Blood Orange Cardamom Cake

Happy 2017 friends! How is everybody doing? I feel like I have been completely MIA lately. You guys keep asking so nicely for recipes and I keep failing to post them. I’m sorry! 

I know I’m the worst, but I’m trying to redeem myself here with this one because you guys …this cake. I am at a loss for words because seriously… This. Cake. I’m in love with it.

Ever since blood oranges started showing up in my market I have been telling myself I need to baking something with these colourful beauties & I finally got around to it this past weekend.

The natural colour of the glaze on this cake is honestly enough to make me weak in the knees. I couldn’t get over it when I whisked it up earlier this week, and clearly I’m still not over it.

I feel like this glaze deserves to have a love song written about it, but if there is one thing I learned in my middle school years – back when I was convinced that I should definitely one day be a singer/songwriter (okay, embarrassing) – It’s that I should definitely not be allowed to write songs. Like ever.

So instead of write a terrible love song – I will just tell you straight up that this cake is citrus cake dreams are made of. The cake itself is soooo fluffy and moist – like it’s kind of ridiculous how fluffy and moist it is. The flavour of the blood orange combined with that hint of cardamom is such a fantastic pairing I pretty much think it’s now necessary for me to make orange cardamom EVERYTHING.  

Oh, and that Blood Orange Glaze… well I think we already know how I feel about that. But just in case you need a little more detail on how amazing it is; Let me just tell you one last thing. After I poured the glaze over the cake, naturally there was some that ran over the edges and dripped through the wire cooling rack onto a piece of parchment paper. Now normally I would just discard these glaze drips – but in this case I couldn’t even fathom that thought and I felt it 100% necessary to take a spoon to those little puddles of blood orange glaze goodness, and eat it just like that… Yup. That definitely happened.

So the only thing I have left to say, is go pick up some blood oranges stat, and make this cake. Even if you are not a spice or cardamom kind of person & you just make this cake sans cardamom – it is still absolutely incredible.

Happy baking beautiful people!

KP xoxo

Blood Orange Cardamom Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
zest of one blood orange (about 1 1/2 tbsp)
2 tbsp blood orange juice
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 – 1 tsp cardamom (depending on how spicy you want the cake, I usually use 3/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Blood Orange Glaze
Juice of 1 blood orange (minus the 2 tbsp you use for the cake)
a few drops vanilla extract
1 1/2 – 2 cups Icing Sugar (approx – add more as needed)

How to make…

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10 inch cake pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugars and orange zest until pale and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and add vanilla extract and orange juice. Beat until fluffy; 1-2 minutes.

Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cardamom to combine. Add in 1/3 of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low to just combine. Add in 1/2 of the sour cream and mix until just combined. Repeat this process with the remaining flour and sour cream ending with the last 1/3 of flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on low speed until there are no lumps in your batter, but don’t over-mix.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan and place on the center rack of your oven to bake for 35-45 minutes or until the center of the cake is set to the touch or a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack and allowing to cool completely to room temperature.

Meanwhile prepare your glaze. Whisk together orange juice, vanilla and icing sugar until smooth and creamy. You want it to be a thick, yet pourable consistency. Once your cake is cooled completely pour glaze on the top of the cake and allow glaze to drip over the edges. Decorate with dried blood orange slices and sugared rosemary (if desired) enjoy!

To Make Sugared Rosemary 

Dip fresh rosemary sprigs into a cup with water. Drip off excess and set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Generously sprinkle the wet rosemary sprigs with sugar, flip them over and repeat. Allow to dry for about an hour or more.

Dried Blood Oranges

Preheat oven to 220F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Thinly slice 1-2 blood oranges (depending on how many slices you want) and lay them on the parchment paper. Generously dust each slice with icing sugar, flip and repeat. Bake for about 2- 2 1/2 hours or until dried out. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before decorating your cake.


24 thoughts on “Blood Orange Cardamom Cake

  1. This couldn’t look more gorgeous or delicious! I’m going to try it next week for a luncheon. I’m not much of a baker, so I hope I can make one look half as beautiful as yours. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. hi, does the colour from the glaze somehow affects the cake? Previously I made my lovely sponge go blue by pommegrante glaze ( which is also a THING! ).
    Looks so beautiful, yum yum yum….

  3. Hi Mallory!

    Not a stupid question at all – in fact it’s a great question! I just added some instructions to the bottom of the recipe on how to make the sugared rosemary and dried blood orange slices 🙂

    Happy Baking! <3 <3

  4. I made it for a friend for her birthday and it was DELICIOUS!! And it turned out looking exactly like your picture! I even made the sugared rosemary! I am going to make it again!!!!! Thank you so much!!!

  5. So so good! Will definitely be making this again.
    2 notes:
    I had to juice a second blood orange to have enough for the glaze (I guess mine were smaller).
    I did not use all of the glaze; I didn’t think it needed all of that sweetness on top of such an incredible cake!

    1. Hi Becca!

      So happy to hear that you enjoyed the cake! The cake on it’s own even without the glaze really is so moist and tasty 🙂

      -KP xoxo

  6. Making this for my friends baby shower. Do you recommend pouring the glaze over the cake the day of or will it be okay tired over night in a cake storage container? Also, I wanted to do 2-3 layers to give it a stacked effect… recommendations on that? This this is a beauty!

    1. Hi Kelsey!

      So excited you want to make this for a baby shower! Great idea to make the cake the day before. I think if you store the cake in a container & pour the glaze over the cake the day of you will get the best results. I would just pour the glaze over maybe a few hours before the shower if you can to give it some time to set 🙂 If you want to stack it up, I think that’s a really cute idea. You can probably spread 1/3 of the glaze in between the layers and then pour the rest of the glaze on top 🙂 Hope this helps!

      -KP xoxo

  7. Hello, i made the cake and it was delicious! However it turned out much darker than yours, maybe because of the brown sugar and the cinammon?

    1. Hi Leila!

      So happy to hear you enjoyed the cake! Yes, depending on the grade of your brown sugar the cake may have turned out darker. For this recipe I used a mix of light brown sugar and white sugar, but there are dark brown sugar varieties that could make the cake darker 🙂


  8. Made this last night and the cake is delicious! But my glaze didn’t turn out quite as expected. It was very translucent rather than a gorgeous pink. Any thoughts on ways to improve it for next time? I’ll definitely be trying again.

    1. Hi Bethany!

      So happy you made the cake and that you enjoyed it! For the glaze, the lack of vibrant colour could just be from the intensity of the colour of the blood oranges you used. Mine were very strong and produced a very bright colour, but each time I make this cake the colour comes out a bit different depending on the oranges. Was your glaze a bit thin as well? If so next time I might try adding a bit more icing sugar and this will help the glaze thicken and be less translucent 🙂

      Happy baking!


  9. Hi Kristie,
    I had a little attempt at making this cake last night and it didn’t rise that much (probably becuase the oven wasn’t properly turned on when I went to put the cake in and it had to warm up)! I am going to try again cos I am responsible for making some cakes for an event but was just wondering : when you said “pour the batter in to a cake tin” was your batter quite liquidy? Mine was quite thick and I had to more or less spoon it in and then smooth it out. I was wondering if I did something wrong or if it was like this for you too?
    Camilla (NZ)

    1. Hi Camilla!

      Thanks for your comment. Yes I would imagine the cake did not rise because the cake wasn’t pre-heated when you put it in. I would recommend definitely making sure your oven is preheated before you pop your cake in to bake.

      Also yes, this batter will be a bit on the thicker side, but you should still be able to use a spatula to pour it into your cake pan and then smooth it out to the edges. Hope your next trial works out!

      Happy Baking!


  10. Hello! My family and I absolutely love this cake and I wish I could make it weekly. However, both times I have made it, the center has fallen. I think part of my problem is that I am trying to make it at high altitude and the adjustments I’m making just don’t work. Does anyone have a suggestion for how to make this high altitude friendly? Thank you so much!

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