layer cake

Earl grey blood orange and cardamom chiffon cake

Aimee Twigger
A chiffon cake made with milk infused with earl grey and cardamom and some dried rose buds and some blood orange.
5 from 1 vote
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Course Dessert
Cuisine european
Servings 8



For the chiffon cake

  • 175-190 ml whole milk (use 1 cup to infuse but 3/4 cup for the cake - see instructions) 3/4 cup
  • 2 tbsp loose earl grey tea leaves or two to three tea bags
  • 10 green cardamom pods
  • 2 tbsp dried rose buds optional
  • 7 Large eggs separated
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 300 grams sugar 1 1/2 cups
  • 250 grams plain flour 2 cups
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125 ml vegetable oil 1/2 cup
  • zest of two blood oranges
  • 1 tsp blood orange juice

Blood orange syrup

  • Juice from 2 blood oranges
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 150 grams sugar 3/4 cup


  • orange syrup from above
  • 300g mascarpone
  • 400 ml double cream
  • honey of powdered sugar (optional if you want it sweeter)


For the cake

  • Add 1 cup of milk, the tea, cardamom and rose buds in a pan and heat until it is just simmering then remove from the heat and leave to infuse until is has cooled down. Then strain and measure out 175ml/3/4 cup. (when the milk has simmered and infused some of it will be absorbed/reduced so i find it is safer to add one cup rather than the 3/4 cup that you need for the cake)
  • Preheat the oven to 160c or 325f, Get two large mixing bowls ready and a bowl to mix flour.
  • line the bottom of four 8 inch cake tins with baking paper, (don't grease the tin and leave the sides with out paper) NOTE The taller the sizes of the tins the better, I used shallow ones and the cakes rose higher than the tins meaning i couldn't cool them upside down. it didn't seem to alter the texture that much cooling the right way up though.
  • Separate the eggs so you have yolks in one bowl and the egg whites in another.
  • Add 4 tbsp of the sugar into the bowl with the egg whites, and add the rest into the bowl with the yolks.
  • Add the milk and oil into the bowl with the yolks and sugar and mix together.
  • in another bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together and sift it into the bowl with the yolks and mix in. Mix until completely combined.
  • Now in the other bowl whip the egg whites with the 4 tbsp of sugar and lemon juice until stiff,
  • Fold the stiff egg whites into the yolk/flour mixture by adding 1/4 of the egg whites at time. You need to gently fold it in with a spatula until is it completely combined and no white lumps remain. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
  • Finally add the zest and orange juice and fold in.
  • Evenly divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. (or until lightly golden and when a cake tester in inserted into the centre of one of the cakes it comes out clean it could take 35 minutes) Ideally they need to be on a middle oven shelf, if you have a large range oven then they should fit, as my oven is small i quickly opened the oven and gently moved them around after 15 minutes.
  • Let the cakes cool upside down (the cakes should not fall out because the tins are not lined or greased, as they cool it should drop out on its own, HOWEVER if they have risen up higher than the sides of the tin then let them cool the right way up and not upside down. Once cool If they haven't dropped down on their own then run a knife around the sides of each cake and remove from the pans. Peel off the parchment paper.
  • NOTES. if you bake this is in larger or smaller tins then it can take longer to bake, it can be baked as 2 or 3 layers also, they will just be taller so will take slightly longer to bake.

For blood orange syrup for frosting

  • Bash the cardamom pods slightly then add to the pan with the juice and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then simmer until it has reduced into a thick syrup.
  • let cool completely, remove the cardamom pods.

Make frosting

  • Whip the cream and mascarpone until soft billowy peaks, then add the syrup a little at a time while whisking. taste and if needed add some honey or powdered sugar until it is sweet enough for your taste.
  • Finally whip on a low speed until it is a good spreadable consistency, This frosting gets lots of air bubbles, so try to knock them out by using a slow speed for the final mixing. i was in a hurry to frost mine so i left some bubbles.
  • Assemble the cake by adding some of the frosting between each layer with a few table spoons of marmalade added as a filling. see photos above.
Keyword cake