A classic pound cake with the smokey exotic flavors of Turkish Coffee!

The flavors of coffee and cardamom went so well together in the Turkish Coffee that I want to keep the vibe going with this aromatic little cake.  I’d already roasted my cardamom pods and seeds for the coffee, so when I saw this recipe for Toasted Cardamom Pound Cake it was a no-brainer— I tweaked it by adding dark rich coffee  and a luscious vanilla bean glaze.

Roasted Cardamom and Coffee Pound Cake recipe

 Cardamom is an Indian spice that comes in the form of pods.  I’ve mentioned it before, but cardamom is the third most expensive spice, by weight, in the world, following saffron and vanilla.  You can sometimes find the whole pods in the spice aisle, I found mine at the spice booth at the farmer’s market.  When they split open they reveal the seeds inside, which can be used whole, or ground into a powder.  When the pods and seeds are roasted they develop a richer flavor and aroma.

I toasted the green pods in a large frying pan over the stove.  I let them toast for about 10 minutes, stirring often.  Then I used a rolling pin to partially crack open the pods, and released the seeds.

I ground the seeds in a spice grinder…I use a small coffee grinder that I keep just for spices.  You could use a mortar and pestle, or just buy the cardamom already ground.  But keep in mind that, as  I learned from my spice monger at the farmer’s market, cardamom loses flavor and freshness rapidly, so you will get vastly better flavor from freshly ground seeds.

Above you can see the three stages of the spice…the green pods, the seeds, and then the ground powder.  All three are used in cooking, and in both sweet and savory foods.  I love the ground cardamom because not only does it have a unique, woodsy, amber aroma, but it’s a beautiful soft grey brown speckled color.  Between the coffee and the cardamom this pound cake has a nice caramel tone when you cut into it.

Roasted Cardamom and Coffee Pound Cake

Roasted Cardamom and Coffee Pound Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp toasted and finely ground cardamom seeds (measured after grinding)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
    Vanilla Bean Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • heavy cream (a few Tablespoons)


  1. Set oven to 325F
  2. Whisk the first 5 dry ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Mix the sour cream, vanilla seeds, and espresso powder together, until the espresso powder completely dissolves. Set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add the flour to the butter and sugar, alternately with the sour cream. Blend until combined, and then spread in a greased loaf pan.
  6. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. For the glaze, mix the sugar and vanilla seeds together, then add the cream, slowly, until you get a thick but spreadable glaze. Glaze the cake when it's completely cool.

Be sure to cool the cake completely before spooning the thick glaze over the top or it will melt and slide right off. This is a simple old fashioned cake, without a lot of bells and whistles, but it has a very distinctive exotic flavor.  The aroma in the kitchen while it’s baking is pretty amazing.

Pound cake dries out quickly, so if you don’t eat it the same day, put it under a cake dome or cover with foil.  It’s an unfortunate fact that glaze never look as fresh after it’s been covered and stored.

 roasted cardamom and coffee pound cake

Kate, one of my commenters from yesterday shared a link to this Turkish Coffee Ice Cream…it wouldn’t be a bad idea on top of this pound cake!

Tagged with →  
This doesn't have to be goodbye ---
I'm also on FACEBOOK chatting and sharing recipes every day. If you like to Pin, (and who doesn't?) follow me on PINTEREST
Share →

29 Responses to Roasted Cardamom and Coffee Pound Cake

  1. Amy Sullivan says:

    It’s CARDAMON, not cardamom…

  2. Helena says:

    Cake flour ? Self raising ? Plain ? Cream ? Confused as which type you used
    And for how long do you bake … Thanks

    • Sue says:

      The recipe uses cake flour, which is a little finer than regular flour. It specifies creme fraiche or sour cream, and it bakes for 50 minutes. Hope that helps, Helena. Let me know if you have more questions.

  3. puja sharma says:

    hello…i just loved ur recipe n would like to make it soon…but am little confused abt the measurements in cups…i have googled n saw that
    1 cup flour=140 gms/ 5 oz and
    1 cup sugar= 200/ 8 oz gms…
    is this the measurements u also use in ur recipes…pls help as i really want to make this cake…thank u… :-)

    • Sue says:

      Hi Puja—
      I believe that i cup flour will equal 125 grams, so the 1 1/2 cups in this recipe would be about 188 grams.
      The 1 1/4 cups sugar in this recipe equals about 281 grams.
      Hope this helps!

  4. […] Roasted Cardamom and Coffee Pound Cake […]

  5. Yasmeen says:

    Funny to have seen this in your sidebar – I’ve literally just whipped up something similar. I love the little dots of vanilla on top – beautiful.

  6. Hi Sue! Can you tell me how long you baked each loaf? I’ll start with 25 minutes but I’m imagining it’s longer than that. I’ll just keep an eye on them… Thanks!

  7. grace says:

    cardamom is criminally underused. your pound cake (complete with vanilla bean flecks!) is terrific!

  8. all over that fabulous glaze!
    nicely done!

  9. I love the flavor of cardamom! I’m sure I would love this delightful cake.

  10. Wow, this looks pretty delicious. Love the smell of cardamom.

  11. You’re killing me. I know I can smell it right now. The brain is a powerful sensory organ when I want this cake to appear right before me. A bit melodramatic but…yum! I’ve been trying to figure out what to bring for a family reunion that has to be simple and not fussy. But, the flavors here are not simple and I love that. Got it…this is what I am bringing. Now I’ll just have to make about 4 of these loaves to feed everyone.

  12. Fibercrafter says:

    Bake for about how long? (length missing)

  13. Magnolia Verandah says:

    Love the aroma of cardamon and it looks particularly good in this pound cake. Just lovely.

  14. Mary says:

    What a delicious sounding creation. I am a big fan of cardamom and will have to give this a try. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  15. Martha says:

    This looks delicious and I adore cardamon. May have to be my next coffeecake!

  16. this looks like a great cake – i mean, espresso & vanilla bean glaze can’t exactly be bad! Saw it on FG, too :)

  17. Eileen says:

    Freshly ground cardamom is already so amazing–I can’t imagine how much more intense it must be with freshly roasted pods! Looks beautiful too. :)

  18. Ellen B Cookery says:

    I have a thing for cardamom. I can only imagine how good this cake must taste. YUM!

  19. Your daughter is going to feel right at home when she returns with treats like this! Looks luscious!

  20. Looks fab! Love the glaze too! Hmm, I’d love a coffee!

  21. Mary says:

    oh, wow! This sounds amazing. A friend added some cardamon to our coffee a while back and the aroma was fantastic. I bet I would LOVE this!

  22. Ohh this looks so wonderful! now I want to go and make coffee cake – love, love, love that you used proper cardamon pods – YUM!
    Mary x

  23. I love cardamom, too…and I think I’d be crazy for this cake – sounds SO good.

  24. Tabitha says:

    Oh yum, as i said i am crazy about cardamom, I’m going to make these as my breakfast muffins next week, the coffee added will be delicious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *