Today I was pleasantly surprised to receive a birthday e-card. You see, today is not actually my birthday, but it is the birthday of Sainte Martine, and I likely would not be named Martine if not for her.
Not one to miss an opportunity to celebrate, I could think of no better way to mark “our” birthday than baking this lovely cake. Although I may not always be worthy of the characterization of “saint”, I must confess that from time to time I do like to indulge with a warm slice of cake and a lovely cup of tea.
This recipe—and today’s birthday e-card—comes from my friend Patricia. Yes, the same talented Patricia who hosted the fabulous Atelier Chocolat last month. A couple of weeks ago, while on a ski trip, she had a slice of a spicy sweet cardamom cake that left a lasting impression. So much that when she returned, she made it her mission to come up with a recipe for a similar version.
Here, ground cardamom adds a soothing aroma and unique, but subtle, flavor to this inviting crumb cake. If you don’t like cardamom, feel free to substitute with ground ginger or cinnamon.
Cardamom Crumb Cake
½ cup coconut oil or butter
¾ cup sucanat (cane sugar) or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1¼ tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon ground cardamom
1 cup Greek yogurt
18 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon sucanat cane sugar
¾ walnuts, chopped (plus more for garnish)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch cake pan. (I used a spring form pan)
Make the crumble. Roast cardamom pods for about 10 minutes. Remove the seeds and combine with walnuts and cinnamon and set aside.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cardamom. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine coconut oil (or butter) with sugar and mix until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla. Combine dry ingredients with the wet, then add yogurt.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared cake pan. Cover batter with about ¾ of the crumble. Add remaining half of the batter on top. Finish by covering with the rest of the crumble.
Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Notes: I had korerima (Ethiopian black cardamom) seeds (see in photos above) on hand so I didn’t roast my cardamom pods. Instead, I toasted my seeds then pulsed them a few times in spice grinder before mixing with the other crumble ingredients.
After my cake was baked, I garnished it with powdered sugar, turbinado sugar and more walnuts.
I made the mistake of using white whole wheat flour instead of pastry flour. This alteration made the cake a bit drier than it’s meant to be. Still, it was quite nice and tasty, despite my imperfections.