Roasted Cardamom and Coffee Pound Cake ~ this unique pound cake is infused with the fragrant and exotic flavors of Turkish coffee ~ it’s perfect for breakfast, coffee breaks, afternoon tea, or dessert.
The flavors of coffee and cardamom went so well together in my 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.
Turkish coffee is a method of making unfiltered coffee that starts with very finely ground beans, it is brought just to the boiling point several times before being served. The result is magical!
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 love cardamom and I use it often in my recipes. It comes through beautifully in my Cardamom Crumb Cake, and my Moroccan Lemon and Cardamom Meatballs.
I toast the green pods in a large frying pan over the stove for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Then I use a rolling pin to partially crack open the pods, and released the seeds.
TIP: I grind 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.
This cardamom pound cake is a simple old fashioned type of 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.
- 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
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- heavy cream (a few Tablespoons)
- Set oven to 325F
- Whisk the first 5 dry ingredients together and set aside.
- Mix the sour cream, vanilla seeds, and espresso powder together, until the espresso powder completely dissolves. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Add the flour to the butter and sugar, alternately with the sour cream. Blend until combined, and then spread in a greased loaf pan.
- Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- 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.
- 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.