Give Spring the welcome it deserves with this Blood Orange Cardamom Bundt Cake!! Super rich, lightly spiced, and bursting with citrus flavor, this bundt is the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of Spring!!
Blood Orange Cardamom Bundt Cake
Spring is in the air. Which for me means we are slowly inching our way out of the winter fog and into the fresh Spring air. I don’t know about you, but whenever Spring comes, I start to crave all things light and citrus. Enter this blood orange cardamom bundt cake. Citrusy blood orange combines with floral cardamom and rich, tangy sour cream. This cake screams welcome Spring in all the best ways.
Blood oranges are only in season for a short period of time, so whenever I see them in the grocery store, I make sure to buy multiple bags. I mean who can resist that beautiful red, orange skin? They are slightly tart and wonderfully sweet. I could not let the season go by without baking with these beauties.
This cake is everything a bundt cake should be. It has a perfectly moist crumb, a citrus flavor profile that would knock anyones’ socks off, and the right amount of sweetness that will have you craving it all day long.
Ingredients needed to make Blood Orange Cardamom Bundt Cake
Butter – I used unsalted butter in this recipe but feel free to use salted instead. If you do use salted butter, make sure to omit the salt when mixing your dry ingredients.
Eggs – Eggs play such a vital role in pound cakes. Not only do they provide richness and structure but also flavor.
Sugar – I used granulated sugar to sweeten this cake.
Blood orange juice and zest – The star of the show next to cardamom!! I used 1/4 cup of blood orange juice and 2 tablespoons of blood orange zest. If you want more blood orange flavor, you can always increase the amount of zest.
Sour cream – Sour cream adds moisture and a subtle tang. I always use full fat sour cream when baking bundt cakes to ensure a light and fluffy cake.
Flour – I used all purpose flour in this recipe.
Ground Cardamom – When I first tested this cake, I added 1 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom which completely overpowered the cake. This cake is supposed to be a harmonious blend of both blood orange and cardamom. I wanted both of the flavors to stand out, not one overpowering the other. I found that with only adding 3/4 teaspoon, you can still get that light, floral spice without overwhelming the cake. Feel free to up the cardamom if you feel like you need a little more spice.
Vanilla Extract – Vanilla extract blends perfectly with both the cardamom and blood orange.
How to make Blood Orange Cardamom Cake
First things first, ensure all of your ingredients are room temperature before starting. I like to set my eggs and butter out on the counter for at least an hour before I start making my batter.
- Pre heat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease your 15 cup bundt pan liberally with baking spray with flour and set aside . Alternatively, you can butter and flour your pan.
- Zest your blood oranges until you get two tablespoons of zest. This will also be a good time to go ahead an juice your oranges as well. You will need 1/4 cup juice for the cake, 1/2 cup for the simple syrup, and 3 tablespoons for the glaze.
- In a large bowl, sift together all of your dry ingredients and set aside.
- Cream your butter, sugar, and zest together for 7 minutes. I know that may seem like a long time but the goal is to make sure air bubbles are being incorporated into the cake mixture. These air bubbles will expand and help leaven the cake batter. If you fail to produce enough air in the butter/sugar mixture, you will end up with a dense cake. Adding the zest to the butter/sugar mixture will help release the oils in the orange.
- Next, add in your eggs one at a time and mix until each one is incorporated before adding the next.
- Stir in your vanilla extract and blood orange juice.
- With your mixer on low alternate adding the flour mixture and sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Make sure to only mix until just combined after each addition and be sure not to over mix!!
- Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Mine was done at one hour. Begin checking the cake for doneness at 50 minutes. The cake will be ready when a toothpick or cake tester when inserted, comes out clean.
- Remove cake from oven and cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting cake from pan.
Tips for making a moist pound cake
Everyone knows the secrets to ensuring a moist pound cake, but sometimes, even with our best intentions, they come out dry. AND WE DONT WANT A DRY POUND CAKE!! So here are some tips to ensure a moist pound cake every time!!
- Make sure you start with room temperature ingredients – The main goal of the butter, sugar, and eggs is to create an emulsion. The purpose of the butter/sugar mixture is to create air bubbles that will help leaven our cake. The eggs help create an emulsion that holds in the air bubbles which expand during baking. This helps gives us the rise in our cakes and also effects the texture of the cake. Cold ingredients do not create a harmonious emulsion.
- DO NOT OVER MIX!! – over mixing your cake batter is a no no. Over mixing your flour once it has been added promotes more gluten formation which will ultimately result in a tougher cake. Only mix until you no longer see streaks of flour or sour cream.
- Dairy for the win – Using buttermilk, sour cream, cream cheese, or milk gives more moisture and flavor. The acid helps to tenderize gluten to create a finer crumb.
Blood Orange Simple Syrup
I usually do not use a simple syrup on my bundt cakes unless I am using it as my final glaze. This time however, I wanted the blood orange flavor to really sing. The simple syrup is brushed on the cake while it is still warm. The cake is then cooled completely before adding the final glaze. Simple syrup is a versatile addition to any cake and is so simple to make. All you need is equal parts sugar and water and a sauce pan. Another added bonus? The simple syrup and glaze help seal in moisture and keep your cake moist!!
To make a your simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup blood orange juice and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. You are only cooking the glaze until all the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, remove the saucepan from heat and allow the glaze to cool. This recipe makes 1/2 cup but I only use 1/4 cup to brush on the cake. You can use the remainder of the syrup to make drinks, a glaze for another cake, anything your heart desires!!
Once your cake is out of the oven and on the wire rack, brush the syrup generously on the warm cake.
Blood Orange Glaze
Last but not least, that gorgeous, pink blood orange glaze!! In a large bowl, combine sifted powdered sugar, blood orange juice, vanilla extract and cardamom and whisk until combined. This creates a thin glaze. If you prefer a thicker glaze, feel free to add more powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
Blood orange season is short. So do yourself a favor a pick up a bag or two of blood oranges and make this cake!! You’ll be so happy once you do and think to yourself what ever took you so long!!
Happy Baking and Happy Spring!!
Blood Orange Cardamom Cake
- Stand Mixer
- 15 cup bundt pan
- 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks
- 5 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons blood orange zest
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup blood orange juice
- 1 cup sour cream full fat
- 3 cups all purpose flour sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
For the simple syrup
- 1/2 cup blood orange juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the blood orange glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
- 3 tablespoons blood orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch ground cardamom
- Before preparing the cake, zest blood oranges until you get two tablespoons of zest.
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Liberally spray a 15 cup bundt pan with baking spray with flour, set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cardamom, set aside.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and zest until light and fluffy for 7 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in 1/4 cup of blood orange juice and vanilla extract.
- With the mixer on low, alternate adding flour and sour cream, starting and ending with flour. Mix only to combined, be careful to not overmix. Make sure to stop and scrape your bowl before adding the next addition.
- Pour batter into prepared bundt pan (lightly tap pan on counter after adding batter to get rid of any air bubbles) and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. (Mine was done at 1 hour). Cake is done when cake tester comes out clean and cake bounces back when lightly pressed. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert and remove from pan.
For the simple syrup
- When the cake is almost done (about 20 minutes left), combine granulated sugar, blood orange juice, and vanilla in a small saucepn. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat, and allow syrup to cool to room temperature.
- After cake has cooled for 10 minutes and has been inverted from cake pan on to wire rack, brush warm cake with 1/4 cup of simple syrup. Allow cake to cool completely before pouring blood orange glaze.
For the blood orange glaze
- In a medium size bowl, combine powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons of blood orange juice, vanilla, and cardamom and whisk until smooth. Pour glaze over cake.