Honey Cardamom Snack Cake
A year or so ago, my friend Thea and her family stopped by to visit on the way through town. Aside from the fact that I have know her more than 20 years and she remembers what I looked like in the mid 90′s, she is a professional baker. She has been mostly special occasion cakes for the last 8 years, but recently opened up a store front, giving the general public a chance to enjoy her creations on a day to day basis. Needless to say, we talk flour, butter, sugar, and eggs whenever we are together.
On this particular visit, I was baking something. For the life of me I canNOT remember what it was, but I assure you, it wasn’t cake. Of all the things to feed a professional baker, I avoid baked confections as much as possible. Usually I lean toward things like creme brûlée, fruit bars, and puddings. Whatever it was I was making, Thea walked into the kitchen, sniffed, and her eyes lit up. “Are you using cardamom?” was her immediate question. Yes, I told her. Why? “It is one of my favorite spices,” she declared. “But it is so under-used!’
I agreed. Even though it is a warm flavor with an almost herb-y quality to it, and is often mixed with Christmas spices, you don’t often see it used completely on its own. I happen to love it. I add it to my plain banana bread, shortbread cookies, and most recently, as the feature flavor in snack cakes!
As you can see, my two year old wasn’t willing to wait until I was done photographing. The honey is the only sweetener in this recipe so please please PLEASE use local, raw honey if you have the chance. The flavor is incomparable to the stuff from the grocery store. It also gives it the perfect level of sweetness. Paired with a simple, sour cream snack cake base and the warmth of the cardamom, it is just homey. If you want to use it as a dessert, fresh strawberries and sweet whipped cream are outstanding with this cake. But generally, I just like to pick it up and take a bite.
Thea would approve.
One Year Ago: Loaded Black Bean Quesadillas
Two Years Ago: Cream Cheese Banana Bread
Honey Cardamom Snack Cake
This tastes great on day two so whip it up when you have time and enjoy as an after school snack!
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, room temp
1 c honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 c white whole wheat or whole wheat flour
1 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
large pinch of salt
3/4 c sour cream
Preheat the oven to 325.
Using a hand or stand mixer, combine the butter and honey until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and add half of the mixture to the honey mixture. Mix slowly until starting to combine, and add half the sour cream. Still mixing slowly, add the last of the dry ingredients and the last of the sour cream. Mix until just barely combined, finishing by hand and scraping down the bowl at the end. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 inch cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on the counter for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a rack and let cool the rest of the way. Slice into wedges and serve!