I like blood oranges, cardamon, and cake. And if it’s a colorful cake, well I’m in! Plus I’m always looking to practice my baking skills. I’m super-confident in my baking skills, and practice is the only way to improve. So when I scrolled across this beautiful Blood Orange Cardamom Cake recipe, I just had to try it. Actually, I wanted to try it a few months ago, but I couldn’t find blood oranges. Well, I happened to notice them the last time I went grocery shopping, so I grabbed a few of those beauties. Then I checked the recipe software on my phone (thanks Paprika!) to ensure I had all the other ingredients and practically ran to my kitchen to make this cake.
This cake is citrus cake dreams are made of. The cake itself is soooo fluffy and moist – like it’s kind of ridiculous how fluffy and moist it is. The flavour of the blood orange combined with that hint of cardamom is such a fantastic pairing I pretty much think it’s now necessary for me to make orange cardamom EVERYTHING.
This Blood Orange Cardamom Cake recipe has quite a few ingredients, but I had very little shopping to do for it. Besides the blood oranges, I had to pick up some sour cream and rosemary sprigs.
Can you believe that was it?! I was thrilled! Everything else in this recipe was basics like flour, sugar, and spices I tend to keep on hand. I even had plenty of eggs in my refrigerator.
Before I could make this cake I had to make the garnishes: dried blood orange slices and sugared rosemary. The dried blood oranges took the longest to make so I started with them.
Making the Dried Blood Oranges
I considered using the dehydrate setting on my air fryer, but I decided to follow the recipe to truly test it out. That meant drying them in my oven for a couple of hours. I wasn’t sure how many oranges I would need for the cake and glaze so I only sliced up 1. That gave me 5 slices.
After slicing, I placed them on a parchment-lined sheet pan, sprinkled both sides with icing sugar, and popped them into the oven. The photo below shows what they looked like after 2 1/2 hours at 220℉.
The blood orange slices weren’t totally dried out, but they were noticeably drier. I stored the dried slices in a sealed container overnight with paper towels layered underneath to absorb any excess moisture.
Making the Sugared Rosemary
I made the sugared rosemary garnishes the next morning, right before I began baking. They were very simple too! I selected 4 sprigs, dipped them in water, then dredged them in a plate filled with sugar.
I let them dry for an hour or so on a wire cooling rack placed over a parchment-lined sheet pan. The sugar easily flaked off the rosemary, but the sheet pan and parchment paper made clean-up a breeze.
In the end, I think they were too big. If I could do it again I would snip off the tips of the sprigs so they could be spread amongst the blood orange slices.
Making the Blood Orange Cardamom Cake & Glaze
The recipe walked me through mixing the wet and dry ingredients the combining them to make the cake batter. Tip: Prepping the cake pan so the cake releases in one piece is key to a pretty cake. I greased it with vegetable shortening (butter also works) and followed that with a thorough dusting of flour.
The recipe says to make the glaze while the cake bakes, but I decided not to do that because the glaze is designed to harden. Instead, I waited until the cake was completely cooled.
That gave me plenty of time to clean and dry my stand mixer’s bowl and switch the paddle for the whisk attachment. Then I made the glaze and immediately poured it over the cake. Tip: I used an offset spatula to smooth and spread the glaze before it hardened. All I had to do was spread it just to the edges so it would form drips.
There were no prep, cook, or total times listed on this recipe. All the times were listed as part of the instructions, though, and they seemed pretty accurate. Here’s how it went:
- Blood Orange Slices:
- 5 minutes to prep
- 2 hours 30 minutes to dry
- Sugared Rosemary:
- 5 minutes to prep
- 1 hour to dry
- 18 minutes to prep the cake
- 35 minutes to bake
- 20 minutes to cool in the pan
- 30 minutes to cool on a wire rack
- Glaze & Garnishes:
- 10 minutes to make and apply the glaze
- 2 minutes to decorate
- 5 hours 35 minutes total
I spread this over 2 days so it was manageable for me, but it is possible to do it all in a single day if you start early. My only complaint is the blood orange slices didn’t dry out enough. I would let them spend a little more time in the oven if I could redo this recipe.