I love the glut of oranges that appear on orange trees this time of year. I go crazy putting orange flavour into everything, and squeezing fresh orange juice.
And of course I searched my recipe books for an orange cake recipe I could try. This orange cardamom cake sounded so great to me. I’ve been really into cardamom recently, having discovered Turkish coffee. Baking with spices is also a current love of mine. It reminds me of all the delicious things I tasted while travelling through Morocco, Turkey and Egypt in 2015. It’s hard to forget the warm smells of cinnamon, rosewater, and cardamom.
This orange and cardamom cake recipe is inspired by Greg Malouf, who’s famous for Middle Eastern cuisine. The zest of two whole oranges, plus cinnamon and cardamom spice is baked into the cake. It’s topped with a citrus cardamom syrup that you can spike with liqueur.
It bakes into a beautiful soft and fluffy cake that’s quite moist and sticky once the syrup soaks in. Perfect for those that love a sweet bite of elegant cake without mouthfuls of frosting on top.
HOW TO MAKE ORANGE AND CARDAMOM CAKE
Click to watch how to make Orange and Cardamom Cake
ORANGE CARDAMOM CAKE
Makes: one 23cm springform cake Difficulty: Easy
23cm springform cake tin
Orange Cardamom Cake
130g Unsalted Butter
200g Caster Sugar
2 Oranges, zest finely grated
½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
225g Plain Flour
200g Sour Cream
1 teaspoon ground Cardamom
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt
Orange Cardamom Syrup
1 orange, juiced
½ Lemon, juiced
60g Caster Sugar
6 Cardamom pods, cracked open
30ml Citrus Liqueur (e.g Cointreau, Limoncello) optional
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (150 fan-forced; 340F). Line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides with non-stick spray.
Add the softened butter and caster sugar to a large mixing bowl. Beat them together until pale and creamy. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla extract.
Add the beaten egg in two batches, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Sift in the flour, and add the cardamom, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Fold all the ingredients together until just combined.
Scrape the batter into the cake tin. The batter is quite thick! Spread the batter to the edges of the pan and smooth the top.
Check the oven has reached the correct temperature, then place the tin on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes. The cake is ready when golden brown on top, the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle, and a skewer into the centre comes out clean.
While the cake is baking prepare the syrup: add the orange juice, lemon juice, caster sugar, cardamom pods, and liqueur (optional) to a small saucepan. Heat the syrup gently over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Let the syrup simmer for 5 minutes over low heat.
Strain the syrup into a bowl and set aside. When the cake is removed from the oven, poke about 50 holes all over the cake while it’s still warm. Pour the syrup evenly over the cake. It looks like a lot of syrup, but the cake will soak it all up.
Let the cake cool in the pan, before releasing the clip.
- You can leave out the cardamom pods if you don’t have any on hand.
- A springform tin is essential; you can’t tip this cake upside-down to cool
- Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Recipe adapted from Moorish: Flavours from Mecca to Marrakech, by Greg and Lucy Malouf.
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