A perfect weekend treat, this spiced Cardamom Pistachio Coffee Cake absolutely melts in your mouth!
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. 

A perfect weekend treat, this spiced Cardamom Pistachio Coffee Cake absolutely melts in your mouth!

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.

A perfect weekend treat, this spiced Cardamom Pistachio Coffee Cake absolutely melts in your mouth!

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.

A perfect weekend treat, this spiced Cardamom Pistachio Coffee Cake absolutely melts in your mouth!

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 🙂

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Cardamom Pistachio Coffee Cake

A perfect weekend treat, this spiced Cardamom Pistachio Coffee Cake absolutely melts in your mouth!
  • Author: Sarah Fennel
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 1 large cake 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 12 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain non- or low-fat yogurt

For the brown sugar swirl (optional)

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

For the pistachio streusel

  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground cardamom
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cold and cut into small cubes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a tube pan with parchment paper on the bottom, then grease the sides with butter. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

42 comments

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It’s interesting how experiences make us love certain flavors! Cardamom is one of my favorites too. This cake looks delicious 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Isn’t it? So many of my favorite foods are tied to memories. Thank you June!

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Sarah it sounds like you had an awesome experience in India! Coffee cake is one of my favorite and I also love the flavor of cardamon. What a great addition to this cake! Enjoy the weekend!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Thanks Mary Ann! It truly was an awesome experience. Have a great weekend!

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Loving that this has pistachios in it! I think will pair so nicely with the cardamom. Yum!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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It’s a match made in heaven 🙂

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Wow, what a fantastic experience! I’d love to make it to India some day!
This cake really is unique, it’s beautiful and I bet it tastes incredible, I’d be the same as you, picking that topping alllll off, it looks too good!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Right?! How can you not! That’s the point of streusel, isn’t it?!

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I can’t believe you met the Lama himself! That’s insane. I’ve been practically all over India, but as my family is predominantly South Indian and has lived only as far North as West Bengal, we have yet to go up to Rajasthan or travel much of Northern India. This coffee cake sounds incredible, pinned!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Oh you MUST! I have only journeyed as far south as Delhi, if you can even say it’s south. Ha! I would looove to go to Southern India one day. It’s an amazing country.

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This cake sounds positively delicious. I have yet to go to India, but being Persian means that I’ve definitely enjoyed my fair share of pistachios, cardamom, and chai! And I love ’em all, so I’m thinking I would love this cake. I mean, who wouldn’t? Look at those beautiful, moist cake slices and that delectable, crunchy streusel….fantastic, Sarah!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Oh heck yeah! You know what’s good 🙂 Thank you Beeta!

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My husband spent a summer in India on a missions trip. . he loved the experience so much. . you met the Dalai Lama?! Whoa. . I love it! and I am dying over the flavor profile here with this cake!!! Brilliant and beautiful recipe!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Thank you Alice! And yes, it was an incredible experience. And what a great trip for your husband! I’m sure he has a similar affinity to chai 🙂

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What a cool experience to have! This pistachio cake looks really tasty! I’d love to try some!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Virtually sharing a slice!

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This looks delicious Sarah! YUM

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Thank you Ria! You’re the best!

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The flavors in this are out of this world! And I love that it melts in your mouth.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Yes they do! Thanks Jocelyn!

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Such a beautiful coffee cake and the pistachio cardamom combination is a definite winner!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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I’m glad you like it Jennifer! Thank you!

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Your trip sounds life a changing trip. I’ve always wanted to make it to India one day…just for the tea and well pretty Saris. This cake sounds delicious!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Oh the Saris are amazing! And you can choose your own fabric and have it custom made for $10-15! It’s fabulous 🙂

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the texture on this cake looks to die for – so soft and fluffy!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Thank you Kearin! I just had the last piece minutes ago. Still so good!

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I’m a little jealous of your time in India – it sounds like it was such an amazing experience. I love the flavor profile going on with this coffee cake. It’s something I definitely see myself wanting to eat over and over again.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Thank you! It’s an experience I recommend to everyone. Yeah I ate about half of the whole bundt. Not sorry.

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I can’t imagine how amazing your experience in India must have been… life inspiring, meeting the Dalai Lama. Incredible, Sarah. Sipping on fresh chai every morning with fresh yak milk sounds delightful, so I can see how the aroma of cardamom would bring back a flood of memories for you. Coffee cake is right up there with muffins for me. Pure comfort and so delicious. The streusel alone is enough to devour in one setting. Then, I would start on the cake! Fabulous, delicious recipe!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Thank you as always, Traci. It was an incredible experience that I will remember forever. And you can bet I ate all the streusel off the top!

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I spent a summer in northern India (Rajasthan) and still consider it one of the most impactful and memorable experiences of my life. It was 20-million degrees (I was there in July), but I still loved sipping chai when it cooled in the evenings. What a beautiful way to remember your time there (and I want a slice to take me back too!)

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Oh I had no idea you did that! Rajasthan seems absolutely beautiful. We need to swap stories 🙂

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This looks amazing!! I am hoping to make it this weekend. One question though: should the yogurt be regular or Greek yogurt. Thanks!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Hi Sarah! I enjoy the tang of greek, but you can use either. You’re going to LOVE THE CAKE! Happy baking!

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Hi Sarah!
Looks like a really delicious cake, can’t wait to make it! My only question is where is the coffee in the ingredients? I think a coffee flavour could be really delicious here but I’m wondering how to go about it. Or did the ‘coffee’ mean a cake to have with coffee?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Fiona,
Great question. Coffee cake technically means a type of cake made to be paired with coffee. It does not mean that there is necessarily coffee in the cake. I’m not sure how well coffee would work in this recipe, as the cardamom flavor is pretty strong, but if you end up adding it and enjoy it, all power to you! Thanks for commenting and happy baking!

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Hi Sarah,
Thank you for that. I decided to stick with the recipe afterwards, really really delicious cake! Lovely flavour and texture 🙂

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It is one of my favorite recipes to date, which says a lot!

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Hi Sarah! I just came across your terrific blog by accident and it’s definitely my good fortune! Cardamom is one of my fave spices and I love baking coffee cakes so I will definitely make this. Thank you so much and happy baking!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Hi Vickie! Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment! This cake is seriously one of the best things I’ve made in a while, and that’s saying a lot! Let me know what you think of it and happy baking to you too! 🙂

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This looks incredible, do you think it would work in a normal round cake tin? Or as a traybake? I don’t have a tube tin and don’t have the kitchen space to invest 🙁

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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It would probably work in a traybake, but it is a lot of batter so you may have to split it in half! If you have an extra large rectangular traybake that would work!

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