Make Ahead

Blood Orange Cardamom Cake With Mint Feta Ice Cream

March  5, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

I love thinking "out of the box" and enjoyed adapting a favorite Meyer lemon cake recipe (that was originally inspired by Molly Wizenberg of the blog Orangette) to feature blood oranges instead. As for the ice cream, it was inspired by some of the more esoteric flavors in David Lebovitz' Perfect Scoop...I've used fresh mint and the flavor is pretty subtle; if you are looking for a really minty flavor for the ice cream, you'll probably want to add a drop or two of mint extract. If you are not planning to serve the cake with the ice cream, you might want to ice it- allow it to cool for 30 minutes or so after you add the syrup and then whisk 1 cup powdered sugar together with 3 tablespoons of blood orange juice. Using a offset spatula (or a spoon), cover the top of the cake with the icing. You can serve the cake immediately, or wait 45 minutes to 1 hour and the icing will harden. —WinnieAb

Test Kitchen Notes

So good. Easy to follow recipe. Highly recommended. With just two bowls and a whisk, this cake comes together in a snap, and is oven-ready in less than 10 minutes. The cooled, glazed cake is delicate and moist, with a perfect crumb, and the sweet tart of the blood orange syrup is a perfect pair to the warm spice of cardamom. In Step 1 of the Ice Cream portion of the recipe, do not be alarmed if the heavy cream, milk, and feta whips into thick, fluffy clouds in the blender -- they fold in very nicely with the minty custard later. The ice cream tastes like the smell of a freshly picked bouquet of mint (mild and grassy, not sharp and cool), and has a nice cheesecake-like texture and finish. - Jennifer Ann —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Blood Orange Cardamom Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced blood orange zest
  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup fruity olive oil
  • juice from 1 blood orange
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (for the syrup)
  • 1/4 cup blood orange juice (for the syrup)
  • Mint Feta Ice Cream
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
  • 4 egg yolks
  1. Blood Orange Cardamom Cake
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 inch springform pan with olive oil, and flour the bottom of the pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, ground cardamom, and salt. Add the orange zest and mix well.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs, olive oil, and orange juice. Whisk well to combine. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk again to combine.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I suggest you start checking after 25 minutes: you do not want to overbake it.
  6. Cool the cake for 15 minutes and then remove the sides of the pan. Place the cake (which is still attached the bottom of the springform) on a large plate, prick the cake all over with a fork, whisk the syrup ingredients together, and then drizzle the syrup all over the cake. The syrup will seep into all those fork holes you just made, and this is a very good thing. Allow to cool before serving with the ice cream.
  1. Mint Feta Ice Cream
  2. Process the feta cheese, whole milk, and cream in a blender until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Heat the half and half and the sugar in a medium pot on the stove. Remove from the heat before it comes to a boil, add the mint leaves, and cover. Allow the mint to infuse for about 1 hour.
  4. Pour the infused liquid through a strainer into a bowl, squeezing out the mint leaves to extract all of their flavor. Compost or discard the mint. Reheat the minty milk mixture over medium heat to just before boiling, and then set it aside.
  5. Beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk.
  6. Slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the egg yolks; whisk constantly while you do this so that the egg yolks don’t cook.
  7. Pour the warmed egg milk mixture back into a saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  8. Remove from the heat immediately and pour the custard through the strainer. Add the blended feta mixture and stir to combine.
  9. Chill the custard completely in the refrigerator and then proceed to make ice cream according to your manufacturer’s instructions.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sarah Greenblatt
    Sarah Greenblatt
  • Kristin Greene
    Kristin Greene
  • coffeefoodwrite
  • student epicure
    student epicure
  • NakedBeet
I grew up in a restaurant family (my parents owned the now closed Quilted Giraffe in NYC) and I've always loved to cook. My interest in the connection between food and health led me to pursue a graduate degree in naturopathic medicine. I don't practice medicine anymore; I have a blog called Healthy Green Kitchen that I started in May of 2009 and I wrote a book called One Simple Change that will be published in January, 2014. I live in upstate New York with my family and many pets.

26 Reviews

Sarah G. March 10, 2019
I made the ice cream. Positively divine. I paired it with Ina Garten's brownies. I always make exotic ice cream flavors and make my guests try to guess what they're tasting. The mint comes through powerfully, but the feta adds a subtle note. Several people guessed lemongrass. I will be making this again, will try it with the cake next time. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.
Kristin G. January 5, 2014
This cake is amazing, thank you for the recipe!!
fitsxarts January 24, 2011
this was amazing. i didn't even make the ice cream and the cake is grand on its own. i will be making this often!
WinnieAb February 6, 2011
thanks so much!
coffeefoodwrite March 18, 2010
Oh, this looks very nice!
student E. March 12, 2010
wonderful! thank you for the inspiration -- i added blood orange sections in the middle of the cake too. YUM!
NakedBeet March 11, 2010
You already know how I feel about this because I fell in love with it on your blog, too. Any thoughts on using chestnut flour, I know I know...completely different, instead of the almond?
WinnieAb March 11, 2010
Oh I'm so sorry I forgot to respond to your chestnut flour question!
You know, I just don't know the answer. It's kind of "heavy", right? I haven't used it in years...I've had good luck substituting almond flour for regular flour in recipes, but just haven't tried the chestnut...
KLL5 March 7, 2010
I just made the cake- it is delish! (I didn't attempt the ice cream). I would double the amount of syrup as it really adds to the cake. I would also use 3/4 cups sugar instead of a cup- but that is just my preference for tarter over sweet. I also used less powder sugar than called for- but again, that is a preference.
The cake took about 1 hour to bake, not 25-30 mins.
Thank you for the inspired recipe.....
WinnieAb March 7, 2010
I really appreciate all your comments and agree that more syrup would be great!
I am surprised it too so long to cook- just curious if you used a different sized pan? A smaller one that would result in a taller cake would take longer...was that the case? Do let me know.
Thanks again for the feedback!
KLL5 March 8, 2010
WinnieAb- I don't know why it took so long to bake? I used a 9 inch spring form- maybe because it was from Ikea it was a bad metal that didn't conduct heat well?
Kelsey B. March 6, 2010
Awesome idea for the ice-cream paired with the rustic citrus cake - yummy!
WinnieAb March 7, 2010
Thank you Kelsey!
gluttonforlife March 6, 2010
I'm so excited for the almond flour/coconut oil version! Your recipe will save me from having to figure it out for myself! Thanks!
gluttonforlife March 5, 2010
Uh-oh, this looks really delicious. We're a gluten-free household so I'm thinking I might try this with almond flour. I think the ice cream would also be great with something chocolatey...
WinnieAb March 6, 2010
I prefer to eat gluten-free too, and was also wondering if this would work with almond flour. So at the same time I did the "regular" cake, I also made one with almond flour, coconut oil instead of olive oil, and sweetened with maple syrup instead of sugar. It's fabulous! I will be posting it on my blog (and here) later this week if you are interested!
Allison C. March 5, 2010
This sounds--and looks--divine! I love Molly Wizenberg's recipes, and ditto David Lebovitz, but your synthesis of flavors and textures seems to be the best of all worlds. Kudos on a lovely entry.
WinnieAb March 6, 2010
Thanks you so so much!
AntoniaJames March 5, 2010
If I weren't serving the mint (or other flavored) ice cream with it, I'd infuse the orange juice with rosemary before making the syrup . . . . .
WinnieAb March 5, 2010
sounds good to me!
drbabs March 5, 2010
WinnieAb March 5, 2010
thank you!
TasteFood March 5, 2010
This is a lovely recipe. Cardamon and olive oil are wonderful in cakes.
WinnieAb March 5, 2010
Yes...I really like them together...
WinnieAb March 5, 2010
Thanks AJ! I'm all out of energy for cake and ice cream testing, but adding zest or cardamom to the ice cream does sound yummy...
AntoniaJames March 5, 2010
Brilliant!! You win. ;o) P.S. How about putting some of that cardamom in the ice cream? Or some blood orange zest? Though I'm sure it's perfectly lovely without either . . . . .