With recipes the whole family can enjoy, Bake Away not only raises much-needed donations for No Kid Hungry, but also provides perfect opportunities to discuss the importance of giving back while baking one of the many child and grandchild-friendly recipes. Each recipe links to a geographical area based on her travels (San Francisco Churro Bowls, Towering Atlanta Crêpe Cake, New York Cinnamon Sugar Bagels, SoHo Salted Caramel Ice Cream + 16 more).
Teen Sahana Vij was just named to PEOPLE Magazine’s 2021 List of Girls Changing the World for creating Bake Away, a cookbook to raise money. It debuts October 26, with all proceeds going to end child hunger. Bake Away will be carried in Williams Sonoma, Whole Foods, Target, Krogers, QFC, PCC, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, and Leica Camera (food photos) stores across the country, with a heavy marketing push in November for Giving Tuesday. Several celebrity chefs are supporting the book as well, with social media call outs and restaurant placements.
Sahana is enrolled in University of California, Irvine.
“Sahana brings her own blend of innovation and artistry to each recipe in Bake Away. She takes us on a journey, demonstrating on each page and with every experience that baking fosters community. Through charitable donations Sahana shows her love to give, reinforcing our faith that food has the power to help others.” – Hunter Lewis, Editor-in-Chief, Food & Wine
Below is her recipe for U District Chai Infused Cake.
U DISTRICT CHAI-INFUSED CAKE
YIELD: 4 – Layer 8-Inch cake
TIME: 3 HOURS
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 Tbsp chai blend
- 4 cups flour
- 1 ½ Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp cardamom
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 cups powdered sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat for 5–10 minutes or in the microwave for 2 minutes. Using a French press, steep the loose leaf chai blend in the milk for about 10 minutes, then strain and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy. Set the mixer to low-medium and add 1 egg at a time until fully incorporated, then add the vanilla.
5. On low speed, slowly pour in the chai tea to the wet mixture until fully combined. Then slowly pour in the flour mixture, adding 1 cup at a time into the wet mixture. Make sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.
6. Grease four 8-inch cake tins and evenly distribute the batter amongst them. Bake all four for 25–30 minutes, or until a tooth – pick inserted comes out clean. Flip cake layers onto a cooling rack to cool.
7. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on low-medium speed until smooth. Add in the vanilla, then add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.
8. To assemble the cake, slice off the round top on each cake layer so that the top of each layer is even.
9. Place the first layer on a large plate or cake stand, then add about ¼ cup of frosting and spread evenly over the top of the cake. Next, add the second layer and repeat this process until each layer has been stacked. Spread the remaining frosting evenly around the sides of the cake.
10. Top with fruit, flowers, or spices to decorate. Slice and serve.