This tea trifle is sweet, creamy, and delicious with chai spiced cake and tea-infused custard layered with vanilla whipped cream!
This post is sponsored by The Tea Council of the USA. Thank you for supporting Sweet Tea and Thyme!
New Year, new food, new recipes, y'all.
I know that right now in the chill of mid-winter, a cup of hot tea sounds pretty good. Okay, it sounds really good. A cup of chai latte is part of my morning routine year-round, and I already know that tea is the underdog wonder of morning drinks. Different teas like black, green, white, etc. have great benefits that have been studied for centuries like being high in antioxidants, lowering your risk of strokes and heart attacks, weight loss, bone loss prevention, and so much more.
Tea is life in the South, we just aren't coffee people...
Okay, except for Cafecito, but South Florida is not the South. It's different.
Anyway, tea is life in the South. We drink sweet iced tea so much that it's a law (a joke law, but still) in Georgia to serve sweet tea in every restaurant.
So I wanted to bring my two tea loves: chai and sweet tea (which...chai is a spiced black tea blend with milk) and put it in a dessert that would work really well in your next brunch, breakfast in bed, or even for Mother's Day this year!
So when the Tea Council of the USA asked, "Can you turn tea into a food while still celebrating National Hot Tea Day?" I answered, "Why yes, yes I can!"
The Tea Council of the USA is running a photo sharing sweepstakes across social media with the hashtag #IndividualiTEA to give tea lovers like you and I (and possibly your mom) a chance at winning $500 and a year's supply of tea to celebrate National Hot Tea Day on January 12th. So next time your sipping on a cup of your favorite tea this month, snap a pic and tag the Tea Council of the USA @teacouncil on Instagram or Twitter and add #IndividualiTEA to get into the giveaway. It lasts all month, ending on January 31st, 2019.
Who doesn't want $500 and a year's worth of good tea, honey?
Okay, let's get into this trifle!
When I say that I made sweet tea pudding...I mean that this pudding tastes like catching fireflies in August evenings, Lily Pulitzer dresses, the words y'all and fixin' to, and highway shut downs after 2 inches of snow in Atlanta. I steeped loose black tea in the hot milk for 7 minutes before turning the milk into a custard (pudding), making it a sweet tea pudding. Yum!
I used a loose black tea I bought from my favorite farmer's market and steeped it with a tea strainer, but you can use your favorite tea in a tea bag and it'll work just the same.
It's a taste of the South within the custard of this trifle that also blends beautifully with the chai spices whipped into a moist, delicious vanilla cake. Then we have vanilla-sweetened whipped cream dolloped on top and in between each cute little personal trifle, let me tell you, no one will be able to resist these chai spiced, tea-infused trifles.
You can use any cake recipe you think would work, even box mixes, just add the chai spices in before baking, then chop them into small bite-sized cubes for your trifles. Layer the whipped cream, cake cubes, and tea custard until the trifle cups are filled, then add dollops of whipped cream at the end.
Easy, delicious, and perfect for National Hot Tea Day.
Got a sweet tooth? Check out:
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- 4 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ tablespoon loose black tea, or 2 bags black tea
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- Kosher salt
- 5 large egg yolks, beaten
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Chai Masala Cake (or just use your favorite box mix or vanilla cake recipe!)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon Chai Masala*, see note
- 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat 4 cups of milk with the tea (either in bags or in a tea strainer) in a large saucepan over medium heat until steaming, about 5-7 minutes. Do not let simmer or boil.
- Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks and the remaining ½ cup milk.
- Whisk half of the hot milk into the egg mixture until smooth, then gradually whisk the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan using a mesh strainer to catch any clumps of egg. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until it has thickened to a pudding-like consistency, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Cool slightly, stirring to prevent a skin from forming. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and refrigerate until completely cooled and thickened, about 4 hours.
- Whisk the custard vigorously until smooth and creamy when ready to build trifle.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and prepare a 9"x13" baking dish by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using an electric mixer) cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugar on medium speed until creamy, light colored, and well combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.
- Mix in vanilla extract.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and chai spices.
- Using a spatula and gently hand mixing, alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined after each addition. The batter should be smooth and completely combined, but avoid over mixing or you will have a dense cake.
- Pour batter into your prepared baking dish, and bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes. When the cake is done, a toothpick inserted in the center should come out mostly clean with few moist crumbs but no wet batter.
- Let cool for 15 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack for one hour before cutting into cubes for trifle.
For the Whipped Cream
- With a stand mixer or hand mixer and a large mixing bowl, pour in heavy cream and whip on medium speed. When the cream starts to thicken, about a minute in, stop and add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Whip for another 2-3 minutes until the whipped cream is thickened and stiff. Do not over whip, you'll make butter.
- In trifle bowls, layer cubes of cake on the bottom, add custard, then spoon a layer of whipped cream. Repeat cake, custard, whipped cream, cake, etc, until trifle bowls are filled with whipped cream being the last layer.
- Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
Note: to make chai spice, mix 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom and use in the recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1295Total Fat: 63gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 416mgSodium: 834mgCarbohydrates: 158gFiber: 2gSugar: 103gProtein: 25g
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.