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This beautiful lemon cardamom cake is delicate, light, moist, intensely citrusy and not overly sweet. It makes a refreshing summer afternoon treat.
I adapted the recipe for this cake from Ina Garten but cut the sugar and lemon zest a bit and added cardamom to the batter because I love the floral and slightly minty notes it adds.
How to make this lemon cardamom cake:
The preparation of this recipe is very straight forward, you begin by beating softened butter and sugar until creamy, then beat in eggs and a generous amount of lemon zest for some intense lemon flavor.
The ground cardamom simply goes into your dry ingredients along with the usual suspects: flour, baking powder, baking soda and a smidgen of salt.
For the wet ingredients you mix together yogurt, lemon juice, milk and a little bit of vanilla extract.
With the mixer running, you gradually beat the dry and wet ingredients into the butter mix, alternating between the two, until you have a smooth batter.
The cake needs to bake for 45 to 50 minutes and will make your kitchen smell delicious!
I glazed the loaf with a simple lemon glaze and then sprinkled chopped pistachios on, both for their visual appeal but also to add some crunch and a great texture contrast to the delicate, light and airy cake.
If you like the flavors but are more in a bundt mood, I can offer you these Lemon Cardamom Bundt Cakes:
Lemon Cardamom Cake
For the cake:
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1.5 tablespoons lemon zest from organic lemons (you need 4 – 5 lemons for that)
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons plain, whole milk 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:
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease one 8.5 inch x 4.25 inch x 2.5 inch loaf pan well, sprinkle flour into it and then shake out the excess.
- Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Add the eggs and continue to beat until well incorporated and smooth.
- Beat in the lemon zest.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, salt and cardamom. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk lemon juice, yogurt, milk and vanilla together. Set aside.
- Beat the dry and wet ingredients into the butter mix, little by little, alternating between the two and starting with the dry ingredients. Beat until you have a very smooth and creamy-looking batter.
- Fill the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 -50 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool a bit and once the pan is cool enough to handle unmold the cake and then let it cool completely.
For the glaze:
- Whisk the two ingredients together and keep adding lemon juice until you have a slow-moving icing.
- Drizzle the icing on the cake and sprinkle the chopped pistachios on.
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