten in color and look slightly sandy. Whisk in the apple butter, yogurt, oil and vanilla until combined.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones, then gently mix in the walnuts, if using. Do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top with a silicone spatula. Rap the pan on a hard surface to remove any air bubbles. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool the cake for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Tested by Olga Massov.
Calories: 310; Total Fat: 12 g; Saturated Fat: 7 g; Cholesterol: 45 mg; Sodium: 390 mg; Carbohydrates: 47 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugars: 26 g; Protein: 6 g.