Saturday, 26 April 2014

Orange and Cardamom Celebration Sponge Cake

Readers, I’m getting more experimental these days with sponge cakes.  I’ve realised that birthday or celebration cakes can be more exciting than a standard Victoria Sponge.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a classic cake every so often, however, sometimes just adding a couple of extra ingredients puts a whole new dimension on a sponge cake.

I was challenged to make something for a person who absolutely doesn’t like chocolate cake (or anything chocolate related… really, those people exist??!) but they love citrus cake.   I didn’t want to make a standard lemon drizzle, so decided to experiment with orange and cardamom.

The cardamom gives amazing nutty and spiced undertones to the cake whilst the orange juice and zest make it light, fresh tasting and airy.

This recipe is easily adaptable from a classic sponge cake aaaaannndddd... I'm also entering it into #recipeoftheweek over at A Mummy Too
Link up your recipe of the week

Orange and Cardamom Celebration Sponge Cake

Orange and Cardamom Cake

200g self raising flour
200g unsalted butter (softened)
200g caster sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
4 medium eggs
Zest of 1 large navel orange (finely grated)
Juice of 1 large navel orange
1 heaped teaspoon ground cardamom

Cake Filling and Decoration

200g butter
300g Icing Sugar
2 heaped dessert spoons orange marmalade with champagne


  1. Grease and line 2 x 8in cake pans. Preheat the oven to 190c/Fan 170c/Gas 5.
  2. Cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and creamy.
  3. Grate in the zest of one large navel orange and mix to combine.
    Note the orange colour once the zest has been added
  4. Add in the eggs one by one, and fully stir in each egg with a teaspoonful of flour to prevent curdling, before adding in the next egg.
  5. Add in the cardamom and mix to combine.
    Adding in the ground cardamom
  6. Once mixed, sift in the baking powder and self raising flour and mix until a cake batter is created.
  7. Juice one large orange and add the juice to your cake batter, stir to combine.
  8. Equally split the batter between the two cake pans and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  9. Transfer to the oven (same shelf) and bake for around 20 minutes until golden on top and a metal skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and cool in tins for a few minutes, before removing from the tins and cooling fully on the cooling rack.
    Orange and Cardamom Cake
    Fresh from the oven
  11. While cakes are cooling begin prepping the frosting for the filling, top and edges.
  12. Soften the butter using an electric mixer and when smooth, add in the orange drizzle icing bit by bit until combined. Then, add in the plain icing sugar and mix until fully combined and smooth, to a consistency which can be spread with a pallet knife.  
    Smooth consistency of buttercream
  13. Add in orange food colouring bit by bit, and mix until your buttercream frosting reaches the desired colour.
  14. Once cakes are cooled, spread some of the frosting over half of the one of the cakes and then top with the orange marmalade with champagne.  Sandwich the two cakes together.
    Orange and Cardamom Cake
    Top with the second cake to finish the sandwich
  15. Decorate the top and sides with the frosting, to cover the entire cake and finish with additional d├ęcor as required.
  16. Refrigerate on completion to firm up the decoration then store in an airtight container for 2-3 days. 
    The finished cake before cutting


  1. That looks sooo good and the flavours sound amazing. Not something I would ever have though of but really fancy trying!

    1. Hi Jacqui! It's a new flavour combo for me, but the troops at work loved it. Cake was gone in 10 minutes!

  2. Interesting choice of flavours! Mel #RecipeoftheWeek

    1. Thanks! Wasn't sure how it would turn out, but everyone loved it. Really zesty and light.

  3. This looks so scrumptious! I bet it tasted great too! #recipeoftheweek

    1. Thanks for your comment. It's easy to adapt from a standard Victoria Sponge. #recipeoftheweek

  4. Ooh lovely! I'm always looking for cake variations and this looks like a good one, especially as we've got a friend's birthday coming up this week....

  5. Hi Sophie - let me know how you get on. Fingers crossed it works ok for you. Any questions, just get in touch!

  6. Love citrus too and interested in how it works with cardamom, looks lovely and though I've never been very successful with sponge cakes would love to give it a try. #RecipeoftheWeek.

    1. Thanks Sarah. It seems it's quite an unusual combination, but my tasters loved it. The secret is an easy to follow recipe and a steady oven temperature, I find!

  7. This sounds intriguing. I don't generally use cardamom but it sounds a lovely variation.

    1. Kate, it's definitely worth a try. Could probably make cupcakes out of the recipe too! Thanks for your comment.