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Feb 20, 2020

Cardamom Cake with Mulled Wine Jam

This cardamom cake is frosted with a sweet mascarpone icing and filled with a boozy mulled wine jam with black grapes and plums.

This cardamom cake is frosted with a sweet mascarpone icing and filled with a boozy mulled wine jam with black grapes and plums.

This cardamom cake is my first attempt at an "almost naked" cake. It's not totally naked on the sides because you frost it and then scrape most of the frosting off. It's still so liberating to not worry too much about visible crumbs in your frosting.

The cake is also filled with a homemade wine, plum, and black grape jam. The jam also includes cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, and star anise. The star anise definitely gives the jam a grown up flavor.

Cardamom Cake with Mulled Wine Jam

Frosting cakes is not my strength so I'm pretty happy with this method. It almost feels like cheating!

Specialty ingredients you will need for this cardamom cake (affiliate links included):

  • Green cardamom pods: You can find them in the spice section of a well stocked grocery store. You use these to infuse the milk in the cake with the cardamom flavor, which is so lovely. 
  • Vanilla bean paste: I love vanilla bean paste because of the lovely specks of of vanilla seeds. It's also great when you are making a recipe calling for scraped vanilla beans. If you can't find it, you can substitute pure vanilla extract. 
  • Black seedless grapes: These grapes are totally delicious and sweet. I had never tried them before but I was surprised to find them abundant in my grocery store. Maybe it's because I'm in California and they are grown here. I absolutely fell in love with their flavor. 
  • Red wine: I used a Carménère from Chile, but any quality red wine will work. 
  • Mascarpone: Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese. If you can't find it, you can substitute full fat cream cheese. 

Whole Cardamom Cake with Mulled Wine Jam

How to Make this Cardamom Cake:

First, you infuse the milk in the cake with the cardamom by gently cooking the milk with some crushed cardamom pods. You then strain out the pods and let the milk cool.

Next, you mix the cake ingredients, including the cardamom infused milk, and divide the batter among two 8-inch cake pans.

Bake the cakes, let them cool, and level the cakes with a serrated knife.

In the meantime, make the mulled wine jam by combining all of the ingredients and cooking them until thickened, about 20 minutes. Once you've fully cooked the jam, pour it into a shallow pan to cool.

Mulled wine jam before blending

Next, process the jam ingredients in a food processor after you have removed the cinnamon sticks, star anise, and oranges to the jammy consistency you prefer.

Make the frosting by beating the mascarpone, confectioners' sugar, cream, and vanilla.

Finally, assemble the cake by filling the middle with the mascarpone frosting and topping it with some of the jam. Frost the sides of the cake and scrape of any excess to expose most of the cake.

Top the cake with the rest of the frosting and drizzle with some of the jam.

This recipe is from the book, The New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi, the current book The Cake Slice Bakers are baking through.

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

 The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

Our choices for February 2020 are ~

  Hidden Pear Cake
Cardamom Cake with Mulled Wine Jam
Flourless Chocolate-Chili Cake

Adjustments to this Recipe:

I made a few changes in this recipe. First, I added some salt to both the cake and frosting recipes. I love the recipes in the book, but I'm disappointed that the author omits salt in the recipes I've tried.

Salt enhances flavor for me, and I really notice when it's missing. You don't need a lot of salt to bring out the flavor of anything you are baking or cooking.

Also, because plums were not available this time of year, I incorporated some plum jam into the mulled wine jam.

Cardamom Cake with Mulled Wine Jam

I love the combination of the cardamom flavored crumb of this cake along with the delicious mulled wine jam.

This recipe will make a lot more jam than you will need. Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a month. It's delicious over vanilla ice cream.

Cardamom Cake with Mulled Wine Jam with a mascarpone frosting

Cardamom Cake with Mulled Wine Jam

Cardamom Cake with Mulled Wine Jam
Yield: 12 servings
This cardamom cake is frosted with a sweet mascarpone icing and filled with a boozy mulled wine jam with black grapes and plums.


For the Cake
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 10 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 2 1/4 cups (275 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
For the Jam
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 300 grams plum jam
  • 300 grams (3 cups) black seedless grapes
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Half of an orange, thickly sliced
For the Frosting
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1 1/4 cups (150 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


How to cook Cardamom Cake with Mulled Wine Jam

To Make the Cake
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Spray two 8 inch cake pans with spray oil and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  3. Over a low flame, heat the milk with the cardamom and vanilla and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove it from the heat. Cover and let cool for 15 minutes. 
  4. Strain out the cardamom pods and set aside. 
  5. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale. 
  7. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. 
  8. Add half of the flour mixture and beat briefly until combined. 
  9. Add the milk and the rest of the flour mixture and beat until just combined. 
  10. Divide the batter among the two pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  12. Level the layers by slicing off any domes with a serrated knife. 
To Make the Jam
  1. Add the wine, plum jam, grapes, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and nutmeg to a medium saucepan. 
  2. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes over low heat. 
  3. Add sugar, lemon juice, and orange, and bring to a boil. Cook for 12 to 20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and coats a spoon. 
  4. Remove the cinnamon, star anise, and orange slices and pour the mixture into a shallow pan to cool. 
  5. Pulse the jam in a food processor until "jammy."
To Make the Frosting
  1. Beat the mascarpone and sugar with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the cream, vanilla, and salt and mix by hand. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. 
To Assemble the Cake
  1. Cover a layer of the cake with half of the mascarpone frosting. 
  2. Top with a layer of the jam. 
  3. Top with the final layer of cake. 
  4. Cover the top and sides with thin layer of the frosting, and use a bench scraper to smooth the sides of the cake, letting some of the cake peek through. 
  5. Top the cake with rest of the mascarpone frosting, smoothing until flat. 
  6. Dollop the top with extra jam. 
cake, cardamom
cake, dessert

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Would you like to comment?

  1. That makes this cake extra special, that you make the jam yourself! It looks just beautiful!

  2. Beautiful cake, Karen! Great photos, too.

  3. Your presentation is amazing and this cake can be for a special occasion or for everyday. Beautiful job!

  4. That is one gorgeous cake, Karen!

    1. I'm trying! Not even close to anything you make!

  5. That looks absolutely amazing, Karen! The flavors sound great together too. Now I want to bake a cake and serve it almost naked!

    1. It's so much easier because I'm terrible at frosting cakes.

  6. Your cake looks delicious. Great idea to use the leftover jam on top of ice cream.

    1. It works beautifully! Or as a cookie filling!


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