Last week I added one year to my age. I wasn’t thinking much on that point rather simply accepted the fact. Last year was too overloaded with thoughts and events that I needed a mere relaxation and was very grateful to Sasha that he organized a day at sauna and spa for us in a newly opened spa complex outside the town. It was a perfect choice — vast splendid territory for a quiet walks, lying on grass, breathing fresh air and enjoying the nature of surrounding forest; and also a hotel, sauna and spa, pool with thermal water. Besides a wonderful time my husband organized me some body scrub and a relaxing massage.

At home there was a wonderful birthday cake — soft sponge flavored with freshly ground cardamom, brushed with vanilla syrup and frosted with fluffy mascarpone buttercream topped with thick leyer of chocolate. The combination of vanilla and cardamom scents have always evoked the sense of light and freshness compared to a cool autumn day and they are perfect with moist and velvet texture of the cake. Soft sponge soaked with vanilla and weightless frosting are nicely contrasted to thickness and bitterness of black chocolate. You remember the movie Chocolate where the lady always guessed the favorite treat of her customers. Well, if you ask me of my perfect cake it will definitely be this one.


Cardamom Cake with Vanilla Frosting


for the leyers:

  • 180 g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
  • 200 g sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 5 tbsp oil

For the syrup:

  • 50 g sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the cream: 

  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 250 g butter, room temperature
  • 350 g powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 100 g black chocolate
  • 50 g butter


Sponge Cake. Butter and line with parchment paper 2 18cm springform tins. Preheat oven to 175°C.

Sift flour, baking powder and cardamom into a bowl and set aside. Separate the eggs.

Whisk yolks and oil.

Whip the whites till foam, gradually add sugar and beat till soft peaks. Be careful not to overwhip.

Accurately fold the whites into the yolks. In several stages stir in the flour mixture.

Divide the batter between two pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the skewer inserted comes out clean.

Syrup. Combine syrup, water and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reducing the heat to low simmer for about 10 minutes.

Cream. Whip mascarpone and powdered sugar. Add vanilla extract and butter and beat again until homogenous.

Glaze. Combine chopped chocolate and butter in a saucepan and melt in a waterbath.

Assembling the cake. Slice each leyer lengthwise so that you have 4 leyers. Place the bottom leyer onto a plate, drizzle some syrup on top and spread a leyer of frosting, cover with the next leyer and repeat the same till the top. Frost the sides of the cake with thin leyer of frosting and place to the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Spread the remaining frosting and put the cake to the fridge once again for 1 hour. Pour the glaze on top of the cake.

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