Roasted Cardamom and Coffee Pound Cake

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

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.

roasted cardamom and coffee pound cake

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.

Roasted Cardamom and Coffee Pound Cake recipe

roasted cardamom and coffee pound cake
3.43 from 14 votes

Roasted Cardamom and Coffee Pound Cake

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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 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


  • Set oven to 325F
  • Whisk the first 5 dry ingredients together and set aside.
  • Mix the sour cream, vanilla, 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.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


  • 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.


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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Instruction 3. Says mix sour cream w/ vanilla seeds instead of vanilla extract. ???
    The vanilla glaze uses seeds from one bean.

    • Reply
      May 12, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      Sorry for the confusion Sarah, the extract is in the cake and the seeds are in the icing.

  • Reply
    Amy Sullivan
    March 2, 2016 at 10:15 am

    It’s CARDAMON, not cardamom…

    • Reply
      March 2, 2016 at 10:43 am

      It’s actually cardamom, Amy.

  • Reply
    May 28, 2014 at 9:00 pm

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

    • Reply
      May 28, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    puja sharma
    September 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    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… 🙂

    • Reply
      September 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2012 at 8:39 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Thyme (Sarah)
    July 31, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    July 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm

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

  • Reply
    July 28, 2012 at 12:25 am

    all over that fabulous glaze!
    nicely done!

  • Reply
    July 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    That glaze looks wonderful!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    July 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm

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

  • Reply
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence
    July 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm

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

  • Reply
    Thyme (Sarah)
    July 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    July 25, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Bake for about how long? (length missing)

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    July 25, 2012 at 8:25 am

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

  • Reply
    July 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    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

  • Reply
    July 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm

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

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    July 25, 2012 at 8:00 am

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

  • Reply
    July 24, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    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. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ellen B Cookery
    July 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm

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

  • Reply
    Linda A. Thompson Ditch
    July 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm

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

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    July 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm

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

  • Reply
    July 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    July 24, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    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

  • Reply
    July 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm

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

  • Reply
    July 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    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.

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