Cardamom cake is perfect for dessert and any leftovers travel well in lunch bags during the week. Apples, brown sugar and cardamom come together into a moist and tender cake with a deliciously warm flavor and fine crumb so let's get baking!
What Inspired This Cake
I have a wonderful small apple tree which produces hundreds of delicious apples each fall. My family loves baked apple desserts and of course, I like easy recipes. Inspired by my Finnish friends who love cardamom, I think cardamom and apples are a perfect pairing.
You can find a lot of delicious apple recipes on my site. From the sweet Best Apple Oatmeal Cake and French Apple Beignets Recipe to the savory Brie and Apple Grilled Cheese with Hot Honey, Crisp Apple Fennel Salad with Grainy Mustard Dressing and my Japanese style Ginger Dressing. Check them out and let me know your favorite way to use apples.
Just a few simple ingredients are all it takes to make this easy cardamom cake.
- Cardamom - Cardamom is a delicious, fragrant that is very common in India, (where it originated) Asia, Scandinavian countries like Finland and the Middle East. It is delicious in sweet breads and baking as well as savory dishes like curries. Cardamom works well in most recipes that use spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
- Apples - A delicious combination, apples keep this cake moist and help naturally sweeten it.
Step By Step Instructions
- Preheat oven to 350"F and lightly grease a 9"x13" pan.
2. Melt butter and then stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Once stirred well, beat in eggs.
3. In a 2 cup (or larger) measuring cup, add flour, cardamom and baking powder and mix well, then add to butter mixture and stir gently until combined.
4. Mix in apples and then pour into baking pan.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick and when if comes out clean, cardamom cake is done. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then carefully move to cooling rack and serve warm or let cool before putting back in pan to store.
Cardamom - If you don't have cardamom, you could make your cake using a half teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg but I think it is a delicious and versatile spice worth trying if you haven't already.
Apples - This bakes up lovely with ripe but still firm pears too. Substitute equal amount pears for apples.
- On baking with minimal dishes - I mix up the wet ingredients in the same pot I melt the butter in. I then mix my dry ingredients right in a large measuring cup after measuring them in starting with the flour. From there the dry ingredients get added to the pot of wet ingredients leaving me with one cup to dust out and one pot and spatula to wash.
- On feeding kids raw apples - sometimes kids are picky about their apples turning brown when you were kind enough to cut them up ahead of time for their school lunch. A quick "trick" I picked up from our local strong start program is to sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar over them. Not a lot, just a quarter teaspoon of each should be enough for a whole apple. Not only does it hide the brown, the kids think it's a great treat.
Apples are so good for you, full of antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, have been shown to lower your risk of stroke and promote healthy gut bacteria-it's no joke that an apple a day keeps the doctor away! So although this cake is not quite as healthy as a whole fresh apple by itself, it is loaded with 2 cups of them and comes in at under 270 calories per slice.
A very aromatic blend of citrus, menthol, a hint of licorice, nutmeg and clove. Some also taste coriander and allspice. It is truly it's own special blend and is a very warming spice. Delicious is both baking and curries.
You can buy cardamom at most large grocery stores in the spice aisle. Most recipes (this one included) call for ground cardamom which is readily available. Whole cardamom are pods that need to be ground for most recipes but will stay fresh longer.
Cheers to the deliciousness of fall, friends!
For more on what I'm cooking up, follow me on Instagram or Facebook. You might also like my FREE printable weekly meal planner.
Cheers friends! Sabrina
- ½ c Salted Butter
- 1 ½ c Brown Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla
- 3 Eggs
- 1 ½ c Flour
- 1 teaspoon Cardamom
- 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
- 2 c Apples, Peeled And Chopped To ¼" Pieces
- Preheat oven to 350"F and lightly grease a 9"x13" pan.
- Melt butter and then stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Once stirred well, beat in eggs.
- In a 2 cup (or larger) measuring cup, add flour, cardamom and baking powder and mix well, then add to butter mixture and stir gently until combined.
- Mix in apples and then pour into baking pan.
- Bake in oven 20-25 minutes. (My oven is on the cool side and took 25 min but I suggest setting your timer for 20 and checking then) Test with a toothpick and when it comes out clean, cake is done. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then carefully move to cooling rack and serve warm or let cool before putting back in pan to store.
PS. (From a mother of a teen)
PS. Anyone else have tweens or teens that use all sorts of "new" words to indicate things that are cool or awesome? Well, my teen recently went through the MOIST phase. He and his friends took a neutral seeming word and made it irritating FAST. As I was writing this post and describing my cake, I got stuck on the word moist. I felt it was a very apt word for my cake but...I couldn't bring myself to use it.
So I polled a few friends and the ensuing text banter got hilarious but I was told more than once that I simply couldn't use the word moist yet no one could think of a better word!!! (Spongy was the best, wet and damp were clearly the worst options) I googled and compared other cake descriptions with no suitable equal and then decided I would not try to replace the word but simply describe it in other ways. (Feel free to scroll back up and see the creative descriptions I decided on)
I'm pretty sure this dilemma will present again...any ideas??? Help a girl out!
I love the simplicity of this recipe for the season! Just give me anything with apples - love the cardamom in this cake too!
Thanks Jessica, apples are the best, aren’t they?!?!
Bernice M Hill
LOL. I can't help you out, I've had exactly the same internal monologue with myself . There just is no other word. Claim the word, and type it with pride MOIST!!
Yep, that’s the conclusion I finally came too as well lol. Have a great day Bernice!
Can we get a ban on moist?? Hahaha! Love this cake. The portability is awesome. I adore a cake that can travel. 🙂
Yes to the ban but what’s the alternative?! Thanks for reading along and I hope you enjoy the cake 🙂
Wow, this cake looks fantastic! I adore cardamom but I've never combined it with apple before. I will definitely be making this cake! Thanks for the great recipe.
Thanks Heidi! I hope you enjoy it 🙂
I'm not big on sweets so I usually choose not to eat frosted cakes but this looks like the right balance, especially with the cardamom.
Thank you so much Ayngelina! I’m with you, too sweet is not for me. This gets its lovely natural sweetness and moisture from fresh apples 🙂
I stumbled on this recipe in May, but I love the cozy feeling of fall it evokes! Pinned to make later!
Thanks Kelly, definitely a warm and cozy cake!
Simple cakes like this are my absolute favourite! Love the combo of apples and cardamom.
Thank you so much Vanessa!
What an absolutely fantastic sounding cake. I love cardamom and I bet it's delicious!
Thanks! I really lobe the combination of apples and cardamom:-)
What delightful timing! I was just grinding some cardamom for a curry and the wonderful scent left me wanting to make a cake, and now here you are! Wonderful recipe, perfect in its simplicity. Apples and cardamom are such a natural fit together. Cheers!
Thanks so much Sean! That is a happy coincidence! Enjoy 🙂
This sounds perfect for my morning snack with tea!
Thanks Nancy! I bet it will be, sweet but not too sweet with freshness of the apples. Have a great day 🙂
I can't help but laugh when you tried to avoid the word moist. I think I am guilty of using it. It's too bad "moist" has become a 2020 Justin Trudeau meme. I also love the use of cardamom; it's my favourite spice in baking. We are going to give your recipe a try as we will have a lot of apples this year.
Trendy or infamous words are funny, aren’t they?! Despite that, this cake is MOIST and I hope you and your family love it!
love this simple recipe! It sounds sooo delicious and MOIST hahaa
Love all the wonderful flavours in this apple cake especially cardamon which is a nice twist versus cinnamon! Lovely images too Sabrina:))
Thank you so much Shai, enjoy!
This easy apple brown sugar cake with cardamom looks delicious.
I love that you added cardamom to this cake. One of the best spices to pair with apples. Can't wait to try it
The perfect cake for Fall!
wow what a delicious and easy to make recipe!
Thanks Nancy, I’m glad you liked it!
I like how easy to make this cake, I have all the ingredients!
I tried this recipe. Delicious! BUT I’m getting an after taste of soap?!? I added both cinnamon and cardamom. Maybe those two flavors don’t mix? Or should I scale back the cardamom?? I love cardamom, it’s a popular spice in Indian cooking. We use it a lot, I’m used to its flavor
Hi Shilpa, I’m so sorry, the recipe should read 1 tsp cardamom, not 1 tablespoon. Yes, a little less should fix the flavour. Thanks for catching that.