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cardamom coffee cake-- advice, please ;)

Hounds -- We can't stop drinking coffee in our house, and suddenly I'm excited to try out a cardamom coffee cake. I have the cardamom seeds, so I can just toast and grind them into a powder. I'm not sure if I should go for the cardamom coffee cake in the Original Moosewood, p. 194 (I think I'll halve the recipe, as it calls for A POUND of butter) which contains sour cream and the typical crew of ingredients. But I'm also intrigued by this cardamom coffee cake, from Woman's Day, flavored with orange zest and espresso powder and actual coffee in the batter.

Can anyone vouch for either of these recipes, or perhaps offer an alternate suggestion? Or, upon peeking at the recipes (links below), does either jump out as a MUST-try?

Also, I don't have a bundt or tube pan. Should I bake this in a square baking dish, or a round cake pan, or does it even matter?! :)

Cardamom crumb cake (orange-zest-flavored):

Cardamom coffee cake (Moosewood version, glowing review!

thanks, CH!

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  1. The ratios in the Moosewood recipe look funky to me (even without the sugar typo) and it sounds like a lot of batter for a 10" tube pan. I would test the other recipe, which can be baked in an 8" square. Tube pans are to ensure even cooking when baking recipes that produce lots of batter. Without the metal tube, the center would not cook as quickly as the edges. Let us know what you wind up baking!


    1 Reply
    1. re: meta

      Well, I checked the recipe at other websites (all glowing reviews) and the butter amount was the same. Another site said that this recipe makes a BIIIIIGGGGG cake..I noticed it also has 4 cups of flour, so the butter doesn't sound that outrageous when the amount of flour is taken into consideration.

      In any case, several other sites had the Moosewood recipe and it was the same.

    2. I don't know about either of those recipes, but I recently made Dorie Greenspan's cardamom coffee cake, which was really delicious. The woman's day recipe sounds similar.

      1. Good grief, a pound of butter? I'd be scared to eat that.

        I have been meaning to try the Greenspan recipe but haven't yet. You could also doctor a coffee cake recipe you like by just adding cardamom. I've done this with many cakes. By the way, I don't toast the seeds before you grinding; they seem sufficiently fragrant to me as is.

        2 Replies
        1. re: willownt

          If you have the whole green or white seeds, you need to break them open to get to the black seeds. Grind them without toasting.

          That Dorie Greenspan Cardamom coffee cake is the best!

          1. re: Becca Porter

            Grinding fresh makes a big difference compared to buying preground.

        2. I totally dig this recipe for an upside-down cardamom pear cake, which I think is about the texture/sweetness/coffeecakeyness you're looking for.


          It came from Cooking Light, so it's fairly healthy. It's just gorgeous, too

          1. It's been years since I've made the Moosewood recipe, but it's delicious, really rich and dense. I have a note in my book that I have subbed yogurt for the sour cream and used part whole wheat flour, with good effect. I'm surprised I didn't try cutting down the butter or sugar, or if I did, I didn't note it.

            I remember it as being a really yummy, special occasion cake.

            1. Thanks, all, for your ideas. I think I chose wrong in opting for the Woman's Day recipe. The preparation felt fussy, but then I did add the extra steps of toasting & grinding the cardamom. Moosewood is one of my favorite cookbooks, the one from which I learned to cook (along with my mom's instruction) so I'm surprised I didn't opt for that one. I like orange flavor a lot, so maybe that's why - but the WD recipe contained so many competing flavors that I couldn't even taste the orange zest! The cake was okay, but nothing special, whereas it sounds as if the Moosewood recipe is something to bake for a festive occasion. I also really like the fun of upside down cakes, so maybe I'll go with the cardamom-pear-upside-down cake. That reminds me of something I made years ago, when Martha Stewart's Everyday Food featured an easy-peasy cranberry upside cake that looked *gorgeous* like little rosy sparkling jewels and tasted great.

              1 Reply
              1. re: foxy fairy

                Here's the cranberry upside down cake - wonder how it would be with cardamom for the cinnamon/allspice. Why not, right? I like this dessert's simplicity. I made it to cap off a very elaborate meal and it enabled me to attend to the more intricate dishes while still serving a homemade, festive, and gorgeous dessert.


              2. My Swedish grandmother had "coffee and" everyday. During the holidays, the "and" was ALWAYS cardamon bread. It had a great, sort of flaky texture (not grainy like most breads, more of a cross between coffee cake and regular bread),a sweet glaze, and a sprinkling a parlsocker on top (a large-grained sugar, like sea salt is to regular salt).

                Last Christmas, my mom and I found this bread-machine version online: http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/reci... It just has an egg glaze, but we like to add some sugar to the egg for sweetness :)

                1 Reply
                1. re: porceluna

                  Hah! That brings back memories of going over to relatives' houses in Duluth for "coffee". There was always a huge spread of things to eat. We made fun of this for years...."Wanna come over for 'coffee' (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)?. Of course there were also other meals in each day that were equally gigantic. Ah, those Swedes.