Cardamom Cake

I just can’t believe summer has come to an end already! It seems like it just wasn’t long enough this year. I mean, really … where did summer go? We’ve just crossed the Labor Day Weekend threshold (the Official End of Summer, at least that’s when all the swimming pools close), and my tan game slowly degraded as summer went on. In my defense, that’s because I was busing filling my weekends up with adventures of the non-culinary type. I had my fair share of BBQs, laying by the pool, and sitting outdoors basking the summer evenings, shisha in hand.

So for summer to end so abruptly (and yes, I will say abruptly since even Labor Day Weekend was rainy and cooled off so much it was almost too cold to swim) was such a disappointment.

To transition, albeit with difficulty, to pre-fall I baked up mini Spiced Cardamom cakes in my With a Spin cake molds. I learned some valuable lessons about silicone cake molds, most importantly that you have to wait until the cakes completely cool before taking them out of the molds, otherwise you’ll end up with a crumbled mess. Not to worry! I used those Spiced Cardamom Cake scraps to make Spiced Cardamom Cake pops covered in pink, white and semi-sweet chocolate. So in reality, they didn’t go to complete waste.

Spiced Cardamom Cake is best enjoyed with a steaming cup of coffee (or tea).

Cardamom Cake

Incase you were interested in my fun-packed summer, here’s a recap of some of the summer adventures:

Strawberry Picking
I kicked off the summer strawberry picking with my close friend, lulu and her kiddos. We picked enough strawberries to feed a small town. The best part? Using some of the strawberries for my Strawberry Eshta Cream Tarts.
Biking Sunset
I signed up for a new gym… that I went to for like 3 weeks, and then that kind of fell off, as most of my attempts to go to the gym do. But I went on this gorgeous bike ride up the Woodrow Wilson Bridge into National Harbor where I stopped just in time to catch a few photos at sunset. These photos just don’t do it justice.
Harpers Ferry Tubing
One weekend, we made the trek up to Harper’s Ferry, where we packed a cooler with ice cold diet coke (I’m not much a beer drinker) and all sorts of snacks, and strapped it into a tube for white water tubing down the Potomac river. It was a gorgeous day, and aside from missing our get-off point and having to be towed by a kayak back on the first run, and then tumbling into the water on the second run, it was a fabulous experience.

 

Artechouse
While we had plenty of sunny days, D.C. does not disappoint when it comes to summer rain. We were forced to do indoor activities. So we decided to check out the latest ArTecHouse. We also hit up the National Building Museum which houses different exhibits throughout the year.
Beach Day
My favorite part of summer is spending the day on the beach. Soaking up the sun, getting beaten down by Atlantic waves and leaving sufficiently burnt with traces of sand everywhere and completely wiped out. I added a little adventure by doing end-of-day parasailing at 800 ft! It was awesome!
Painting
You know when you try to take on a new activity, something creative meant to be fun and relaxing? You know, like painting? Yea … me either. Painting had to be one of the most stressful experiences of my life. I probably should have gone with the sip option, but I was already stuffed from a bachelorette brunch (not mine, obviously). The 2 hour session resulted in a gorgeous painting. How? I have no idea.
Eclipse 2017
I got to experience one of the coolest scientific phenomenons, and partial solar eclipse. Unfortunately, since the eclipse took place on a Monday, I wasn’t able to plan a weekend getaway to one of the areas with a total eclipse. But it was pretty cool nonetheless. Yes, I pulled an elementary school science fair project stunt and made a little peep hole through which to see the eclipse. I met with a couple friends and some really nice people let us use their eclipse glasses to sneak a peak of the real deal.
Zip Lining
I didn’t think I was that outdoorsy, until I started doing outdoor activities. You’ll still never find me willingly sleeping outside. That’s just way too outdoorsy for me. But The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring was one of the most fun experiences of the summer. It really tests your ability to problem solve (how am I going to get across this to the other side despite these obstacles?) and your ability to balance, be flexible and catch yourself from falling. The cool thing is that you feel like a monkey climbing and zip lining through trees.
Roller Coaster
I finally wrapped up the summer with a day at Kings Dominion where, despite it being a little chilly, I rode almost every ride in the water park .. and I rode some rollercoasters too!

 

Cardamom Cake

Spiced Cardamom Cake

Yield: About 24 cupcake-sized cakes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup White Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon powder
  • 2 tablespoons Cardamom powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 1 cup Buttermilk

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom until combined
  2. Add in the eggs, butter and buttermilk
  3. Whisk using a hand mixer on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until the lumps in the mixture dissolve
  4. Grease 2 cupcake pans and pour the batter about 3/4 full
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, to check use the toothpick test (insert a toothpick into the middle and remove. If batter doesn't stick to the cupcakes, the cakes are done).
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