Chai-Buttermilk Spice Cake

Refatted from Cooking Light

1/2 cup boiling water
6 chai tea bags
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/3 cup (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
cooking spray

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour boiling water over tea bags in a bowl; steep 5 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags; cool to room temperature.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, stirring with a whisk. Place cream cheese and butter in a large bowl, beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until well combined. Beat in brewed tea and vegetable oil. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.

Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-third of egg white mixture into batter; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.

Spoon batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean (it took me closer to 50 minutes). Cool in pan on a wire rack.