Recipes·Star Baker

Chai Me Up Bundt Cake

An orange, chai and black pepper spiced bundt cake recipe from Oyaks Airende on The Great Canadian Baking Show.

An orange, chai and black pepper spiced bundt cake recipe from Oyaks Airende on The Great Canadian Baking Show

This orange and chai spiced bundt cake with an isomalt crown helped Oyaks Airende, right, win Star Baker. (Geoff George, left / Steve Carty, right / The Great Canadian Baking Show)

This orange and chai spiced bundt cake recipe is from Oyaks Airende, Star Baker of Cake Week on The Great Canadian Baking Show, Season 4.

Judge Bruno Feldeisen praised the cake’s flavour, saying “Using black pepper in pastry, it’s so tricky, but that’s a tasty cake.”

The stunning crown is made with isomalt, a sugar substitute that’s often used for making hard candy. Isomalt nibs are available online and at specialty baking stores. 

Hot tip: the key to a great bundt cake is making sure the batter reaches every nook and cranny of your mould. 

Makes one cake

Prep time: 30 minutes

Total time: 2 hours and 30 minutes (including cooling time)



  • 3 cups (420 g) flour
  • 1 tbsp (8 g) cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp (8 g) ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp (6 g) powdered ginger
  • 2 tsp (6 g) allspice
  • 1 tsp (3 g) black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp (4 g) sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups (340 g) butter, plus more for pan, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla
  • 1 tsp (2 g) lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cups (375 g) sour cream


  • 2 cups (226 g) icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) orange juice
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier

Isomalt Crown:

  • 1 cup (200 g) isomalt nibs
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) everclear vodka, optional
  • Gel food colour, optional
  • Edible gold dust, optional



Heat oven to 350 F. Grease a 10-cup bundt pan with butter. Flour liberally, knock out excess. 

Whisk together flour, spices, pepper, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. 

Cream butter and sugars in a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about two minutes. 

Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions. Add vanilla and lemon zest. Stir in the sour cream. 

Stir in the dry ingredients just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared pan, spread evenly. 

Bake until golden and a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cake plate to cool completely. 


Whisk together icing sugar, orange juice and liqueur. 

Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a ¼-inch round piping tip. Drizzle over cooled cake to drip down the sides. 

Isomalt Crown

Melt isomalt nibs in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, let stand until bubbles subside, about two minutes.

Stir together vodka, gold dust and gel colouring, if desired. 

Oyaks Airende, right, chats with Season 4 Host Ann Pornel. The isomalt crown for his cake is cooling on a silicon baking mat placed over an inverted bowl. (Geoff George / The Great Canadian Baking Show)

Pour isomalt over a silicon mat and sprinkle with the vodka mixture. Place the mat over a solid structure, such as an inverted medium bowl or jar. 

Secure edges with butterfly clips or clothespins to hold the mat in place and set aside to cool and harden into a crown shape for about 30 minutes.  

Remove mat and place on cake before serving.