Nov 7, 2012

Cardamom Bundt Cake with Saffron Rosewater Cream #BundtaMonth

Cardamom Bundt Cake with Saffron Rosewater Cream

Baking a cake is, by my definition, a good thing. Always. And baking a bundt cake a little bit better. There is something about an unmolded beautiful patterned cake. It works every time. 
That said, this is my second attempt at this cake. So let´s just say that those first sentences didn´t apply for my first try. A low-rised cake with a crumb that looked like it took two steps towards rising and then decided it was not worth it, is really not a nice thing to see. Oh, it unmolded like a charm by the way, which is probably an even bigger slap on my face since it´s usually the downfall of many bundt cakes. 

Cardamom Bundt Cake with Saffron Rosewater Cream

So I went back to the trenches, pulled out my never fail recipe and whipped up the cake I should´ve made in the first place. So much for trying to innovate too much for this month´s Bundt a Month challenge. 
The theme is spices and it fits this time of year perfectly. I already made a zucchini raisin bundt with cinnamon streusel and a rum glazed pumpkin bundt cake
Our hosts are the Cake Duchess and Baker Street, two wonderful bakers and friends.

Cardamom Bundt Cake with Saffron Rosewater Cream

There´s a reason why some recipes are called basic. They work. Every time.
The flavors remained unchanged, because I definitely wanted a cardamom cake with the creamy frosting I had seen on my friend´s blog. It sounded exotic and it is. Saffron and rosewater together sounded intriguing and mysterious.
I had been wanting to make a cardamom cake for the longest time. I usually use this spice when making danish dough, but as a very faint undertone. 

Cardamom Bundt Cake with Saffron Rosewater Cream

Here I ground the pods, the insides of course, quite a lot of them, and the flavor and taste is unmistakably good. So aromatic and fresh and just plain wonderful.  I completely omitted the vanilla and got exactly the cake I wanted.
A word about vanilla extract here. I love it, and I think it enhances many other flavors like lemon and orange. I usually add a few drops no matter what other flavoring I´m using. But for this cake just cardamom was the right call, especially since it is fresh.
And a word about cardamom: when you grind your own pods it´s like using a different spice compared to the powder that you buy already ground. Really, there´s no comparison. Just so you know. A grinder is a very good purchase if you´re into spices. I use a coffee bean grinder which was never used for coffee beans.

Cardamom Bundt Cake with Saffron Rosewater Cream

About that cream. The saffron gives it a color that turns a beautiful yellow if your pinch is a bit on the large side like mine was. I might´ve overdone it, but I think the yellow color is gorgeous. The rosewater had been sitting forever in my pantry and this is my first time using it.
It worked so well together it surprised me. Why? Because it really smells soapy, like your great-grand-mothers´ cologne from three hundred years ago. Too flowery. But if used in a tiny amount and mixed with the saffron cream, it simply produces a new and very nice flavor. Absolutely new to me.
So use the rosewater sparingly, no matter what this or any other recipe says. That is my advice. At least the first time you try it. You can always add more the next time, but you´ll find it hard to eat something that tastes a bit like soap.

Cardamom Bundt Cake with Saffron Rosewater Cream

To wrap this up, this cardamom cake with saffron rosewater cream is good. I really liked it. The flavors come together in a great way, each one complementing the other one. But, the cardamom cake is amazing on it´s own, dusted with a bit of powdered sugar. A total keeper.

adapted from Kiss MyBundt, by Christa Wilson

2 ½ cups flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter
1 ¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground fresh cardamom, about 20 pods
3 eggs, room tº
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup cream

½ cup natural pistachios, toasted

Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a bundt pan with vegetable spray and coat with fine dry breadcrumbs. Set aside.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Slowly add cardamom and sugar and beat 2 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and then beat for 2 minutes.
Beginning and ending with dry ingredients, add them in three parts alternating with milk and cream in two parts. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
Bake about 40 minutes for a big cake. Wait 5 minutes and inverto onto wire rack. Cool completely.
When ready to serve, cover the top with the saffron rosewater cream and sprinkle with toasted natural pistachios. 

The rest of the bundt bakers made these amazing cakes:

Apple Bundt Cake with an Attitude by Deb | Knitstamatic
Cinnamon Crown Bundt Cake by Renee | Magnolia Days
Ginger Pear Bundt Cake by Holly | A Baker's House
Gingerbread Apple Cake by Lora | Cake Duchess
Gram's Fig Spice Bundt Cake with Buttermilk Glaze by Stacy | Food Lust People Love
Italian Anise Bundt Cake by Karen | In The Kitchen with KP
Maple Pecan Bundt with Maple Glaze by Jennie | The Messy Baker Blog
Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cake by Alice Choi | Hip Foodie Mom
Moroccan Inspired Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Ras El Hanout by Laura | The Spiced Life
Nutmeg Bundt Cake by Dorothy | Shockingly Delicious
Peach and Roasted Cinnamon Bundt Cake with Cinnamon Sugar by Kim | Cravings Of A Lunatic
Spiced Dark Chocolate with Cinnamon Glaze by Kate | Food Babbles
Spicy Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake by Carrie | Poet In The Pantry


  1. Beautiful cake, Paula.
    I love the flavor combinations.

  2. Cardamom...Rose water cream... my oh my, I would loooove to sink my teeth into that cake.

  3. Look at that gorgeous fluffy frosting! Oh my...

  4. I want a slice now, I mean right now! The flavors are so wonderful. I'm thinking about the cardamom with the saffron and rosewater. Oh heavens. Delightful!

  5. I love cardamom in sweet things. It reminds me of the sweet tea you are served in Middle Eastern markets when the carpet sellers are trying to talk you into a purchase. So, good memories. :) And your saffron icing is fabulously yellow on top of that beautiful Bundt!

  6. I just love the colors in your bundt cake!And the flavors.. this must have been heavenly to taste!

  7. Paula, as always. . such a beautiful post/recipe/cake! Love what you wrote about baking, cakes and bundt cakes. . I totally agree! Baking is so therapeutic for me. . and hey, second time is always a charm! :) and thanks for the tips on the Saffron and rosewater . . I love that you used them! Wow!

  8. Oh my goodness, what a splendid cake! The pairing of fresh cardamom with rose water, saffron and pistachios is marvelous!

  9. That thick cream on top is making me drool!

  10. This is so creative!! I love cardamom and that cake sounds amazing. That frosting though, oh that frosting! It sounds like it must have been so good. I can't say I've ever tried saffron in an icing but I need to make this. I'm so intrigued! Lovely job!

  11. Paula, this is one gorgeous bundt cake. That cardamom cream looks absolutely delicious.

  12. I've got to get Kiss My Bundt! I love all your bundts, Paula. I love how you tried again after the first wasn't perfect. This is gorgeous and you gave me an idea of what to make with my cardamom my dad just gave me. Beautiful cake and thank you for joining us again with Bundt a Month:)xx

  13. I've never made a cake with such a bold spice and love the idea of grinding cardamom.And oh my goodness-- that cream!!--I'd take just the cream on a spoon of its own. So creative and beautiful too.

  14. Cardamom + Rose water Cream sounds incredibly delicious, Paula! What a beautiful cake! Love the hint of saffron - adds great color and flavor.

  15. Such a beautiful cake and looks delicious. I love the different flavors you incorporated.

  16. STUNNING. I want this cake in my life immediately.

  17. Your glaze looks amazing! So thick and gorgeous! I need cake which is prob not a good thing at 8 am.

  18. Okay seriously, the fact that you used pistachios on the top just moves you up to my new bbff status immediately. I adore them. And you used cardamom and saffron too. Seriously, I am dying here. This is too good to be true.

  19. Wow, this is a gorgeous cake and just what I have been looking for! I have been interested in using these three flavors more, and what better way than in a cake together!

  20. Okay that frosting pilled high is beyond awesome! BUT what I love is the 20 cardamom pods, I am in love! I still have not found cardamom pods, only ground at my stores. Your cake looks fantastic, Hugs, Terra

  21. I drank a lassi once which reminded me of lotion--so I hear ya about using just a drop or 2! I love cardamom cakes and I love the idea of working in saffron. This is gorgeous!

  22. Paula - I know I just said I was going to make your brown sugar cheesecake, but this will have to come first! I am always looking for an Indian-inspired dessert and this imperfect! The flavors sound incredible and I am so glad you frosted with the saffron cream. I wish I could have a piece now... ~ David

    1. I agree completely and I have your whole tangerine cake pinned because of the orange blossom glaze!


Your comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to leave a note.