You’ll love these soft fragrant cardamom cupcakes paired with a sweet and slightly tangy cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Of course, these would be delicious any time of year, but the cool weather of fall begs for the warming spices of cardamom and cinnamon.
Flour – All-purpose flour works great in these cupcakes. I prefer unbleached all-purpose flour but you can use whatever you have.
Cardamom – Cardamom is the main flavoring in these cupcakes. It’s sweet and spicy with a slightly floral essence. And it makes the most deliciously flavored desserts!
Baking Powder & Soda – These are the leavening agents that give the cupcakes their delicate lift.
Salt – Using a bit of salt in sweet baked goods helps bring out all of the flavors. I prefer to use either fine sea salt or fine kosher salt (like Diamond Crystal). If you use a coarse grain salt (like Morton), you may need a bit more salt than the recipe calls for. In general, I recommend avoiding using table salt in baking and cooking.
Canola Oil – The oil in these cupcakes is what makes them so moist. I like canola oil but any neutral-flavored oil will work. Note: I have tried using butter in these but the results are much drier so I highly recommend sticking with oil.
Sugar – This recipe calls for white granulated sugar. I find that it doesn’t compete with the flavor of the cardamom as much as brown sugar does. And you really want the cardamom to shine in these!
Eggs – Large eggs are the standard egg size for baking and that is what I use in this recipe. Though I haven’t tested with extra large eggs, I imagine they would work too.
Whole Milk – Whole milk is the main liquid in this recipe. I prefer to use whole milk but any milk will work. Though you may find that the final cupcake is a bit drier with a lower fat content milk.
Sour Cream – Sour cream provides extra fat and moisture which further ups the moistness of the cupcake. And, really, moist cupcakes are always the goal!
Vanilla – Vanilla rounds out the flavor of the cupcakes and adds a delicate sweet note.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
Butter – I prefer to use salted butter when making frosting. But, if you want to use unsalted butter, simply add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the recipe. Also, I always use a European-style butter (like Kerrygold) since it has a higher fat content and produces a richer final product.
Cream Cheese – Cream cheese adds a nice tang to this frosting that tastes great with the delicate sweetness of the cardamom cupcake.
Powdered Sugar – Also called confectioner’s sugar, powdered sugar gives frosting its sweetness. I find the balance of the frosting in this recipe to be perfect – sweet but not too sweet.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon pairs wonderfully with the cardamon making these cupcakes a delightfully spiced treat.
Vanilla – Vanilla in the frosting helps to round out the flavor of the frosting.
How To Make Cardamom Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Making the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar.
Whisk in one egg at a time. Then add the milk, sour cream, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until combined.
Fill the lined cupcake pan so that each one is about 2/3rds full. I like to use a cookie scooper for this.
Bake for 16 to 19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake. You want to pull them as soon as they are done.
I like to remove my cupcakes from the pan soon after they come out of the oven so that the residual heat from the pan doesn’t continue cooking them. Using a butter knife, I gently push them out of their well and then put them on a wire rack to cool.
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them.
Making the Frosting:
Using either a stand mixer or an electric hand whisk, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for 5 minutes.
Then, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Hint: Use a towel wrapped around the stand mixer to help prevent the powdered sugar from flying out. After about 15 seconds of mixing, you can remove the towel.
Continue mixing for another 5 minutes.
Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with your favorite icing tip (I used a Wilton 109 tip) and top each cupcake with frosting. The frosting recipe makes enough to top each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting.
Storing the Cardamom Cupcakes
Because of the cream cheese, these cupcakes need to be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
They should be eaten within 5 days.
Pull them from the fridge about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve.
Items You May Need
Cardamom Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/3 cup whole milk room temperature
- 1/3 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 16 ounces about 3 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil and sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time, whisking thoroughly between each one.
- Add the milk, sour cream, and vanilla to the wet ingredients and whisk until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Fill the prepared cupcake pan until each liner is about 2/3rds full.
- Bake for 16 to 19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow them to cool on a wire rack until completely cool, about 1 hour.
- To make the frosting, cream together the butter and cream cheese for 5 minutes. Then, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla and cream for another 5 minutes.
- Using a pastry bag fitted with your favorite piping tip top each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting.
- Store the cupcakes in the fridge.
- Having all of the ingredients at room temperature allows them to combine more evenly.
- If you use unsalted butter in the frosting, I recommend adding a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the recipe.