This lightly spiced Cardamom Cake is exactly what you need to enjoy with a warm cup coffee - morning to night. A step up from your basic Bundt cake, alluring cardamom adds warmth and flavor to the moist and tender cake.
Cardamom has a unique and unmistakable flavor. Not unlike cinnamon, it is a warm spice with a delicately sweet taste. It is perfect for adding to baked goods - especially cake and yeasted buns.
This cake is made with basic pantry staples and uses the creaming method to ensure its fluffy texture. It is baked in a fluted Bundt pan that accentuates the simple vanilla glaze.
I was inspired by a recipe for Swedish cardamom cake from an old fika book. Pronounced "fee-kuh," it is much more than a coffee break.
In Sweden, this is when you visit with friends and family - taking a small time out from your day. It is most often accompanied with food - a light snack or simple baked good.
What Does Cardamom Taste Like?
The flavor of cardamom is complex yet light. If cinnamon is used in fall baking, then think of cardamom as its brighter, spring counterpart.
Cardamom tastes of warmth while slightly peppery and with hints of fruit, pine, and citrus. It pairs well with light and fruity recipes as well as chocolate and coffee.
Ground cardamom is easy to source and add to baking recipes that call for ground cinnamon, ginger, or pumpkin pie spice.
Ingredients in a Cardamom Cake
- Unsalted butter - the butter needs to be softened but not melted or greasy
- Granulated sugar
- Large eggs - at room temperature
- Large egg yolk - for extra richness
- Neutral oil - you want a flavorless oil like canola, avocado, or vegetable oil
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour - for this recipe, 1 cup is 125g
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt - use half the amount if using table salt
- Ground cardamom - it should be easy to find in the spice section of most grocery stores.
- Milk - whole is best for baking, but any percentage or plant-based milk will work.
- Confectioners' sugar - sifted as needed.
Tools and Equipment
You will need an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer with paddle attachment) to make sure the batter is nicely aerated and the cake comes out fluffy and tender. This recipe also calls for:
- 10-cup capacity Bundt pan
- Pastry brush (recommended)
- General kitchen tools, like measuring cups, spatula, etc.
This cardamom cake gets its super fluffy texture from the creaming method. A small amount of oil is added to make it extra moist and tender. Here's a look at what the softened butter and sugar should look like during the mixing process:
Softened butter and granulated sugar mixed together on medium speed for about 2 minutes. The mixture is quite heavy and dense.
Softened butter and granulated sugar mixed together on medium speed for about 3 minutes. It is starting to lighten up.
Softened butter and granulated sugar mixed together on medium speed for about 5 minutes. It is light, pale in color, and fluffy.
Properly creamed butter and sugar. It should hold its fluffy texture. If over-mixed, it will start to collapse.
From here, add in the oil, vanilla, and eggs - one at a time.
Next, alternate adding in the dry ingredients with the milk so that they both absorb evenly into the batter (½ dry - milk - ½ dry). This will make sure that the batter is not over-mixed. Over-mixing results in dry, dense cakes.
Whole vs Ground Cardamom
For this recipe, ground cardamom works great. It is easy to find in most supermarkets and convenient to measure and stir into the dry ingredients.
If you prefer to use whole spices, you can use green cardamom pods. Crack the pods then grind the seeds with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder.
10 cardamom pods equal about ½ teaspoon seeds. ½ teaspoon of seeds equal about ½ teaspoon ground cardamom.
Serving and Storage
This cardamom cake is best served with tea or coffee. A simple cake as such is stored and served fuss-free.
Serve the cake at room temperature. You can keep it covered with plastic, a cake dome, or in a cake box on the counter. Enjoy within 3 to 4 days, or it will dry out.
Freeze cardamom cake after it completely cools. Wrap the baked cake in a layer of plastic wrap then put it in a zip-top bag or wrap in a second layer of foil. Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator.
Bundt Pan Tips
- Liberally grease the inside of a Bundt pan. I recommend using very soft butter painted on with a pastry brush - making sure to get into any intricate nook and cranny.
- Spoon flour into the pan. Shake the pan around so that the inside is dusted in flour. Flip the pan upside down and tap out the excess flour.
- When the cake is done baking, immediately set a new timer for 20 minutes. You must remove the cake from the pan before it completely cools or it will stick in the pan. Too soon, and the hot cake will fall apart when you flip it out.
How to Get a Stuck Cake Out of a Bundt Pan
If the cake is stuck or you forgot to un-mold it before it cooled, then start a kettle with some water. Clear out the sink and place a clean dish towel inside.
When the water is nice and hot, carefully pour it over the dish towel. Place the cake (in its pan) in the sink and carefully wrap the sides with the hot dish towel (use oven mitts if the towel is too hot - please don’t burn yourselves) to create a little nest.
Dampen a second dish towel with warm water (from the tap is fine), and wring it out so that it is not dripping. Lay the second towel on top of the cake and wait about 15 minutes.
This should create a little steam bath for the cake and help loosen up any stuck bits. Once the towels are cool, try inverting the cake out of the pan again.
For the Cardamom Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (375g)
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoon neutral oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup milk
For the Vanilla Glaze
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To Make the Cardamom Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Liberally grease and flour the inside of a 10-cup capacity Bundt pan.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Set aside.
- Add the butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat butter on medium-low speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar then mix on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy and pale in colour, about 2 to 4 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl.
- Add the oil and mix until combined.
- Add eggs and eggs yolk, one at a time, beating on medium-low speed until blended. Add vanilla extract; beat on low speed until blended.
- Stop the mixer and add in half of the flour mixture. Once this is incorporated, pour in the milk mix to combine. After the milk is absorbed, add in the remaining flour mixture. After the last streaks of flour are incorporated, mix the batter on medium-low speed for no more than 20 seconds until smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean.
- Set a new timer for 20 minutes. Once the timer goes off, gently loosen the edges of the cake with a flexible spatula. Place a wire rack or cake plate on the top of the cake. Using oven mitts, flip the cake upside. Give a few taps until you feel the cake loosen and remove the pan.
- Allow the cake to continue to cool before adding the glaze and serving.
To Make the Glaze
- Melt the butter. Add in the confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla then stir until smooth. Add a bit more milk, as needed, until the icing is thick yet pourable.
- Spoon the glaze over the top of the cooled cake before serving.