1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup of cream cheese (5 ounces), at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 vanilla bean pod
3 cardamom pods
1/4 teaspoon of almond extract
thinly sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350F and generously coat a loaf pan with baking spray. Create a parchment paper sling for your pan, and spray it with baking spray as well.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter and cream cheese in the work bowl of your stand mixer. Beat until blended. Slowly beat in the sugar, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Crack open the cardamom pods and remove the black seeds. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the cardamom. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean pod and add it to the mixture along with the crushed cardamom. Mix until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat over medium-low, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in the almond extract. Turn the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry mix, beating until just incorporated. Scrape the batter into your prepared pan and smooth the top. Generously sprinkle with almonds.
Bake the cake until the top is golden brown and springs back when gently pressed and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean (about 60–70 minutes). If the almonds start to brown too quickly, you can tent the cake with foil until it’s fully cooked through. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, and/or poached fruit.