Thandai Tea Cake (Sugar Free)

Thandai Tea Cake (SugarFree) as a name is quite self explanatory in the sense that it connotes to a Thandai flavored cake ,which also is sugar free and the best solution to tame your sweet cravings  if you are on a restricted diet.

Thandai ,a very famous milk based drink  fortified with nuts and dry fruits is the quintessential mandatory drink that associates itself with Holi, the  Indian festival of Colors. It is almost a customary drink relished and celebrated during Holi. Although it is a milk based drink prepared with aromatic and rich nuts and spices,the essence  of the drink lies in  the thandai masala that gives the drink its  its identity profile. It is a cooling drink prepared by adding a mix of aromatic  nuts and dry fruits to milk. Cashews, Almonds,pistachios,poppy seeds ,melon seeds,fennel seeds,black peppers, cardamons and sugar all mixed together in to a coarse powder which is called the Thandai Mix Powder.It can be stored in airtight containers and used when required.Just add few tablespoons of this mix to a glass of chilled milk for that luxurious drink. You can find the thandai mix recipe and Thandai  on my blog  .


However ,in the modern Indian culinary universe; this thandai powder mix in today’s age of gastronomic creations and culinary innovations  blends itself  into various other desserts ,thus creating an unique and exquisite taste and often leading to the innovation of fascinating fusion desserts with an Indian twist  . It leads itself to Cakes, Desserts,Puddings, Cheesecakes, PannaCotta and Mousse as well. This Thandai tea cake is an example of how gorgeously the fragrant thandai mix  can be adapted to create a distinct exotic taste to the humble vanilla cake ,thus lending a slight Indian twist of flavors with its blend of spices and nuts. Saffron,rose essence,and the thandai mix is what elevates this cake to another level of deliciousness that reeks Indian mithai flavors in every bite.Unique in its own way, the cakes gets it beautiful flavor from the strong undertone of the thandai masala and pairs beautifully with a cup of tea or on its own. It’s beauty lies in its dominant sweet aromatic flavors and hence does not require any additional frosting at all. You could try a saffron infused sugar glaze if you desire,but in opinion,this is great on its own as it gives the flavors to shine in their own glory,without any frosting,and sync with the festive spirit

While the incredible flavor bursting aromatic identity is a union of saffron,rose essence and pistachios, the cake is also diabetic friendly.I have tried to keep it as healthy as it can be with a mix of wholewheat and all purpose flour, and replaced white sugar with Xylitol,a sugar free sweetener  making this a sugar free and diabetic friendly cake as well.. Sugar Alcohols like Xylitol  are sugar substitutes or sugarfree sweeteners with a low glycemic index (GI) ,which does not spike Blood Sugar or Insulin,  and therefore perfect for someone on a diabetic diet as well. There are way too many sugar alcohols but I am pretty fond of xylitol since it is easy on its conversation ratio to sugar using a 1:1 ratio replacement to sugar.Also it does not have any aftertaste .For people with diabetes,obesity,xylitol is an excellent alternative to sugar.

Xylitol also has much lesser calories then Refined Sugar according to research.. While sugar has 4 calories per gram,xylitol has 2.4 calories per gram

Please note that I have used a homemade thandai masala here without sugar.But if you do plan to use readymade thandai masala powder the you will need to reduce the amount of sugar in the cake since readymade thandai mix will also contain sugar.

Also; I thought the spice mix,with rose and pistachios would do well for an eggless version ,hence used greek yogurt instead of eggs. Soft and moist,with a rich aroma of the spice mix,this is truly a festive dessert that can be the highlight of your house party during festivals. Holi, Diwali or any other moments of celebration ,this beauty is one creative gastronomic  delight that will not fail to satiate your tastebuds.

If you love the taste of Indian sweets and mithais, then this cake is a must try as it an amalgamation of all Indian flavors that works in tandem to create a cake that truly is festive and matches up as a contemporary twist to your festive desserts.

If you do try this out and love the flavor; do give share your pictures and also a shout out  on fb and instagram  and tag me @indraniskitchenflavours.

And wishing you all a very HAPPY HOLI !

If you want to read on more thandai recipes then you might like the following





Thandai Tea Cake (Sugar Free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A Thandai infused tea cake,this is a fusion cake,that incorporates the fragnant and flavorful thandai spice powder to lend a beautiful twist to the humble vanilla cake .Also is sugarfree and diabeticfriendly
Recipe type: cake
Cuisine: Indian
  • All Purpose Flour 100 gms
  • Wholewheat Flour 100gms
  • Xylitol (sugar substitute) 190 gms
  • Greek Yogurt 100 gms
  • Oil 100 ml
  • Milk 50ml
  • Lemon juice 1tbsp
  • Rose essence 1 tsp
  • saffron strands15
  • thandai masala powder 4tbsp
  • Baking Powder 1tsp
  • Baking Soda ½tsp
  • Thandai Masala Mix
  • Almonds ¼ cup
  • Cashews1/4 cup
  • Pistachios 1tbsp
  • Poppy Seeds 2 tbsp
  • Melon Seeds 2tbsp
  • Fennel Seeds 2tbsp
  • Saffron strands 15
  • Cardamon seeds
  • Dry Roast the cashews,pistachios,almonds,poppy seeds,cashews,melon seeds slightly and grind the mix with the saffron strands and cardamons to a fine powder
  1. Preheat the oven for 10 minutes under 180 degrees.
  2. Seive the Flour, Baking Powder, baking soda.Mix the Thandai Powder,nuts and keep aside
  3. Soak the saffron strands in hot milk and keep aside
  4. In a bowl, blend the yogurt and powdered sugar with a hand blender
  5. Add oil , the saffron soaked milk , lemon juice, rose essence and blend well
  6. Now add the dry flour mix in three parts and mix the batter with a spatula.
  7. Pour the batter into a greased 8x 3 inch round baking tin.
  8. Top with additional pistachios and dried rose petals
  9. Bake under 180 degrees for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
You can use regular sugar instead of xylitol as well.
If you use readymade thandai masala then you will need to reduce the amount of sugar used since the thandai mix will already have sugar in it



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