The Sassy Pair

Please make this pound cake. Don’t do it for me, don’t do it for your friends, do it for you. Why? Aside from the cardamom and blood orange juice, everything should be in your pantry. Not only is the ingredient list pretty standard, the technique to making pound cake is really really simple. The blood orange glaze is completely optional but certainly gives the cake some added moisture. The flavor of cardamom is just divine.

If you haven’t heard or tasted cardamom before, then you’re missing out. Cardamom is this amazing spice that gives chai its signature flavor. Putting it in things like a pound cake really take a normal, simple recipe to the next level. It’s very much like these chai spice sugar cookies, where playing around with the spices can give some interesting results. It’s always fun to see what can happen to a recipe when you tweak the spices a bit from the traditional list.

Whipping Cream

I decided to serve this cake with some soft whipped cream. How do you make this you ask? Firstly, don’t buy canned whipped cream. The real stuff isn’t a lot of work and tastes worlds different. At the store, you’re looking for whipping cream or heavy cream – it should be near the half-and-half. When you’re ready to make the whipped cream, be sure that the cream is cold, then add about 1/3 cup worth into a bowl and begin to whisk. Within 30 seconds to 1 minute, the cream will begin to thicken and hold its shape. At this point add some sifted powdered sugar, whisk a bit more, taste, add more sugar if needed. Whisk until the peaks just begin to form and ta-da, homemade whipped cream!


  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • Glaze
  • 1/4 cup blood orange juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 325F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated, scraping down sides of the mixing bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix on low to combine. Add the 1/3 of the flour mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined. Add the sour cream and mix until the batter is just combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour and mix on low to combine. Add the heavy cream and mix until the batter is just combined. Add the remaining flour, and mix on low until just combined. Use a spatula to scrap down the bowl and make sure the mixture is completely combined.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to even out the top. Bake the cake for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Move the cake to a wire rack with a piece of parchment underneath the rack, and let cool for 15 minutes. While the cake cools, make the glaze: mix the orange juice and sugar together in a small sauce pan. Boil gently until a light syrup forms, about 10 minutes.
  • Invert the cake onto the rack. While the cake is still warm, pierce all over with a long skewer or a fork. Apply glaze with a pastry brush. Let the cake cool before slicing/serving. Top with freshly whipped cream.


Store leftover cake in airtight container.

Recipe from The Vanilla Bean Blog.

View more articles written by Vasili.

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