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Browned Butter Orange Cardamom Cake


8 Slices

prep time:

30 mins

cook time:

1 hour 0 mins

Total time:

1 hour 30 mins




  • For the Cake

  • Vermont Creamery Salted Cultured Butter

    ½ cup

  • ¾ teaspoon ground green cardamom

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup lightly packed light brown sugar

  • Zest of 1 orange

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for greasing

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • For the Orange Syrup, Frosting & Assembly

  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • pinch of kosher salt

  • ½ cup Vermont Creamery Salted Cultured Butter, Softened

  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted

  • 1 vanilla bean

  • ⅓ cup Vermont Creamery Crème Fraîche

  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios

  • Edible flowers, for garnishing


  1. To brown the butter, place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook the butter, stirring often, until it foams and then browns, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Pour browned butter into small bowl; stir in cardamon. Cover; refrigerate 45-60 minutes or until almost consistency of softened stick of butter.
  3. Heave oven to 375°F. Grease an 8” cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  5. Place 3/4 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar in large bowl. Add the orange zest and, using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar. Add the cooled brown butter and, using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high, scraping down the bowl periodically, until the mixture becomes light and airy, about 4 to 6 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth between each addition.
  6. In a 2-cup measure, whisk together the buttermilk, canola oil and vanilla extract. Add half the buttermilk mixture to the butter-egg mixture and beat on medium until combined. Add half of the flour and beat until most of the flour is incorporated. Repeat with the remaining halves of the buttermilk mixture and dry ingredients.
  7. Pour the batter into the greased pan and, using a spatula, spread the batter into an even layer. Bake until golden on top and a toothpick can be inserted cleanly into the center of the cake, about 36-39 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, remove from the pan, wrap in plastic wrap (this will keep everything nice and moist!), and allow it to cool to room temperature. (The cake can be made a day ahead.)
  8. In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, granulated sugar, and pinch of salt over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and cook until the sugar dissolves completely. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  9. While the syrup cools, unwrap the cake. Transfer to a serving plate, and poke the top all over with a toothpick, leaving a ½” border around the cake. Brush on the warm syrup until all of it is absorbed into the cake.


  1. To make the frosting, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife, scrape the vanilla beans from the pod and transfer to a large bowl. Save the scraped vanilla bean for vanilla sugar or vanilla syrup. Add the butter and confectioner’s sugar to the bowl with the vanilla and, using an electric mixer, beat on medium high until the sugar dissolves and the mixture gets lighter and airier in texture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the crème fraîche, and beat until just combined.
  2. To finish the cake, spoon the frosting in the center of the cake and, using an offset spatula to swoosh the frosting over the top of the cake. Garnish with toasted pistachios and edible flowers. This cake can stand at room temperature for up to an hour. If serving later, refrigerate, and take out 30 minutes before serving.