Recipe: Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake has always been a favorite of mind. The sweet, crumbly topping; the excuse to eat cake when it’s not dessert. What more could you love?

Sometimes a new twist on an old classic is just the ticket. This Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake is different enough to make people notice, but traditional enough to still be coffee cake. It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, with it’s combination of subtle coffee flavor, wake-me-up citrus and not so much sugar as to make it too sweet.

Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake

Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake


    For the Cake:
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder (I like Starbuck's Via)
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C whole milk
  • 1/2 C cold coffee
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • For the Topping:
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 walnut pieces
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 tbs orange zest
  • 1/2 instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 stick butter at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Line an 8x8 cake pan with parchment and spray with coconut oil
  3. For the topping:
  4. Combine all ingredients and use your fingers to blend in the butter
  5. Try and smoosh the butter so there are different sized crumbs, the largest the size of a lima bean
  6. For the cake:
  7. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl
  8. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl
  9. Whisk the wet ingredients together with the eggs
  10. Pour wet ingredients into the medium bowl with the dry ingredients
  11. Stir until just combined
  12. Pour into the prepared pan
  13. Evenly sprinkle topping and press lightly into the batter
  14. Bake at 400F for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. The middle might puff up and that is ok.
  15. Cool on a wire rack
  16. When ready to serve, use parchment to transfer the cake to a cutting board
  17. The cake keeps well tightly wrapped up to four days on the counter, a week in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer


Essentials for the First 24 Hours Postpartum

First 24 Hour Essentials

There are plenty of lists out there for what your newborn baby will need in the first 24 hours, but what about mom? What should every mom have on hand for the first 24 hours after giving birth?  I mean, besides a change of clothes, deodorant and maybe a hairbrush.

As I was preparing to give birth to my second child, I thought a lot about what I wanted to have on hand that first day.  Here is my list of must-haves, and why I think they are essential!

A Gallon of Coconut Water

Ditch the Gatorade and rehydrate with Coconut Water instead.  It is much higher in potassium, a type of electrolyte, and lower in sodium.  Even if you didn’t have Edema (water retention) during pregnancy, you’ll have a lot of water weight to loose soon after.  Sodium can cause you to hold on to that water, leading to higher blood pressure, whereas potassium actually alleviates edema.  And it has more vitamins and nutrients than plain water.

And the Waxelene Winner is…

Congratulations to Latanya, our Waxelene winner! And a big thank you to everyone who entered. If you didn’t win this time, check back later this month for another giveaway!

The Petroleum Jelly Alternative

The Petroleum Jelly Alternative

Waxelene is made of Organic Soy Oil, Beeswax, Organic Rosemary Oil, and Natural Vitamin E (from soybeans). Not only do they use natural and organic ingredients, but their jars are recyclable glass, the boxes are 100% recycled, and their facility is 100% wind-powered! Find out more about Waxelene on their website.

For those of you interested in buying a tube or jar of Waxelene, you can find a local retailer here. If you’d like to purchase Waxelene while supporting The Green Baby Guide, click on our Amazon Affiliate Link.

To Spank or Not to Spank

A better source of parenting advice than the Pope.

A better source of parenting advice than the Pope.

Pope Francis has made headlines with his story of a “good father” that chooses to smack his children a bit, but “never in the face so as not to humiliate them”.

I realize that priests are often called upon to give advice to parishioners, but maybe parenting advice is a little out of their purview. Of course, children of his generation were whipped, smacked, and spanked with abandon. Nowadays you can get sent to jail if someone finds out about it, even in the Pope’s home country of Argentina.

Corporal punishment is definitely falling out of favor. Studies suggest that spanking doesn’t correct behavior over the long term, and can erode the trust between children and their parents. It is not, however, illegal in the US. Unless the judge decides the punishment was abuse.  In fact, about 60% of American parents believe in spanking.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas and Waxelene Giveaway!

Forget the candy hearts, those are so yesterday! There are plenty of other gift ideas that are bound to bring a smile to your loved one’s face.

Plantable Valentine’s Day Cards

For your Valentine

For your Valentine

These Valentine’s Day cards aren’t just for show. If you plant them in soil, they will turn into flowers! You can get a whole pack to hand out, or a couple just for your sweetheart. Either way, it’s a delightful change from the usual.




Fair Trade Chocolate

Try not to eat it the whole bag at once!

Try not to eat the whole bag at once!

If you’re going to give chocolate, why not make it Fair Trade and Non-GMO? barkTHINS are delicious and come in several different flavors.  I’ve seen the Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt at Costco, or if you’re really in love buy the pack of 6 different varieties (Dark Chocolate Almond; Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed; Dark Chocolate Mint; Dark Chocolate Pretzel; Blueberry Quinoa with Agave; Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut with Almonds)  You can also buy them .

And The DrainWig Winner Is…

Glamor Shot

Glamor Shot

Congratulations to Cindy! She has won herself a package of DrainWigs containing two for the shower and two for the tub.

A big thanks to everyone who entered. We are going to be doing giveaways throughout the year, so please try again next time!

If you didn’t win, and are still hoping to try out this chemical-free hair-clog prevention solution, you can buy your own set using the Promo Code FIZZ5 to get $5 off. That’s just $15 and free shipping!

I know it says to throw the whole thing away, but since we’ll all about being thrifty and reusing, we’re going to try and salvage our DrainWig after it fills up. We’ll let you know how it goes!

The Environmental Impact of School Bus Seatbelts

Safer and More Environmentally Friendly?

Safer and More Environmentally Friendly?

I have always wondered why school buses don’t have seatbelts. Not that I minded when I was riding them, since it was easier to wiggle around unrestrained. It was especially nice on field trips when you could lounge around, lie down, or face backwards, not like riding in a car at all!

Good Morning America did a piece on putting seatbelts on school buses, and it sounds like a logistical nightmare. Not that there should be a compromise for our children’s safety, but what exactly would the trip to school look like if they put seatbelts on every bus?

DrainWig Giveaway!



Over the years, we have tried a bunch of different solutions to prevent our shower and bathtub drains from clogging. We’ve tried all different styles of hair catchers, and none of them seem that great. If the holes are small enough to catch all the hair, then they quickly clog up with lint and soap scum. Concave designs with suctions to keep them in place never seem to stay suctioned.

No matter what the drain catcher, we periodically end up plunging the shower drain. Eventually that doesn’t do the trick, and we resort to pouring chemicals down the drain. We’ve tried “bio-enzyme” solutions that claim to be better on the environment and when those don’t work, follow it up with industrial strength Drano. Despite all these measures, the drain needs attention after just another month.

Quarantining a Toddler: Is it worth the effort?

What's a little personal space between sisters

What’s a little personal space between sisters?

We had RSV work its way through our ranks this month, and I admit that I did nothing to stop it. When Franci fell ill, I briefly considered keeping her away from Allison only to immediately abandon the idea. I mean, how would that even work? Would I wear a smock when caring for Frances and whip it off when I ran to comfort Allison? No doubt we had all already been exposed before Franci showed any symptoms.

Sure, we make Franci wash her hands regularly and she remembers to cough into the crook of her arm half the time. She is relatively good at blowing her nose and knows where her “hankies” are and asks for a tissue when ever her nose starts to run. She also sneaks a suck on Alli’s pacifier when I’m not looking, shares bowls of granola with her dad and regularly coughs in my face. If RSV is as contagious as they say, any effort I could have made to sanitize my hands and everything around us would have been cancelled out by one well-aimed sneeze (and there were several).

Newborn Fever

Get Well Soon!

Get Well Soon!

When I say “Newborn Fever”, I’m not talking about nervous excitement about having a baby, I mean an elevated temperature in a baby that is less than three months old. Is there anything more nerve racking?

In our household, we try and let a fever take its course. It’s doing something important, after all: helping the body fight off infection. Sometimes we can’t help but give into “feverphobia”, and bring it down with acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but only if the child is uncomfortable. As long as she is eating, drinking, peeing and not acting lethargic, we let the illness run its course.