Lemon Cardamom Cake

Lemon cardamom cake – moist, delicate and full of flavor.

To license this image please contact me at nicole@thespicetrain.com.

I’ve got a very delicate, moist and intensely citrusy cake here today. It’s easy to make and a perfect summery afternoon treat. The recipe is an adaptation from Ina Garten but I added cardamom to it because I love the flowery and slightly minty notes it adds. (Well, and also because this is, after all, The Spice Train). Hope you like it!

P.S.: Be sure to come back here on Sunday when I’ll announce the winners of the DMBLGiT June 2015 contest!


 Lemon Cardamom Cake Recipe

serves 4

adapted from: Food Network


This recipe is for one 8.5 inch by 4.25 inch by 2.5 inch loaf pan.

For the cake:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 teaspoons lemon juice (or more, depending on the humidity in your kitchen)
  • chopped pistachios



For the cake:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease the loaf pan, sprinkle flour on it and then shake out the excess.
  3. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add the eggs and continue to beat until incorporated.
  5. Beat in the lemon zest.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and soda, salt and cardamom. Set aside.
  7. In another bowl, mix lemon juice, yogurt, milk and vanilla. Set aside.
  8. Beat in the wet and dry ingredients, little by little, alternating between the two.
  9. Fill the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 -50 minutes.
  10. Let the cake cool.

For the glaze:

  1. Whisk the two ingredients together and keep adding lemon juice until you have a slow-moving icing.
  2. Drizzle the icing on the cake and sprinkle the chopped pistachios on.


Food Photography and Styling: I wanted this shot to look bright and summery and used my beige, textured tile as the backdrop, a piece of linen fabric as the “tablecloth” and this pretty ceramic cutting board (from The World Market) as a surface for the cake. Since you can’t tell just by looking that this is a lemon cake I placed a few lemon slices in the composition as well. I lit this photo with natural light from a south-facing window to the left of the set.

Nikon D600, 105mm, f/4, 1/10 sec., ISO 200. Natural Light.


  1. CakePants says:

    Wow, I love how the photo really shows how soft and fluffy the cake is! The addition of cardamom sounds amazing – I bought some cardamom to bake with a little while ago but haven’t gotten around to using any yet. I’m looking forward to trying this!

  2. Kevin | keviniscooking says:

    Beautiful, light and screams Summer – lovely. I am digging the light photos of late! Cardamom is so underused and definitely a favorite flavor weapon of mine. That dusting of chopped pistachios on top is perfect. Have a great holiday weekend Nicole.

  3. Louise | Cygnet Kitchen says:

    This looks such a lovely fresh summer cake, Nicole. I love the cardamon (my latest blog post is a meringue roulade with raspberries, cardamom and rose cream) this is such a nice update on a lemon drizzle cake. x

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you, Jessie! Cardamom is good, isn’t it? I have to use it more often, and not just in sweet stuff! :)

  4. Marissa says:

    What is it about even the word cardamom that makes my mouth water. And then there’s lemon. And the texture of this cake looks absolutely perfect. Lovely recipe, Nicole!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you so much, Kathleen. “Light and bright” is the perfect description for this cake. :) Happy 4th of July to you!

  5. Nagi@RecipeTinEats says:

    Hey Nic! How crumbly would you rate this on a scale of 1 to 10? As in – is it like banana bread in that it could be toasted, or is it more like cake that needs to be eaten with a fork on a plate?

    I’m asking because I was going to make this for a picnic only – food to be eaten with hands only! :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Definitely like cake and not like banana bread. Does require fork and plate and would probably be messy at a picnic. :)

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