Orange Cardamom Tea Cakes



There’s a bakery in Ludlow, Vermont that I miss with all my taste buds. If you’re a long-time reader of THIH, you may remember a fleeting mention of Sweet Surrender in this post.

… What am I saying? If you actually remember that post from 2010, then your name is Peter. And even that’s a stretch.

Anyway. Besides having the most delicious doughnuts and moist, crumbly scones one could ask for (and I’ve asked for them many times), this Vermont bakery also introduced me to the tastiness of cardamom in baked goods. Behold:



Cardamom is a spice used in Middle Eastern, North African, and Scandinavian cooking (edited to add: and Indian cooking – thanks, Andy!). Prior to tasting Sweet Surrender’s cardamom cake, I’d only tried this spice in savory dishes, like spiced rice and curries. Yet the fragrant flavor of cardamom pairs well with sweet tastes, such as in these mini orange cakes.




You can buy ground cardamom at many groceries, but freshly ground cardamom is best. The green cardamom pods are easiest to handle. After removing the cardamom seeds from their green pods, pulverize them in a coffee grinder. A little ground cardamom is enough to add a gentle spice to these mini-cakes. Recipe adapted from Shape magazine.

Orange Cardamom Tea Cakes

  Prep Time: 15 minutes

  Cook Time: 15 minutes

  Keywords: bake dessert breakfast cardamom

Ingredients (24 mini-cakes)

  • 1 cup white whole wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest AND 3 tablespoons orange juice from 2 large oranges (preferably organic)
  • 1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 mini Bundt pans or a 24-cup mini cupcake tin with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cardamom. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat together sugar and eggs until light and slightly thickened. Beat in olive oil, vanilla, and orange zest.

Add flour mixture and milk to egg mixture and mix well. Spoon batter into pans, filling each about halfway. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle glaze over mini cakes.

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Have a great weekend, dear reader!

Q: Have you ever tried cardamom? How about in something sweet, like a pudding or baked good?

P.S. Bonus pic! I served these cakes during a recent Strawberry Fields open-hours session. A few customers immediately identified the cardamom, while most couldn’t believe I’d used cardamom in a baked good. Thumbs up all around!

SF cardamom


  1. I didn’t even realize it was spelled like that….cardamom, PERFECT for MOM’S day 😉 These sound wonderful Jessie!!

    1. Haha, I didn’t even realize that! Good catch 🙂

  2. Cardamom is amazing, and it is even more incredible when you finally discover what makes those certain baked goods and desserts so tasty! These look lovely, Jessie. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for all your kind words on my blog!

  3. I love cardamom! It’s probably my favourite spice, especially for baking. I think that’s why I’m always so drawn to Scandinavian dessert recipes.

  4. I love cardamom in baked goods and in fact, used it in a tart crust this weekend! It pairs so wonderfully with citrus. What lovely tea cakes!

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