Cardamom Citrus Coffee Cake

Breakfast and Brunch, Coffee Cakes, Fall Recipes, Seasonal Recipes | 18 comments

I confess. I haven’t used cardamom, at least to my knowledge, before this past year. I don’t think I even really knew what the taste of cardamom was or what kind of dishes one would cardamom it in. Now I do. And I’m not looking back. Thank you, The Flavor Bible for educating me on the matter!

What does cardamom taste like? It is described as having a strong, unique spicy-sweet taste, which is slightly aromatic (from RecipeZaar). What flavors go well with cardamom? It is common in Indian cooking and is said to match well with chicken, cinnamon, coffee, coriander, dates, curries, ginger, oranges, rice, and tea.

Cardamom is an excellent addition to garam masala and fresh ginger in Indian Butter Chicken (to be posted later). Equally delicious, though in a different way, in this Upside-Down Cardamom-Pear Cake (which was never photographed because it was demolished by a hungry group of moms (and kids). And definitely blog worthy in my latest cardamom experiment: Citrusy Cardamom Coffee Cake. So, if you haven’t given cardamom a try yet, this is a great recipe to start with. Especially if you have a refrigerator full of oranges.

Citrusy Cardamom Coffee Cake

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3 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
zest of 1/2 large orange
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 a vanilla bean split open and seeded or 1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 eggs
1 1/2 c sour cream

zest of 1/2 large orange
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of a bundt cake pan.

Prepare the filling by combining the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom; set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom; set aside.

In a small food processor, combine the sugars and the orange zest. Pulse several times until the zest is finely chopped and sugar is fragrant. Alternatively, you can place the sugars in a bowl with the zest and rub it with your fingers.

Using an electric mixer, preferably a stand mixer, beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla bean and eggs, beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping bowl periodically. Beat 1/4 of the flour mixture and sour cream at a time alternately into sugar mixture on low speed till blended. Spread half of batter into pan. Sprinkle filling mixture on top. Add the remaining batter and carefully spread (it may help to spray a spatula with PAM).

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until tooth pick comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes in pan on wire rack. Remove from pan to wire rack, cool.

    Katie Goodman

    About the Author:

    Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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    • 1
      MeetaK - December 30, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

      katie the flavors in this sound amazing! love cardamom and pairing it with citrus is a grand idea!


    • 2
      Maria - December 30, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

      This is an extra special breakfast treat, perfect for the holiday season. Happy New Year!


    • 3
      perfectconfessions - December 30, 2009 @ 4:51 pm this looks amazing!! I would head to my kitchen right this very minute, but i'm missing sour cream… I LOVE cardamom and am always looking for creative ways to use it. we're headed out of town today, but when I get back, I'm all over this one!


    • 4
      Kay - December 30, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

      It looks absolutely beautiful. Love the napkin as well :)


    • 5
      bridget {bake at 350} - December 30, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

      That look delicious! I ♥ that napkin, too! Happy New Year!


    • 6
      bridget {bake at 350} - December 30, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

      looks, LOOKS delicious!


    • 7
      picky cook - December 30, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

      Love Cardamom! My Grandma's Christmas cookie recipe uses it and it is divine. Love this coffee cake and I bet this combo of flavors is lovely. I got the Flavor Bible a little while ago and I am in love with it as well. Happy New Year – Cheers.


    • 8
      Jamie - December 30, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

      This looks fabulous! I may have to try this in the near future! Happy New Year!


    • 9
      Miss Jaster - December 31, 2009 @ 1:33 am

      I love cardamom…this sounds so yummy!!!


    • 10
      Cheri - December 31, 2009 @ 5:31 am

      This looks like a great coffee cake! I'll have to try it – after the 10 in 2010:) I love your linens. Your photos are always so pretty!


    • 11
      kamran siddiqi - December 31, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

      I literally just saw your tweet to me talking about the coffee cake… It looks absolutely scrumptious! Great photos and great post! Have a very Happy New Year! :)


    • 12
      Lauren - December 31, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

      Citrus and cardamom? It sounds like heaven to me! What wonderful flavours and amazing photos!All the best in the new year =D.


    • 13
      chakhlere - January 01, 2010 @ 12:41 am

      Amazing cake. Looks so perfect and nice and soft.Very yummy!!Wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!!!


    • 14
      Jason Sandeman - January 03, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

      Lovely combination, and a great effort. I suggest that you grind your own cardamon though, as you will have a more rounded out flavor than the ground version.


    • 15
      Lisa - January 31, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

      I made this – such a lovely cake, thank you for the recipe


    • 16
      Nives - November 18, 2010 @ 8:56 am

      Where is coffee from the title? there is none in the recepie??


      • Katie Goodman

        Katie replied: — November 21st, 2010 @ 8:04 AM

        Perhaps you’ll want to read this Wikipedia entry on coffee cake:

        A class of cakes intended to be served with coffee or for similar breaks and snacks. Under this definition, a coffee cake does not need to contain coffee.

    • 17
      Sara - February 16, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

      Yum! I made this for my ladies bible study this morning, and they LOVED it! Turned out just like your pics. Thanks for a great recipe.


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