Orange and Cardamom Birthday Cake

Cake, Layer cakes | 15th November 2009 | By

Goodness, I have got my first commission! My cupcake adventure around town during National Chocolate Week created a few waves and this was one of them – to make an enlarged version of one of my cardamom and orange cupcakes for a birthday. This is exciting but also rather scary and not the same as making a cake for a friend at all – it could all go horribly wrong and then what?

This is what I ended up doing:
  • Remembered to get butter (200g unsalted) out of fridge early and put it over the heater to warm.
  • Ground up seeds from 17 cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar.
  • Infused pods in 4 fl oz hot water.
  • Creamed softened butter with 200g of soft brown sugar, grated rind from 2 oranges, 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt and the ground cardamom until pale and fluffy. Then creamed it some more.
  • Beat in 4 large eggs (from customers own smallholding) alternately with some of the flour (which I’m just about to get to).
  • Sifted in 250g flour (1/2 wholemeal, 1/2 white spelt), 2 level tsp baking powder, 1 level tsp bicarb of soda and 50g cocoa.
  • Stirred in water (with pods sieved out) whilst still warm.
  • Mixed in 6 fl oz sour cream.
  • Divided mixture between 2 21cm cake thingies and baked at 180C for 25 mins.
  • Melted 200g 35% milk chocolate & left to cool slightly.
  • Creamed further 100g unsalted butter with 100g icing sugar.
  • Mixed in chocolate together with 2 tbsp orange liqueur.
  • Used half of the mixture to sandwich the cold cakes together, then spread remainder over the top.
  • Used minstrels to decorate.
Sadly, neither myself nor my chief chocolate taster got to taste this one, so I’ll just have to assume it was completely delicious!


  1. Leave a Reply

    15th November 2009

    This looks wonderful – well done on your first commission – well deserved:) Lucie x

  2. Leave a Reply

    15th November 2009

    ooh I would pay good money for a cake that looks as good as that. Well done.

  3. Leave a Reply

    16th November 2009

    I know they say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I think we all know that a cake that looks that good must be delicious. Congratulations on your first commission – I’m sure those lucky party goers will be knocking at your door for more. Thanks for popping over to my patch to say hello :o)

  4. Leave a Reply

    16th November 2009

    That is exciting! It looks very delicious, you will be a full time baker before you know it.

  5. Leave a Reply

    16th November 2009

    Thank you all so much for your kind and supportive comments – much appreciated.

  6. Leave a Reply

    19th November 2009

    And the Andrew Whitley course at Schumacher college must be coming up soon. He is a master baker – a master. (I interviewed him once for Living Earth…)

  7. Leave a Reply

    20th November 2009

    Hi Elisabeth.

    Actually I’d quite have like a slice too! Must have gone down well, because have now been asked to make another.

    Yes, I know a couple of folk who have been on Andrew’s course in the Lakes and they’ve both been very impressed. Schumacher course is the week after next and I’m so hoping I’ll be OK to go – partner currently laid very low with flu – aghhh!

  8. Leave a Reply

    21st November 2009

    Well done! I’m not surprised you got an order from Chocolate Week, your recipes sounded scrummy! This cake looks amazing, I’d pay for one myself!

  9. Leave a Reply

    23rd November 2009

    Congratulations, how exciting for you!

    This flavour combination sounds amazing and the big chocolate buttons are so cute – they make the cake.

  10. Leave a Reply

    28th November 2009

    Looks delicious. Would love a big slice of that with my tea now rather than a few pieces of cookies.

  11. Leave a Reply

    27th February 2011

    Nessa – thank you – I was going through an “I love cardamom” phase at the time.

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