Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Milk Chocolate Cupcakes with Cardamom & Orange

Cardamom orange milk chocolate cupcakes.

Cupcakes | 22nd October 2009 | By

You know how well orange and chocolate pair up? Well I can tell you that adding cardamom makes for an even better flavour combination. These cardamom & orange milk chocolate cupcakes are quite sensational. The sponge is lightly flavoured with chocolate and cardamom and has a good hit of orange. But the best bit is the milk chocolate icing on the cake. Literally!

Here is the first of the cupcake recipes I promised you from my Liskeard cupcake tour. Recently, I indulged in some cardamom milk chocolate. Oh boy! It was so delicious and worked so well, I just had to try it out in cake format.

Milk Chocolate Cupcakes with Cardamom & Orange

One of my favourite baking books is Nigella’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess*. She has a fabulous recipe for cappuccino cupcakes that I’ve made a few times. If you’re having a party, they pair really well with her espresso cupcakes. Anyway, I used the cappuccino recipe as a starting point for these milk chocolate cupcakes with cardamom & orange and then adapted it somewhat.

The process for making the sponge is a very simple one. Pretty much all you need to do is cream the butter and sugar together, beat in the eggs, then mix in the dry ingredients. The milk chocolate orange icing is a bit more complicated as you have to melt the chocolate first. Once you’ve done that bit though, the rest is a cinch. And that icing is just gorgeous.

I just knew these milk chocolate cupcakes with cardamom & orange were going to be delicious. And they were. As I’d hoped the flavours married beautifully together. The texture was good although not quite as light as the dark chilli chocolate cupcakes. The milk chocolate orange icing was so good I could have eaten the whole bowl. Luckily for those concerned, I managed to restrain myself.

The buttercream icing contains orange liqueur. If you’d rather not indulge in alcohol, however, then use some of the juice from the orange instead. I quite understand there are children about.

Update November 2009

Due to popular demand, I transformed these cupcakes into an orange and cardamom birthday cake. It was a great success.

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Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these orange & cardamom milk chocolate cupcakes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.

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Choclette x

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Cardamom & Orange Milk Chocolate Cupcake.

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Milk Chocolate Cupcakes – The Recipe

Cardamom orange milk chocolate cupcakes.
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5 from 3 votes

Milk Chocolate Cupcakes with Cardamom & Orange

The lightly flavoured chocolate, cardamom & orange sponge is delicious, but the best bit is the milk chocolate icing on the cake. Literally!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: blood orange curd, buttercream, cardamom, chilli chocolate, cupcakes, icing, milk chocolate
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 289kcal



  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 125 g soft brown sugar
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 orange - grated zest only
  • 2 large eggs (I use duck eggs when I can get them)
  • 125 g wholemeal flour (I used half wholemeal & half gluten-free)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp milk

Milk chocolate orange icing

  • 100 g milk chocolate (35-40%)
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 75 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange liqueur
  • 12 Minstrels (optional)



  • Cream the butter and sugar together until pale in colour and fluffy in texture.
  • Grind the seeds from the cardamom pods in a pestle & mortar, then beat into the butter mixture along with the orange zest.
  • Beat in the eggs one after the other until thoroughly incorporated. If the mixture curdles, add a little of the flour until it comes together again.
  • Sieve in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, chucking out any large bits of bran left in the sieve.
  • Mix in the milk.
  • Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and bake in a preheated oven at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 20 minutes or until the cakes are well risen and the tops are firm to the touch.

Milk chocolate orange icing

  • Whilst the cakes are cooking, make the icing.
  • Melted the chocolate in a bain marie or bowl set over hot, but not boiling, water. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Cream the butter and icing sugar until smooth and light.
  • Beat in the chocolate followed by the orange liqueur.
  • Swirl the icing over the cooled cupcakes with a spoon or pipe it on if you prefer. Decorate with a Minstrel if wished.


If you'd rather not indulge in alcohol, use some of the juice from the orange instead.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.


Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 487IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg


  1. Chele

    25th October 2009 at 7:45 am

    Hmmm – the jury is still out for me on the whole chocolate and cardamom flavour combo. I had a white choc and cardamom cheesecake at one of my fave bars / places to eat and it didn’t rock my world while everything else I have tried from there has. Might have to try these to see if it was just the cheesecake ….

  2. Choclette

    25th October 2009 at 7:45 pm

    I have to say cardamom in cheesecake doesn’t sound wonderful. The cupcakes proved popular, so might be worth trying it with a darker chocolate? Try the milk chocolate & cardamom 100g bar from M&S – I defy you not to like that!

  3. Chocolate Shavings

    27th October 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Chocolate, orange and cardamom? Yum!

  4. Kath

    29th October 2009 at 9:10 am

    Love this combination, I was thinking about cooking a cardamom, coffee and chocolate cake that I spotted in the October issue of Olive for our Halloween party this weekend, the cupcakes are also tempting. Can you have too much chocolate cake?? What a silly question!

  5. Choclette

    29th October 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Can you have too much chocolate cake? It depends on how good the chocolate cake is!

  6. cakeboule

    16th January 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I just came across this one. I just made some cardamon and clementine shortbead which we all really liked but was worried about using cardamon as this is a first for me. As they liked it perhaps it’s cupcakes next then.

  7. Choclette

    17th January 2012 at 7:14 am

    Cakeboule – I think with cardamom, it just depends how much you use. It does go very well with orange. It’s the same combination I used in the nonnettes recently. I really like it.

  8. Kate Hackworthy

    28th April 2014 at 7:44 pm

    These sound absolutely delicious!

  9. Sisley White

    27th August 2019 at 6:33 pm

    What a flavour combination! Cardamom and oranges work so well together and I’d love to have a cupcake or five.

    • Choclette

      29th August 2019 at 8:42 am

      Thanks Sisley. I was really excited by this flavour combination when I discovered it. The reemergence of this recipe has reminded me of just how good it is.

  10. Janice

    29th August 2019 at 12:05 pm

    What a lovely looking Cupcake. Chocolate and orange is such a great flavour combination.

    • Choclette

      29th August 2019 at 1:46 pm

      This was a blast from the past. I’d completely forgotten about this particular flavour combination. Not so much the chocolate and orange, obviously, but with the cardamom too.

  11. Christina Conte

    29th August 2019 at 8:38 pm

    I ADORE chocolate and orange together, so I’m guessing that I would like these with the cardamom, too! Lovely to use a unique flavor once in a while to get out of a rut!

    • Choclette

      30th August 2019 at 8:55 am

      Cardamom is one of my favourite baking spices, but I haven’t used it for far too long. So this recipe was a good reminder.


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