Is Cardamom the new Cinnamon?

This entry is dedicated to Karen, my brunch-loving friend who will always have a soft spot for Oreos!

Has anyone else noticed this? Cardamom is everywhere now; in blogs, recipe books and other food-driven media. For centuries, Middle Easterners used this unassuming pod to flavor teas, coffees and the occasional desserts. Now, the humble cardamom pod has been given the 90210-celebrity treatment and is making its way to pantries around the world. If you need to see it to believe it, you could check out these blogs featuring delicious cardamom Christmas cookies and cardamom roasted cauliflower for yourself.

Sweet or savory, I love the lemony fragrance that Cardamom brings to the table. The idea of pairing cardamom with french toast came to me when my friend Desiree told me of this exquisite cardamom crème brûlée she had tasted in a restaurant. The way she described the fragrant cardamom undertone that the dessert carried through made me eager to experiment some more with the spice. I figured both, French Toast and Creme Brûlée, are custard-based so the cardamom pairing should adapt well.

Random Fact: In France, French Toast is called Pain Perdu, which literally means Lost Bread.  This is because stale bread is traditionally used to make this dish and so it is a great way of using stale, or “lost,” bread.

This past weekend my friend Karen came to visit me in Ithaca now that it’s springtime no longer subzero. On Sunday we enjoyed the day together by climbing Cornell’s clock tower and making brunch.  It was the perfect time to try out the Cardamom French Toast that I had been meaning to experiment with. Here is how it went:

Cardamom French Toast

(yields approx. 6 servings)


  • 6 slices of challah bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest
  • 1 tsp. cardamom, ground
  • powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Putting them all together

  1. Mix the milk, eggs, honey, orange zest and cardamom in a bowl.
  2. Soak Challah slices in egg mixture.
  3. Melt butter in a large nonstick saute pan and cook the slices until golden brown on each side.
  4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve alongside your favorite brunch items.


12 thoughts on “Is Cardamom the new Cinnamon?

  1. I keep meaning to try using Cardamom more often. I have used Cardamom once or twice but it has always been lost amongst the other flavours in the dish. I will have to try a dish that feature Cardamom as a primary flavour.

  2. I watched your video last night Tony, but Grumpy came and stole the computer before I could comment! I need to try the cardamom!

    Looks like you and your friend had a great time!

  3. i do not know if it is the new cinnamon but i just love the stuff. I like the idea of this on the french toast!

  4. I can’t remember the last time I used cardamom. But you’re vid was funny. Nice for the view from the tower!
    And thanks for stopping by! Hay
    mucha comida que te gustara. I want to learn how to make arepas! 🙂

  5. Love the video! You guys worked great together and the french toast was to die for! You made it look so easy.
    Yes, we totally agree with you that cardamom can be the new cinnamon. To really bring out the extra hint of floral sweetness, we use cardamom with fenugreek. The fenugreek has a sweet, almost caramel note that blends beautifully with the cardamom!
    Keep up the great work!

  6. I love cardamon, we traditionally use it a lot with rice and chicken, and in arabic coffee too. I try to figure out different ways for it though- it has such a distinctive flavour and taste, it’s so wonderful! My most recent cardamon use was in a mirabelle plum crumble. Really did some magic!

  7. OMG! We’re just checking back to see when the deadline is! We thought it was July 15th, but we are so wrong! Gotta get going on this!
    Hope your move went well Tony! We’ve been SO BUSY the last couple of weeks and haven’t check in. Look out for a box in the mail!

  8. WOW! This is delicious, Antonio! I have tried things with cardamom in them many times (chocolate with cardamom = awesomeness) but It’s the first time I have fiddled with Cardamom when cooking, and it’s so easy to work with!

    Life is good.

  9. Hi Antonio,

    I just tried your recipe and I just want to say, I LOVE it. I’m a cardamom grower/importer from Colombia( a new origin for cardamom) and I’m impressed at how versatile cardamom can be, your recipe proves my point. keep up the good work, btw great website.

    ps. can I post your recipe on my website?


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