in the kitchen with: kate gover’s assam chai-der cake

I love tea. I love wrapping my hands around a hot cup in the winter. I love a special iced tea in the summer. This year, I discovered the award-winning artisan Lahloo Tea, thanks to a Twitter contact! I started out with an Earl Grey sample and fell in love. To wed my love of tea and a little something sweet, Kate Gover, Lahloo’s founder, is sharing a recipe for an Assam “chai-der” apple cake. It’s apple season, meaning the temperature is dropping and the days are getting shorter. Is there a better time to try out a little tea cake with a cup of tea? And it’s surprisingly low fat! What are you waiting for? — Kristina

About Kate and Lahloo: Kate Gover used to hate tea with a passion. That was until she tasted a Japanese green tea produced by farmers on a tiny estate. She fell in love with the complex taste and a new and exciting world opened up to her. That one extraordinary cup inspired Kate to start Lahloo and it would be hard to find someone more passionate about tea. With a little help from two expert importers, Lahloo brings you fairly traded, organic tea direct from small artisan producers. After only 18 months in business, Lahloo won a Great Taste Gold Award this year.

CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!

Assam “Chai-der” (Chai and Cider Poached) Apple Cake


  • 50 g/2 ¾ oz raisins
  • 50 g/2 ¾ oz sultanas
  • 50 g/2 ¾ oz sliced almonds
  • 1 apple, cored and diced chunky
  • 350 ml/½ pint tepid “chaider” (medium/sweet apple cider simmered for 15 mins with 5 g Assam Chai leaves)
  • 250 g/9 oz self-raising spelt flour
  • 200 g/7 oz muscovado sugar
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • butter, for greasing
  • unsalted butter and apricot jam, to serve


1. Place the dried fruit, nuts and chaider into a large bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave to soak overnight.  If you don’t have Assam Chai, you can use plain chai.

2. The next day, preheat the oven to 175 C/325 F/Gas 3 and grease a 22 cm x 10 cm/9 in x 5 in loaf tin.

3. Add the flour, sugar, beaten egg, apple and spices to the soaked fruit and mix well.

4. Spoon the mixture into the tin.

5. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

6. Serve slices of the tea loaf spread with unsalted butter and jam!

Images by Kristina Gill. Tea dish by Christiane Perrochon; cake plate by Molly Hatch; breakfast board in olive wood by Andrea Brugi; butter in a salt dish (ocean) by mud australia; all other items, vintage.

Why Kate Chose This Recipe
This beautiful, warming autumnal cake is delicious and it shows just how much fun you can have with Lahloo Tea!


Oddly, I’ve been craving some sort of chai baked good lately. The fact that this recipe appeared today and I basically have all the ingredients is clearly a sign that I should get in the kitchen and start baking immediately.


I am a tea aficionado also…have been since i was a child…can’t wait to make the cake…you have the best stuff on your blog!

thanks soooo much!C


Wow that looks yummy. But a few questions – What are sultanas? What is moscovado sugar?


holy… wow. the first picture caught my eye, and i am absolutely making that this weekend. awesome and so yummy looking!


oh I love mud stuff!
nadine-sultanas are dried grapes, and the sugar is like dark brown sugar


Hi Nadine!

Muscovado sugar is brown sugar, and sultanas are almost exactly like raisins, from my experience. So if you can’t find “sultanas” don’t worry. When I made the cake, -all- I could find was “sultanas”!



Great looking recipe.
I think you are on to something this season “Chaider!” could be the new muled wine!


Mmm, I love tea, I have over 20 different kinds in my house, all in their proper tins. I haven’t done much experimenting with tea and food, but I often get a tingly feeing when I look at my green tea to use it for something other than tea. Now I’m even more motivated…Love, Jules


I’m in a t-total household. Do you think it would be as effective to use a good quality apple juice to replace the cider?


can you sub brown sugar for muscovado? I’m not sure where to find the latter. . .