Cardamom Poundcake with Plums


Cardamom is my new favorite flavor!  I loved it in these cheesecakes and when I saw this pound-cake in Bon Appetit I knew that I had to make it.  Little did I know of the trouble that this seemingly simple recipe would cause.

Finding cardamom pods in Douglasville can be a little difficult.  I did find the pods at the Indian market.  The anise pods were a little more difficult.  Really the cake part was easy.  It was the plum sauce that seemed to be just out of my reach.  It took me several times to finally get the knack.  The first go round produced plums that were just way too mushy.  I did save that liquid and used the plums by pushing them through a sieve.  The next time I cooked more plums  using the liquid I saved.  I shortened the cooking time greatly which worked.

Cardamom Pound Cake

The dessert is restaurant worthy.  I loved it!   I have to say after making three of the cakes that the cooking time and temperature is very temperamental.  For you that means be really careful and don’t overcook the cake.  If you are using dark loaf pans decrease your cooking temperature by 25 degrees.  Set your time on the low-end and watch carefully because oven temperature vary wildly.  I felt that I overcooked the first loaf and it needed more of the plum sauce to balance the dryness of the cake.  But even with what I thought was a dry cake  it was a great dessert.

Plum sauce

Cardamom Poundcake with Tea Poach Plums Bon Appétit | August 2013

Yield:Makes 8 servings


  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pan
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche plus more for serving (I used sour cream)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds


  1. Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter a 9x5x3″ loaf pan; line bottom and long sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving overhang. Butter parchment and dust pan with flour, tapping out any excess.
  2. Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter a 9x5x3″ loaf pan; line bottom and long sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving overhang. Butter parchment and dust pan with flour, tapping out any excess.
  3. Whisk baking powder, cardamom, salt, and 2 cups flour in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk milk and 1/2 cup crème fraîche in a small bowl; set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat sugar and 3/4 cup butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula, then add vanilla and almond extracts.
  6. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with crème fraîche mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients; beat just until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
  7. Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40-50 minutes. (Tent with foil if browning too quickly.)
  8. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 15 minutes. Using parchment overhang, gently remove cake from pan and transfer to rack; let cool.
  9. Slice cake and serve with Tea-Poached Plums and crème fraîche.

Tea Poached Plums

  • 1 1/2 pounds small plums (15-20), preferably Italian
  • 3 bags strong black tea
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 whole star anise pod
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise


  1. Using a paring knife, score plums all the way around, starting and ending at stem end and cutting just through the skin (you want to keep plums intact).
  2.   Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, add tea bags, and let steep about 5 minutes; discard tea bags.
  3. Add sugar and bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  4. Reduce heat, add plums, cardamom, and star anise; scrape in vanilla seeds and add pod. Simmer until plums are just tender, 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let plums cool in poaching liquid.
  6. Discard vanilla pod, cardamom, and star anise.
  7. Halve plums, remove pits, and return to poaching liquid.

Happy Cooking,


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Filed under Cake, Desserts

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