Earl Grey Cardamom Pound Cake

My mommy came to visit this past week! Joe was away in New Orleans for work so it was just her, me, and Mila. Although I missed him and the rest of my family, it was nice to spend some rare, quality time with just my mom. 

I took her to Thai pizza, which she loved--I also didn't realize she had never had fish tacos and the best fish taco place is around the corner from my place, so we had margaritas and fish tacos one night. We got frozen yogurt, cocktails at Taste, tea at the London Tea Room, and spent some time with Kaylen at Whisk. And of course, we took long walks each day with Mila, exploring different parts of Forest Park and marathon-ed "The Good Wife".

The London Tea Room
The best part of her being here, was being able to cook her some delicious meals. My mom has always loved shrimp n grits and never made it at home. I've perfected a recipe and was so excited to make it for her (she loved it!). I also made her chicken pot pie from scratch, and Vietnamese chicken wings, which she ate two days in a row. And she made me giant containers of my favorite Indian dishes. 

Shrimp and grits from scratch
I've never felt more like an adult than this week, which is strange. Of course, my mom will still lovingly tuck my hair behind my ear (I hate when she does) and talk about how cute I look, but I found myself really appreciating that I could host her in my grown-up apartment and cook her meals. And that we can enjoy an alcoholic drink together, or a steaming cup of tea.

I got her some flowers from my favorite florist, Flowers to the People
I had made this pound cake a week before she got here, but I knew she would love it so I pre-sliced it and froze it away for her arrival. And she did. So much so that she wants me to make a loaf for her to take for my grandma in India.

Cardamom is one of my favorite spices that instantly transports me to India. But it's not one I use very often. I find myself reaching for the ever-popular cinnamon more than anything else. Nevertheless, I decided to try this with the freshest cardamom I had, and it was amazing. 

I also incorporated some bergamot oil to add a hint of Earl Grey-ness to the whole thing. Get ready for more Earl Grey-inspired recipes because I am addicted, folks. It's like the time I discovered the magic of salt in chocolate. I purchased some Bergamot oil which adds lovely floral citrus-y notes of Earl Grey into all my baked goods.
I had intended to add actual ground Earl Grey tea leaves but it wasn't until I pushed the loaf into the oven (feeling all accomplished) that I noticed the leaves in a small bowl on my counter, unused. Sigh. 

Let me just say, I cannot be trusted around pound cake. When I was a kid, I had an aunt on my dad's side who I remember mostly for her delicious pound cake that she would bring over. I would devour it way too fast for my own good. This cake is just as good as that one and reminded me of why I don't allow myself near pound cake in general.
But I have to say, this was absolutely delicious as breakfast with my tea.
It was also doubly delicious served as a warm accompaniment to vanilla bean ice cream (that I also made from scratch, cuz I'm crazy).

Oh, and don't feel obligated to put walnuts or any nuts on top. I meant to add almond slices or pecans but didn't have either, and the walnuts added a great texture (and got toasted perfectly) but aren't necessary if you happen to not like nuts.

Listening to: Papaoutai by Stromae

Earl Grey Cardamom Pound Cake

Makes one loaf
Adapted from Bon Appetit

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup whole milk*
1/2 cup creme fraiche*
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 bags of Earl Grey tea or 3 tablespoons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp bergamot oil*
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (to sprinkle on top)

*You can use sour cream in its place if you must.
*I found the bergamot extract at a local cake supply store in the extracts section but you can probably order it online.
*I use 1/3 cup milk to steep in the Earl Grey in case some of it gets evaporated in the boiling process--only 1/4 cup milk is needed for the recipe.

Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. 
Line a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the baking powder, cardamom, salt, and flour. Set aside. 
In a small saucepan, heat 1/3 cup milk till it comes to a rolling boil. 
Add in the Earl Grey and turn off the heat--leave a lid on it for about 30 minutes.
Strain the tea leaves and measure out 1/4 cup milk into a bowl and whisk in the creme fraiche to the milk.
Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. 
Add eggs one at a time, using a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl. Then, add the vanilla extract.
Reduce the speed to low and begin adding roughly 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then 1/2 of the creme fraiche mixture, alternating until everything is fully incorporated. Beat until combined.
Scrape the batter into your loaf pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes — it took 50 in my oven — or until you can poke the center of the cake with a toothpick and have it come out clean.
Let the cake cool completely before slicing and serving. 
If you refrigerate it before slicing, the cuts of cake will be a lot cleaner.
Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Serve at room temperature or warm, with or without ice cream.


  1. I loved the texture of the pound cake! And the toasted walnuts :)

    Are you going to post the recipe for the shrimp and grits?!?

    Glad you had a great time with your mom! She is so sweet.

  2. This sounds amazingly delicious. I love cardamom. This weekend, I made a Desi-style Sazerac with cardamom simply syrup. It was most delicious. I'm going to have to try this pound cake. It sounds delectable.

  3. Thanks! I've never had Sazerac before... adding it to my list of things I need to try.

  4. Hi Lisa! I LOVE the bergamot oil from here: http://www.baktoflavors.com/

    You're gonna love this cake! :)


Post a Comment

Popular Posts