With Holi and Shiv ratri around the corner, it’s time to serve Thandai special desserts. So this Holi, serve the delicious and mouth watering Thandai Paan cake. A perfect festive blend cake which will delight the family and friends.

Thandai is often served in summer, this is a popular beverage served in Northern parts of India. When consumed in smaller quantities, this is also good for health. Since it has cooling effect, it was named as Thandai. “Thanda” in Hindi means “Cold“. Betel leaves are rich in nutrients and good for health. 1 Betel leaf consumed in a day can flush toxins from the body. With the summer raging in, I decided to combine the two in one of the most common and favorite dessert – cake and the result was awesome.

I have prepared Thandai Masala from the scratch, you can also purchase it from the Market too. I prefer homemade masala to store brought ones. Besides it’s easy and simple to make the Masala powder.

How to use and store Thandai Masala

Thandai Masala should be stored in airtight container. It can be refrigerated for 2-3 months. This powder can be used in any desserts or with Milk. Just add 1 tbsp. Thandai Masala with required amount of sugar to 1 glass milk. Stir well and serve. Alternatively this can be added to Ladoos, Pedas, Fudge, Barfis, Tarts etc. Thandai powder brings in nice flavor to the desserts

If you have visited Indian weddings, then yes, most of the time paan is served and it really tastes good. Now I didn’t want just paan with filling taste so I decided to infuse the summer popular Thandai with paan which gives a perfect taste to the cake. The cake is quite simple , easy to prepare and ingredients are easily available in pantry

This is a perfect tea cake and can actually requires no frosting or topping. I added little cold Thandai flavored Rabri and pistachios on top for additional taste. I used cake flour to make it tender, however you can directly use All purpose flour. In fact, this can also be replaced with whole wheat flour for healthier version. This cake can be made with butter too. Butter adds in richer taste while oil gives it nice spongy texture. I tried both the versions, since I refrigerate the cake, I have prepared it with oil. So go ahead and indulge yourself with this summer special Tea cake


*If you do not have Cake flour, then just sieve the mixture 3 times :- 1 cup + 6 tbsp. All purpose flour with 2 tbsp. Corn flour

*Never over grind Thandai Masala powder else Nuts will release oil and make the mixture clumpy

**Adjust the amount of Betel leaves as required, the more the leaves, stronger will be the taste. I used 3 big Betel leaves

*** Adding Vinegar is optional but it gives better rise to the cake. Instead of white Vinegar, Apple cider vinegar can be used

Do watch the video for better clarity in preparation and share your experience once you prepare the cake

Preparation time: 15 mins Baking time: 26 mins Total time: 41 mins

Servings: 8


1 cup = 240 ml

For Thandai Masala

  • 1/2 cup Almonds
  • 1/3 cup whole Cashews
  • 2 tbsp. Poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp. Fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp. Melon seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Peppercorns
  • 15-20 Saffron strands
  • 2 tbsp. dried Rose petals
  • 20-25 green Cardamom

For the cake

  • 3-5 Betel Leaves (Paan)
  • 1 – 1.5 tbsp. Thandai Masala powder
  • 1.5 cups Cake flour*
  • 11/4 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vinegar
  • 3/4 cup Castor Sugar
  • 1/2 cup whisked Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/3 cup Neutral flavored Oil
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Nuts – optional
  • Green food coloring – optional

Steps to prepare

*Always read the notes before the preparation steps

  • For Thandai Masala: Add all the ingredients to grinder and pulse it few times to form powder. Do not over grind. Transfer and store the mixture in airtight container
  • For Cake: Remove the stalks from betel leaves, tear them to small pieces and add to grinder along with 1/4 cup milk. Grind the paan with milk
  • Sieve and squeeze the ground paan mixture in a bowl, add 1/4 cup milk and mix well. If desired, add green food coloring and mix well
  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg cel and prepare 8″ loaf pan
  • Sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and keep it aside
  • Add Oil, sugar, yogurt, Thandai Masala powder in a bowl and mix until well combined
  • Add dry ingredients and gently mix. Gradually add prepared Paan Milk and mix until just combined. Do not overmix
  • Pour the batter into prepared pan and level evenly
  • Tap the cake tin on the counter several times. Add chopped nuts on top
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes until done
  • Cool the cake in tin for 15 minutes and then demould the cake
  • Cool the cake on wire rack completely
  • Cake can be served as is. I added cold Thandai Rabri on top and sprinkled pistachios for additional taste
  • Slice and serve this delicious cake. Consume within 3 days

Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions

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