Cardamom Buttermilk Coffee Cake
I am so very glad not to be a picky eater. There are foods I dislike, of course, but I’ll try pretty much anything once, and I often like it. In several cases, I have discovered a new flavor that has become an obsession. Brown butter was the first. Then came cardamom. I hadn’t heard of it until about three years ago, but now I’m kind of a sucker for it. I go out of my way to find it. I mix it into my coffee grounds to make cardamom coffee. If it’s on the dessert menu, I’m sold.
And if it’s in a recipe for a delicious-sounding quickbread, I’ll make that recipe three. times. before I even tell you about it. Shame on me.
Now, it must be said: cardamom is one of those spices that can very easily become overwhelming. Thankfully, this cake includes what I consider to be the perfect amount. It also contains one of my favorite baking ingredients: buttermilk. And, unlike many recipes that leave me with a partial container of buttermilk, which inevitably sits in the fridge until it spoils, this recipe uses exactly one pint. Beauteous.
Perhaps the best part about this cake is the two secret layers of cinnamon-brown sugar nestled inside.
Look at that cheeky cake. You could probably go your whole life thinking it was a regular ol’ Bundt cake, just like any other, until you cut out a slice and then… bam! Brown sugary goodness, all swirled up in every bite.
Talk about a pleasant surprise.
Now, I did make a few changes, mostly to adapt to the ingredients I had: I subbed half of the brown sugar for dark brown sugar, removed the walnuts from the filling, increased the amount of sugar swirl, and weighed all of the ingredients in grams. I would definitely recommend including some toasted walnuts in the sugar swirl, if you have them on hand!
With or without walnuts, this cake is good warm, cold, or toasted in the oven with a pat of butter on top. And it stays moist for at least three days, assuming you’re able to keep it around that long. Any way you slice it, it’s a keeper. Enjoy!
Cardamom Buttermilk Coffee Cake
adapted from Mollie Katzen’s recipe in this lovely cookbook, where she writes: “Very Rich ~ Very Delicious”
Yield: two 9×5 loaf pans or one 10-inch Bundt pan. 24 slices, by my knife
1 lb (454 g) butter, softened
1 c. (170 g) light brown sugar
1 c. (170 g) dark brown sugar
2 tsp (10 g) vanilla extract
4 c (484 g) all-purpose flour
2 tsp (7 g) baking powder
2 1/2 tsp (14 g) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 g) salt
1 Tbsp (5 g) powdered cardamom
2 c (467 g) buttermilk
1/2 c (90 g) brown sugar
1 Tbsp (5 g) cinnamon
1/c c walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Butter a 10-inch Bundt pan and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture, 1/3 of it at a time, to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Stir just enough to blend after each addition.
4. Combine the sugar swirl ingredients in a separate bowl.
5. Spoon approximately 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the swirl mixture, then add another 1/3 of the batter. Cover with remaining swirl, then top with remaining batter. Lightly spread into place.
6. Bake approximately 1 1/4 hours, or until the cake springs back lightly when touched and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. “Cool at least 30 minutes more before wildly devouring.”