This gluten free cardamom cake recipe is inspired by my dada’s (paternal grandfather)semolina cake recipe, also called Roadh in India. Infused with rose water and spiced with cardamom, this cake will make you forget the refined flour, gluten rich cakes you’re used to.
Why you’ll want to make this cardamom cake
- If you are trying to avoid gluten but yearn to eat baked goods that have the same texture as their gluten rich counterparts, then you’ll love this gluten free version.
- It is made with minimal, real food ingredients.
- The flavor mimics halwa and kheer yet it is a lot lighter than typical South Asian desserts.
- It is extremely versatile. It can be made as a tea cake by dusting it with some powdered sugar or made richer and grander by icing it with plain butter cream.
What you’ll need to make it
- Almond flour. Use blanched almond flour rather than almond meal. It is finer and results in better texture.
- Arrowroot flour. This gives the fluffy texture most desired in cakes.
- Butter or ghee. Softened butter and room temperature ghee.
- Cane sugar. I usually use coconut sugar for baked goods but they turn out darker in color with drier results. Because I wanted to emulate the look of a regular semolina cake, I have used cane sugar in this recipe. Although cane sugar is not genetically modified, like regular beet sugar, it still contains sucrose so you will want to eat it in moderation.
- Baking powder & soda. To leaven the cake and give it rise.
- Eggs. At room temperature.
- Rose water and cardamom. These give the signature South Indian flavoring to the cake.
- Pink Salt. I like to add salt to balance out the sweetness.
Baking, let alone gluten free baking can be a little tricky but if you follow a few simple tips, the final product will be perfect and consistent every time.
Bring butter and eggs to room temperature. Before you begin, take out your eggs and butter and bring them to room temperature. This ensures a good foundation for your cake’s structure
Prepare to bake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, line a round 10 inch cake pan with parchment paper and start on assembling the cake. You can use a smaller 9 inch round pan as well.
Mix wet ingredients. In a large bowl with a hand beater, whisk the softened butter together with the sugar till light and fluffy. Next, add the eggs one at a time. Once all the eggs are combined, add the rose water. Set aside.
Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a mortar add the cardamom pods, tap down with the pestle and remove the skin. Continue to crush the seeds to a fine powder and add this to the dry ingredients. Now, whisk everything together till fully incorporated.
Combine the wet and dry. Gradually add the dry ingredients a little at a time, to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Stirring with a spatula to incorporate fully before adding more of the flour mixture.
Pour into cake pan. Once everything is combined, pour the batter into the lined cake pan, tap it once or twice to settle the batter.
Bake. Pop in the oven for about 40 minutes. Watch the cake as oven temperatures can vary. Test the doneness by inserting a toothpick and have it come out clean.
Cool completely. Take out and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan and cooling it on a wire rack. Let it cool completely before dusting it with powdered sugar, chopped pistachios and rose petals. Or icing it if desired.
Tips and substitutions
You can make this cake dairy free by substituting the butter with ghee. If you can find refined coconut oil, you can use that as well.
You can find rose water and arrowroot flour at any South Asian or Middle Eastern grocery store so don’t forget to check them out. If for some reason you can’t get your hands on rose water, use vanilla extract instead.
If you can’t find arrowroot flour, you can swap it for tapioca starch in this recipe.
How to store this cake
You can store un iced cardamom cake on the counter top for up to 4 days, but it won’t last that long! If you want to make it ahead and freeze it, cool it completely and then wrap the cake in a plastic wrap and then foil. Put it into a zip top freezer safe bag and seal it well. It should be fine for up to a month.
Try my other South Asian inspired recipes
If you try this recipe, I’d appreciate it so much if you would rate it! And let me know in the comments how it worked out for you. And, if you are on social media, share your pics with me on Instagram by tagging me @eatdrinkpure so I can see and repost it on my stories!
Gluten Free Cardamom Rose Cake
- 1 Round 9 or 10 inch cake pan
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 1 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 3 cups almond flour
- 2/3 cup arrowroot flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom crushed or 3 cardamom pods
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- powdered sugar, edible rose petals, chopped pistachios to decorate
- Before you begin, take out your eggs and butter and bring them to room temperature. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, line a round cake tin with parchment paper and start on assembling the cake.
- In a stand mixer or with a hand beater, whisk the softened butter and add sugar to the bowl. Cream the two together.
- Once well incorporated, add the eggs one at a time. Once all the eggs are combined, add the rose extract. Set aside and mix together the dry ingredients, almond flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a mortar add the cardamom, tap down with the pestle and remove the skin. Continue to crush the seeds to a fine powder and add this to the dry ingredients.
- Whisk everything together and combine well before gradually adding the dry ingredients to the wet. Stirring to incorporate before adding more.
- Once everything is combined, pour the batter into the lined cake tin, tap it once or twice to settle the batter and pop in the oven for about 40 minutes. Watch the cake as ovens can vary.
- Test the doneness by inserting a toothpick. It's done if it comes out clean.
- Take out of the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan and cooling it on a wire rack. Let it cool completely before dusting it with powdered sugar, chopped pistachios and rose petals. Or even icing it with butter cream.
- Rose water is available in most South Asian grocery stores. This is different from rose extract which is more concentrated of the two.
- Arrowroot flour is available at South Asian grocery stores as well. It is commonly labeled as Araroot powder but is one and the same.
Loved this recipe. The cake turned out great it was very flavorful and moist. My husband loved it! It’s the perfect cake to eat with afternoon tea.
Oh so happy to hear Iffat! Thank you for taking out the time to write a review!
Afshan ghulamani says
Cake turned out so delicious. Healthy ingredients and delicious recipe. Thank you for sharing.
So glad you enjoyed it and thanks so much for taking the time to review Afshan! I truly appreciate it!
Saima Husain says
Absolutely loved this recipe. The cake was dense, super moist and had great flavor. My nine year old and husband loved it too!
So glad you and your family enjoyed this cake Saima! It’s a favorite in my home too!