[Recipes] Thai Tea Chiffon Cake

It seems like the Thai tea (Cha Yen) craze is hitting our local shores (See Daniel Food Diary’s post on the 5 Best Thai Iced Milk Tea  here). I’ve always been a fan of Cha Yen and would practically survive on it whenever I am in Bangkok. My bf is also a huge fan of it so we always order one to wash down our Thai food. He’s a tea lover and he would even drink it while we were in the States where it is overpriced ($4 USD for one cup).

And so when I went to Golden Mile Complex for Thai food recently, I stopped by the supermarket and bagged home a packet of Thai tea leaves (or dust). So far, I’ve made Thai milk tea ice cream and this chiffon cake with it. The results have been great although I’m still experimenting with the proportions. Try to let the tea leaves steep longer as the more concentrated the tea flavour, the better the cake – I’m just a little impatient when it comes to waiting.

There are many brands out there but the one I got was ‘Thai Tea Number One Brand Singapore’, in white and red packaging. I recall seeing it on the streets of Bangkok and so I thought it must be pretty legit. 

I love making chiffon cakes because it is fuss-free (no need to grease the pans) and fast to make. The result is a light and airy cake that is fun to eat!

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You can catch a glimpse of the packaging of the tea leaves brand I used here

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All packed and ready to be delivered


Recipe for Thai Tea Chiffon Cake (good for a 20-cm chiffon cake pan)


Egg Yolk batter:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 80ml vegetable oil (or any neutral tasting oil)
  • 40g Thai tea leaves
  • 180ml water
  • 120g cake or top flour
  • 2/3 tsp baking powder

Egg White batter:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 90g caster sugar


  • In a pot, boil the water and tea leaves. Turn off the heat and let the tea steep and cool down for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 170C.
  • In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and 30g sugar until it thickens, for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the vegetable oil slowly and beat well until fully incorporated.
  • Strain the brewed tea with a sieve. Pour in the cooled brewed tea into the egg yolk mixture and continue to mix until smooth. Add 2 tbsp of Thai tea leaves here if you want.
  • Lastly, sift in the flour and baking powder, then mix well until it is lump-free.
  • In another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites till foamy. Gradually add in the 90g sugar and beat till stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat (read tips below)
  • Fold in the whites to the flour mixture in 3 parts. Be gentle and make sure it is well combined.
  • Pour in the cake batter into the chiffon cake pan. Lightly tap on the base to remove large air bubbles.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes till a skewer comes out clean.
  • To cool, invert the cake onto a wire rack. Once it is cool, use a knife to run the sides of the cake thin to unmould the cake.

Tips for beating egg whites:

1. Ensure that your beaters and mixing bowls are completely clean and dry. A remnant of oil or egg yolk will affect the beating of the egg whites.

2. Use a metal bowl and avoid plastic as there might be oily residue.

3. Do not overbeat or underbeat the egg whites. It should be stiff and glossy but NOT dry.


Hope this helps. Have fun baking!