I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that I do all my blog photo shoots in a corner of my bedroom. I’ve got wide windowsills and my carrara marble pie board, so it’s a pretty sweet deal…except when it’s gray outside for days on end and my viewless east-facing window gets terrible light. I’ve made it work in the past, but just couldn’t bear the idea of taking grainy, sub-par photos of this Orange Cardamom Cake.So, uh, hello from my make-shift photo set-up in the living room! Look at this cake I made for you!If early autumn could be baked into a cake, it would be this Orange Cardamom beauty. It’s got plenty of brightness and tang from a triple hit of fresh orange, a little warmth from ground cardamom, and a moist, tight crumb that’ll have you going back for seconds.It’s like the joyful feeling you get when you finally get to break out your chunky sweaters after a long, hot summer. You’re so happy to be wearing a sweater that you don’t even care that you’re wearing it with cut-offs and sandals.But you know, it’s cake. Really, really good cake. The sort of cake you eat when you’re not ready to go all-pumpkin/apple/pear all the time, but if you have to eat one more berry anything, you’ll scream.
Maybe that’s just me. Anyway…This cake is stupid easy to make. Yesssssss. It requires a mixer, but just one bowl and three steps.
- Put all the ingredients in one mixing bowl.
- Mix ‘em on low for 30 seconds.
- Turn up the speed to medium and mix for another three minutes.
Seriously, that’s it. Put the batter in the pan and bake it for a little more than an hour.Once it’s cool, paint the cake with a fresh orange glaze.Top it with a thick orange icing. That’s the stuff.Make yourself a pot of tea, cut yourself a slice, cozy up, and enjoy.Chunky sweater optional, but encouraged.
Orange Cardamom Cake
makes one 10 cup capacity bundt
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 16 pieces
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup milk (preferably whole), room temperature
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 325F. Heavily grease a bundt pan with softened butter (or shortening) and dust with flour. Set aside.
Make the cake. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to mix on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes. Batter will be thick.
Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth the top with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Tap full pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in several places comes out clean.
Let cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a thin, flexible knife around all exposed edges. Invert cake onto a cooling rack and let cake cool completely. Cake may be made up to a day in advance; it will keep double-wrapped in plastic wrap.
Set the cooled cake, still on the rack, over a rimmed baking sheet. Make the glaze. Combine orange juice and sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, just until the sugar granules dissolve. Alternatively, this may be done in a small pot on the stove.
Use a pastry brush to paint glaze all over the cake. Continue brushing until you’ve used all the glaze. Some will run off onto the rimmed baking sheet—that is okay. Let cake sit for 30 minutes to absorb the glaze.
Make the icing. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together confectioners sugar, 2 tablespoons of orange juice, and salt. Mixture should be very thick, but pourable. If it’s too thick, add more orange juice by the teaspoon up to 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon). Pour over cake. Let sit for 20 minutes to set. Move cake to a serving plate before slicing and serving.
Leftover cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to five.