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Cardamom Citrus Coffee Cake

This citrus cardamom cake is the perfect, cozy homemade coffee cake recipe. Your house will smell amazing while baking it!

citrus cardamom cake on cake stand

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Orange Cardamom Cake Recipe

Logan recently mentioned coffee cake and I realized that I haven’t baked on in a while. It was the perfect time to do some baking last night. Kevin was out of town last night and I didn’t have any of the kids home.

It has been cold and dreary outside all week. Baking something like this homemade bundt coffee cake instantly warms the house and makes it smell so good and cozy. So, I spent the evening baking this delicious orange cardamom cake and watching Grey’s Anatomy in my pajamas with the Bailey, our dog.

Meet Bailey here if you haven’t seen her yet. She’s so cute! I’ve been baking this homemade coffee cake recipe for more than 9 years. The base of the recipe was something that I first learned when I took a college cooking class years and years ago.

Over the years I have tweaked or adapted it multiple times. I’ve added things like cranberries or blueberries. I’ve used ricotta instead of sour cream. And in this version I’ve added orange zest and plenty of cardamom for the perfect fall smells and flavors.

What Does Cardamom Taste Like?

I first learned about cardamom when I originally made this recipe about 9 years ago. Before that I can’t recall ever having tasted or cooked with cardamom. I didn’t even know what flavor profile to expect from the name.

Cardamom is described as having a strong, unique spicy-sweet taste, which is slightly aromatic. It is spicy, citrusy, herbal, and a bit woody all at the same time. It is a really complex flavor.

If you’re a tea drinker, you might be familiar with cardamom because it is a common ingredient in Chai Tea, a spicy black tea. Cardamom is also common in Indian cooking.

What Flavors Pair Well with Cardamom?

If you haven’t tried cardamom before, you definitely should. It is one of my favorites! It is said to match well with chicken, cinnamon, coffee, coriander, dates, curries, ginger, oranges, rice, and tea.

Personally, I love the way cardamom pairs with all of those lovely fall flavors so it is usually a no-brainer addition it to things with pumpkin, apples, pears, or cinnamon. It smells so good when it is baking!

Cardamom Cake Slices photo and recipe

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Cardamom Cake Ingredients

This cardamom cake has two components: the homemade coffee cake itself, and the spiced brown sugar filling that runs through the middle of the cake. Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy coffee cake recipe:

  • Flour
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Salt
  • Ground cardamom
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Orange zest
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs
  • Sour cream
  • Cinnamon

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

How to Make Cardamom Cake

Don’t let the brown sugar swirl in the center of this bundt coffee cake fool you into thinking it’s tough to make. It’s actually quite easy!

  1. Stir together the filling and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all dry ingredients except the sugars and zest.
  3. In a food processor, pulse together the sugars and orange zest.
  4. With an electric whisk, beat together the butter and sugar mixture.
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and sour cream to the butter mixture.
  7. Spread half the cardamom cake batter into a greased bundt pan, then sprinkle brown sugar filling on top. Spread remaining batter over the filling.
  8. Bake the orange cardamom cake until done.

Can I Freeze Cardamom Cake?

Yes, once fully cooled you can either wrap the entire homemade coffee cake in plastic wrap and foil and then freeze. Or you can slice and freeze portions individually.

Cardamom Cake Photo on Cake Stand with recipe

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Tips for Making Cardamom Cake

It’s important that all of the wet ingredients are room temperature before adding them to the batter. This includes the butter, sour cream, and eggs.

Be sure to give your orange a thorough wash under warm tap water before zesting it.

This bundt coffee cake is a great base recipe. You can change up the spices or add fruit to the batter as you see fit — cranberries or blueberries both work well.

What Readers Are Saying

“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.” — Sara

“I made this – such a lovely cake, thank you for the recipe.” — Lisa

More Cardamom Recipes:

Looking for a few more recipes to make using cardamom? Check out some of these favorite recipes, or browse the ingredient index archives for even more great cardamom recipe ideas:

Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Bars are a fun take on classic sugar cookies. I’ve added pumpkin puree and some yummy fall spices, like cardamom, for a seasonal version.

For a savory dish, cardamom is an excellent addition to garam masala and fresh ginger in Indian Butter Chicken.

If you’re looking for an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast, you might like to try out this recipe for Overnight Oatmeal Breakfast: Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats Recipe. It contains cardamom, which I think pairs really well with apples!

I love these Maple and Cardamom Spiced Pears with Pecans spooned over a bowl of vanilla Greek yogurt!

I love pears with cardamom. Try this recipe for Vanilla Spiced Pear Butter and learn  How to Can Pear Butter; it is so good on a piece of toast!

Here is another pear recipe for you – Cinnamon Pear Crostata with Almond Oat Crust – a crostata is like a free form pie, and I love that they’re meant to look imperfect and rustic!

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What do you like to use cardamom for?

Cardamom Citrus Coffee Cake

Citrusy Cardamom Coffee Cake

Yield: serves 14
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Cardamom Citrus Coffee Cake is the perfect, cozy fall coffee cake recipe. Your house will smell amazing while baking it!



  • 3 cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon Ground Cardamom
  • 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 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Eggs, room temperature
  • 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



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Generously grease bottom and sides of a bundt cake pan.

For the filling

  1. Prepare the filling by combining the orange zest, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom; set aside.

For the cake Batter

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Alternatively, you can place the sugars in a bowl with the zest and rub it with your fingers.
  4. Using an electric mixer, preferably a stand mixer, beat sugars and butter until fluffy, scraping the sides every few minutes.
  5. Add vanilla bean or extract and eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping bowl periodically.
  6. Beat 1/4 of the flour mixture and sour cream at a time alternately into sugar mixture on low speed till blended.


  1. Spread half of the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Sprinkle prepared filling mixture on top.
  2. Add the remaining batter and carefully spread (it may help to spray a spatula with PAM).
  3. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until tooth pick comes out clean.
  4. Cool 30 minutes in pan on wire rack. Remove the cake from the pan to wire rack, cool completely.


This is a great base recipe. You can change up the spices or add fruit to the batter - cranberries or blueberries both work well.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 14 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 359Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 79mgSodium 405mgCarbohydrates 51gFiber 1gSugar 29gProtein 5g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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Wednesday 16th of February 2011

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.


Thursday 18th of November 2010

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


Sunday 21st of November 2010

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.


Sunday 31st of January 2010

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

Jason Sandeman

Sunday 3rd of January 2010

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.


Friday 1st of January 2010

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

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