A perfect weekend treat, this spiced Cardamom Pistachio Coffee Cake absolutely melts in your mouth!
In 2009, I spent a summer in northern India. It was the best summer of my life. I hiked the Himalayas, home-stayed with a family of Ladakhi farmers, explored tiny mountain towns, and met His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It was an unforgettable experience.
Every day began with the faint sound of bells and the smell of mountain air. I’d wake up well-rested and calm. After lounging for a few minutes, I’d head downstairs for tea.
The tea was incredible. In India, tea translates to ‘chai,’ so every morning we drank as many cups of chai as we could. For me, it was usually 3-4 steaming hot cups.
The tea was made from boiled water, yak milk, black tea leaves, an array of spices, and sugar. It tasted vaguely similar to the chai tea that most of you know, but less spicy and more well-rounded.
It smelled of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and most fragrantly, cardamom. To this day cardamom is one of my favorite smells, if not my ultimate favorite.
As I made this coffee cake, I kept inhaling the cardamom pods I bought. It took me right back to those mornings, sitting on a stone patio under the Indian sun, drinking copious amounts of chai.
Now onto this cake. It happens to be the softest coffee cake I’ve ever made. It absolutely melts in your mouth.
And the crunchy pistachio streusel on top? Let’s just say I couldn’t stop picking at the crumbs on the bottom of the plate.
This cake would be fantastic for a weekend brunch because it’s so unique. And it makes the entire house smell amazing, the cardamom wafting through the air for hours after the cake is baked. Eeeee! I just love it.
As for me, I think a trip back to India is in order 🙂
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a tube pan with parchment paper on the bottom, then grease the sides with butter. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cardamom, and salt, whisking to combine. Slowly alternate folding in the flour mixture and the low fat yogurt into the wet ingredients until everything is combined.
To make the streusel, place the pistachios, cardamom, flour, and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the pistachios look well chopped. Pulse in the butter until just combined.
Pour half of the batter into the tube pan, then sprinkle with brown sugar, if using. Pour in the rest of the batter, then top with the pistachio streusel. You’ll want to squeeze the streusel into your hands, making it dense like wet sand, then sprinkle it over the batter. Bake for 50 minutes, then allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.