Alternately titled, “The Cake That Made Me Cry. Twice”

I don’t know if I told you guys that we moved recently, but it’s the reason my posts have become less frequent. Hopefully one day soon I’ll be back to my normal baking/blogging schedule but for now I’m really struggling.

Natural light has gotten the best of me. In our old place I had the lighting figured out. I knew which windows I had to use at which time of day. Now, not so much. I can’t find decent light to save my life. The neighbors probably think I’m nuts because on more than one occasion I’ve carted all my stuff out to the sidewalk for pictures.

This cake only added to the problem by being extremely unphotogenic.

This recipe is another one that’s been on my “as soon as I get some cardamom” list. The cake is much spicier (not hot spicy, of course) than I expected but that’s just because I’m still not sure what to expect with cardamom. Once you get over that initial spice shock, the cake is really good and actually reminds me of Chai tea.

As with all crumb cakes, the crumb topping is the best part. Seriously if I could make any entire cake out of nothing but crumb topping, I would. And because of that crumb topping, I will forgive this cake for giving me such a hard time. I might even make it again one day.

Cardamom Crumb Cake
For the crumbs:
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground cardamom
  • 1/2 stick 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
For the cake:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 stick 8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee cooled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  1. To make the crumbs, put all the ingredients except the butter in a bowl and toss them together with a spatula just to blend. Add the butter and, using your fingers or the spatula, mix everything together until you have crumbs of different sizes. Set the crumbs aside.
  2. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400.
  3. Butter an 8 inch square pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Put the pan on a baking sheet.
  4. To make the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and espresso powder in a large bowl.
  5. Turn the dry ingredients out onto a sheet of wax paper and put the sugar and zest in the bowl. Rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of orange strong, then return the dry ingredients to the bowl and whisk to blend.
  6. Put the remaining ingredients in another bowl and whisk them to blend. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir – don’t beat – to mix.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and top with a thick, even layer of the crumbs. Pat the crumbs ever so gently into the batter.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake has risen (it will crown), the crumbs are golden and a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool.



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