Twinkie Bundt Cake

Twinkie Bundt Cake via Sweetapolita

So, it turns out I’ve never had a Twinkie. How is this possible? Well, I am Canadian after all but that’s still no excuse. With the latest buzz about the Hostess trouble and potential Twinkie production coming to a halt in the U.S., I suppose we Canadians should be excited about the fact that they will continue to be manufactured and distributed here, from what I’ve read. (Isn’t it ironic?) So even though they are available in Canada, I still think of them as an all-American snack.

But really, to have one might just be to say I’ve had one. The truth is I think I’d take homemade Twinkie-ness over the store-bought variety, any day. What I do have fond memories of, however, are Canada’s answer to the Twinkie: Vachon’s 1/2 Moon Cakes (and incidentally, this is the same company who manufactures Twinkies here in Canada). My mom used to buy 1/2 Moons for me, along with a few other Canadian gems, such as Jos Louis cakes (red velvet cakes sandwiching vanilla cream filling and dipped in milk chocolate) and Passion Flakies (flaky pastry filled with cream and fruit filling). There was something about the vanilla-vanilla 1/2 Moons, though, that had my heart. And Twinkie or 1/2 Moons–no matter what you call these treats, the appeal is the same: moist golden vanilla cake sandwiching sweet white vanilla filling. Essentially what childhood dreams are made of. But still, the thought of all of those chemicals and preservatives make me shudder . . .

So when I excitedly opened Shauna Sever’s latest book, Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques, and saw her recipe for Twinkie Bundt Cake, I knew that everything was going to be alright with the world again. And if that wasn’t enough, her book boasts countless vanilla recipes supreme, along with a ton of history about and techniques for working with this beloved bean. When it was time to choose a recipe from her book to share with you, I was completely perplexed because I was intrigued by each and every one of them.

In the first week I had the book I made her Big, Soft Frosted Vanilla Cookies, Honey-Vanilla Granola Clusters, Heirloom Vanilla Sugar Cookies and Lemon-Vanilla Dream Bars. I literally couldn’t stop. They were all incredible and the recipes were, in true Shauna style, all winners. (And let us not forget the delightful Vanilla Bean Marshmallows I made from her first book when I blogged about my Homemade Puffy Cloud S’mores.) Then when I made this Twinkie Bundt Cake, I truly couldn’t wait to share it with you.

Twinkie Bundt Cake via Sweetapolita

So what exactly is a Twinkie Bundt Cake? It’s a from-scratch, moist, golden, super-vanilla, cream-filled cake–essentially one big homemade Twinkie. While the flavours are classic, the hit of marshmallow creme in the filling bumps the sweetness of this cake just enough to make it a complete throwback to childhood. What I found most surprising about this cake was that it was so easy to make and fill, it stayed gloriously moist for days, and had so much true vanilla flavour. Shauna pulled the Twinkie-factor off in a big, huge, vanilla parade kind of way.

So here is the recipe just as it is in the book, Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques, with my addition of ingredient weights whenever possible:

Twinkie Bundt Cake

Yield: Serves 10

From the book, Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques by Shauna Sever. Shauna says, "This cake is essentially an enormous from-scratch version of the iconic American snack cake, with the vanilla flavor amplified and made with pronounceable ingredients. It's golden and terrifically moist, and its cream-filled cross-section is an instant joy-inducer."

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 6 tablespoons (90 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs plus 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (237 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 (7.5 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick)(114 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

Instructions

    For the Cake:
  1. Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat overn to 325°F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust it lightly with flour.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and vanilla extract on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and beat until evenly mixed, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in oil. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Stir in flour mixture and buttermilk in three alternating additions, ending with the buttermilk, and continue to mix on low speed until the batter is smooth and no lumps remain. Turn off mixer and fold batter several times by hand to ensure everything is well incorporated, and then pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the cake is golden, the top springs back when lightly pressed, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
  6. For the Filling:
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together marshmallow creme and butter until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.
  8. With the cake still in the pan, use a paring knife or apple corer to cut 6 or 7 deep holes into the bottom of the cake, each about 3/4 inch in diameter; be careful not to cut through top of cake. Discard (i.e., nibble) cake scraps. With your fingers, gently burrow a horizontal tunnel around the center of the cake, connecting the vertical holes.
  9. Insert the tip of the pastry bag into each hold and squeeze in filling, tilting pastry bag back and forth as you work to encourage filling into the horizontal tunnel through the cake. When cake is filled, use a spatula to scrape away excess filling from the bottom of the cake. Quickly and carefully invert cake onto serving platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired, and serve.
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Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

Good luck & enjoy!

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Dark Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Fluffy Rosewater Frosting

Chocolate & Rosewater Chiffon Cake via Sweetapolita

There’s something about the word “chiffon” that simply makes me happy. And hungry. Pair it with the word cake, and you know I’m going to be intrigued. I’ve been wanting to share a chiffon cake with you for some time now, but truly, there are so many flavour variations out there that I felt it would be best to wait until I made one that really excited me and that I found unique and nothing short of delightful.  What makes a chiffon cake a chiffon cake? Well, it’s a light and springy cake that gets its height from a generous number of egg whites that are beaten separately from the egg yolks into a stiff peak meringue and folded into the blended batter base, which typically includes oil (never butter), flour, baking powder, and sugar. It bakes up lofty and full, and the high oil and egg content yields a really moist cake that seems to stay that way for days. With the absence of butter, therefore less saturated fat, you could almost say that it’s a healthier cake option, and, this is what I uttered to myself repeatedly while I ate 2, or was it 3, slices today. And, wait, I also used sunflower oil, so I almost can’t afford to not eat it, it’s that healthy.

Dark Chocolate & Rosewater Chiffon Cake via Sweetapolita

According to What’s Cooking America, the first chiffon cake was introduced in 1927, by its inventor, Harry Baker, a Los Angeles insurance agent who kept his recipe guarded for two decades, baking and selling it to Hollywood stars exclusively. It is explained that Mr. Baker eventually (1947) sold his recipe to General Mills, who stated that he sold his recipe” so Betty Crocker could give the secret to the women of the America.” This cake was said to be a huge hit after being printed in Better Homes and Gardens in 1948, and by the 1950s chiffon cakes were all the rage. So now that I’ve inflicted my love for cake history upon you, let’s talk about this particularly delicious chiffon cake!

Dark Chocolate & Rosewater Chiffon Cake via Sweetapolita

I’ve been wanting to incorporate rosewater (or rose water) into a recipe (or a few) lately, and although it’s known to work well with such flavours as vanilla, white chocolate, raspberry, and many others, I was so excited to pair it with chocolate. I suspected it would taste great, since lavender does and my instincts told me it would, but I was particularly pleased to discover this officially, since all I can think about these days is chocolate. And cake. And pink frosting. I went with a dark chocolate chiffon cake because I love the contrast of the delicate, pink, fluffy rose water frosting against the deep, dark chocolate cake–both in taste and aesthetic. In this case, though, since the cake only appears to be heavy and dark, it’s actually super light in texture (in true chiffon style), which makes the overall experience even more pleasing and suited for spring indulgences and summer days to come.

For this frosting, I added a small amount of rosewater to one of my favourite sugary-type frosting recipes, as an accent, resulting in a sweet, rich-but-light buttercream with just a hint of rose ringing through. With a certain magical tea party on my mind (you can learn more about that wonderfully curious event below), I’ve been recently dreaming of this type of sweet and fragrant confection, and this one hit the spot. If you’re not familiar with rosewater, it is literally just that: a steam distillate made from rose petals. Although there are many wonderful uses for rosewater (I use it in toner form on my face each day), as an ingredient it’s most often found in Middle Eastern, Greek, and Indian cuisine. I find it adds a really delicate and unique touch to the frosting in this case.

I opted to add it into more of a confectioners’ frosting, over my beloved meringue buttercream, or the like, because I felt, after experimenting a bit, that for my personal taste it paired best with the sweetness of the sugary frosting. A rosewater glaze was also an option, and I imagine that would have also been incredible. I was envisioning swirls of fluffy rosewater frosting though on a bundt shape cake this time, so maybe next time, when I try it ungreased in a chiffon (or angel food cake) pan, I’ll try the glaze.

Dark Chocolate & Rosewater Chiffon Cake via Sweetapolita

One of the notable differences between making a bundt cake and a chiffon cake, aside from bundt cakes including butter, is that chiffon cakes typically require an ungreased cake pan. From what I’ve read, this is so the light cake can cling to the edges of the pan, allowing it to rise to, and stay, a lovely and lofty height. The recipe I used for this cake, from contributing pastry chef Mary Bergin from the fabulous book Baking With Julia, did instruct greasing and flouring the pan, so I did. Her incredible recipe from the book is a decadent creme brulee with Chambord filled and glazed version using the bundt shape as an important part of the dessert’s structure and appeal, so I imagine that is why she greased the pan; in my experience, if you don’t butter and flour a bundt pan properly, you’ll likely never get the baked cake out in one piece.

So . . . creme brulee and raspberry liquer inside the cavity and drizzled all over a chocolate bundt cake, you ask? Oh yes, and I cannot wait to make that entire recipe someday soon, when I’m armed with a flurry of friends who will help me devour it. The source is linked below, if you can’t wait another day to make that version, and if you do, please come back and tell me how it was! As for this version, I love its sweet simplicity and unique flavour combination. Next time, I will definitely give it a try that way in an ungreased chiffon cake pan with removable bottom, just to get a better idea of the difference in height.

Dark Chocolate & Rosewater Chiffon Cake via Sweetapolita

If you make it, don’t be afraid to really slather on that frosting; it was a highlight (although, I recommend not going overboard with the rosewater; it can overtake the flavour if you’re not careful)! I loved the combination of flavours, and I really enjoyed the springy texture and deep “chocolate-ness” of the cake.

Just a note that if you’d rather make an actual bundt cake with this frosting, which would also be a great combination, you can bake my Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake and top it with the Fluffy Rosewater Frosting.

Dark Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Fluffy Rosewater Frosting

Yield: 1 standard Bundt cake

Deep, dark, moist chocolate chiffon cake topped with fluffy and sweet frosting with a hint of Rose.

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 1-1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 1 cup (130 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (90g) dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5g) salt
  • 4 eggs, separated, and room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil (I used Sunflower oil)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water, warm
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick)(114g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups (250 g) icing sugar (powdered, confectioners'), sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) whipping cream (heavy cream, 35% fat)
  • 1/8 teaspoon rosewater, or more to taste (but use sparingly)
  • pinch of salt
  • Few drops pink food gel colour (optional)

Instructions

    For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour (I use a mix of flour & cocoa powder for this process when baking chocolate cake) the entire inside surface of a 10-12 cup Bundt pan. You can also use an angel food pan. (Typically, you wouldn't grease the pan for a chiffon cake, but this recipe comes from the book Baking with Julia, and greasing the pan is directed.)
  2. Sift 1 cup (200 g) of the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, oil, water, and vanilla until blended. Gradually whisk in all of the dry ingredients until combined and smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and a mixer bowl wiped clean with lemon juice, whip the 6 egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup (100 g) of the sugar to the foamy egg whites, and continue to whip on medium speed until the meringue reaches stiff peaks, and is glossy and thick.
  5. Gently fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the chocolate mixture with a silicone spatula, then gently fold in the remaining meringue until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until top bounces back when gently touched, about 35 minutes, and cake begins to shrink from sides of pan, and skewer comes clean when inserted. Be sure to not over-bake.
  6. Let cake cool in pan on cooling rack for 25 minutes before gently inverting onto wire rack.
  7. For the Buttercream:
  8. In mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine icing sugar and butter on low, for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix on low speed for about 2 minutes.
  9. Add whipping cream and salt, and mix on medium-high for 2 minutes. Add rosewater and pink gel colour, and whip until blended.
  10. Assembly of the Dark Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Fluffy Rosewater Frosting
  11. Gently place the cooled chiffon cake on a pedestal or plate.
  12. Smother the top of the cake with Fluffy Rosewater Frosting using a small offset palette knife.
  13. Store in a cake-keeper at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Notes

*Rosewater is very fragrant, and very intense in flavour, so you will want to use sparingly, to taste.

**The chiffon cake can be baked in advance, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature.

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*Cake recipe adapted from Mary Bergin’s recipe in the book Baking With Julia, by Dorie Greenspan. I found the online recipe here.

Now, onto this glorious Mad Tea Party! I have a special friend, who you may already be familiar with, artist Vanessa Valencia; she’s the magical, quirky, and infinite talent behind A Fanciful Twist art, blog, and so much more. Okay, so I don’t use that adjective very often, “magical,” but to describe Vanessa, well, there’s  no other way to say it, and once you step into her world, you’ll likely agree. It’s not just Vanessa who is magical, but everything she touches, including her living and work spaces (she was recently featured in the Summer 2011 issue of Where Women Create; you can take a peek here).You may remember my chatting about her in my previous post, Artist Palette & Paintbrush Cookies (with a special “Twist”), well, she’s the special twist. Can you tell I adore her madly?

This year she’s hosting her annual virtual Mad Tea Party, and oh me, oh my, I’m the honorary guest! On Saturday, June 25th, 2011 I’ll be sharing my Mad Tea Party post here on my blog, filled with curious tea party confections, recipes, and more. If that’s not fun enough, there will be oodles of other virtual attendees sharing their mad blog posts, all linked and hosted through her blog on A Fanciful Twist blog. To read more, sign up for the fun, or escape into Vanessa’s magical existence, click the invite below:

I’ll meet you here (and there) for this fanciful mad tea party on June 25th, and I’ll see you back here even sooner to share another recipe.

Good luck & enjoy! I’ll see you soon with my 50th blog post!



 

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Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Glaze

Well, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and Easter is just days away, so I really don’t have a reasonable explanation as to why I would feel the need to create such a dark and intense dessert followed by moody and borderline-ominous photos.  The thing is, that just seems to be my frame of mind these days: well, not moody and ominous, but dark, rich, and chocolate-loving. In this case, my inspiration for the flavours of the cake came solely from a jar of dark chocolate covered espresso beans (the ones in the photos) that I bought a few weeks ago because, well, as you may have guessed if you follow my tweets on twitter, that I am often yearning for good coffee, chocolate, and caffeine in general. Sure, some may call that an addiction, but I prefer to call it a deep and passionate love affair. The style and photo inspiration came from a gorgeous blog I found a few months back through Pinterest, from this photo here, taken by John Cullen. The photo and cake are from designer Nikole Herriott‘s blog, who happens to be a local talent. She, among many other wonderful things, creates the most stunning and unique wooden pedestal plates. You can see them here. Let’s pray I can someday be the proud owner of one!

So, as any self-respecting chocolate and coffee addict would do, I decided to go ahead and try a chocolate espresso bundt cake and top it with a dark chocolate cinnamon glaze. If you happened to catch my recent post about the Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze, you’ll remember that I am quite taken with bundt cake pans, even though my collection was pretty sad at a whopping 1 pan. Since then, I’ve added 2 more bundt pans to my collection, and couldn’t wait another day to get bundting. In this case, it’s actually an official Kugelhopf pan, which I really love, but the final cake took on a slightly less intricate shape, simply because the batter didn’t fill up the entire pan. I really didn’t mind, since it appears a bit more simple.

The cake itself is a rich, deep dark, chocolate cake kept moist with butter and sour cream. The method of warming the butter and cocoa on the stove first, then whisking in the remaining ingredients, was a first for me, but I feel it was a success, and it was kind of a welcomed change. I decided to add some cinnamon to the dark chocolate glaze because I love the combination of espresso and cinnamon; it’s reminiscent of my beloved triple-lattes sprinkled with cinnamon, but it also adds a neat, almost Mexican, dimension to the cake.  I should add, though, that the flavour of the espresso powder and cinnamon in the glaze is subtle, and really just boosts and enhances the amazing flavour of the dark chocolate, both in the cake and glaze. 

That’s also why I feel it’s really important to use the best quality chocolate you can. I made this cake a few days ago, and just tried it today for the first time (once I finally had the chance to photograph it!). I was really surprised at how amazingly moist it was, and the flavours really came together nicely, I imagine even more so than day 1. I suppose that’s one of the many wonderful things about bundt cakes, and one of the reasons why they are quickly becoming a favourite on my love-to-bake list.

From a photography perspective, you may have noticed that, up until now, I tend to love taking bright, white backgrounds, and uber-happy baked-good photographs. Well, that certainly hasn’t changed, but I’ve secretly always been absolutely smitten with dark, moody food photographs, however, as I discovered today, they definitely require a mental shifting of gears. Perhaps it’s mainly because I have never attempted it before, and because I’m pretty new to food photography, but it was tricky at first. In the end, I found it most effective to underexpose the photos a bit and to avoid too much incoming window-light. I’m not sure if that’s how the pros would do it, but it’s what I found worked for me to achieve the look I was going for.

I also found that boosting the photos in Photoshop (I always start with The Pioneer Woman’s “Boost” action), really helped to bring the depth to the photo. Speaking of the pros, I have some serious professional food-photographer crushes these days, such as John Cullen, Tina Rupp, Jim Norton (who actually shot some of my work recently!), and Katie Quinn Davies–they have all mastered this type of photography, among others, which is why I consider each of their portfolios the ultimate food-photography inspiration. I was lucky enough to have an array of Grant’s grandmother’s (Nanny) vintage silver cake and sweet serving dishes complete with the perfect patina for the dramatic vibe I was going for. Love when that happens! This photo above makes me think of a ghostly tea party, of sorts. Now that I think about it, perhaps the vibe of this photo shoot is a side-effect of the hauntingly beautiful Black Swan we watched late last night by candlelight and the pattering sound of rain outside.

I hope you’re having a not so dark-and-ominous weekend, but that you enjoy this cake (most definitely not a dark-and-ominous experience.).

Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Glaze

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks)(227 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) high quality dark Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) instant espresso powder dissolved into 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4 g) salt
  • For the Glaze:
  • 4 oz (114 g) high quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup (76 g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons (7.5 ml) light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) ground cinnamon

Instructions

    For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 10-12 cup bundt pan or Kugelhopf pan.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; add cocoa, stirring until smooth. Whisk in the espresso water and remove from heat.
  3. Add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla and eggs to the warmed cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add all at once to the first mixture, whisking until well blended.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until it feels firm to the touch and has slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan. Cool in pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Carefully loosen the cake with a knife and invert onto a large plate.
  5. For the Glaze:
  6. Place the chocolate, butter, corn syrup and cinnamon in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until melted and smooth.
  7. Assembly of the Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Glaze:
  8. Pour warm glaze over bundt cake. Keep covered in a cake-keeper at room temperature for up to 4 days.
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[cake recipe adapted from Chocolate Bundt Cake from About.com]

[glaze recipe adapted from Baked Explorations]

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

Good luck & enjoy!

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Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze

Vanilla Bundt Cake via Sweetapolita

Perhaps it’s the European in me, or particularly the Maltese portion, that craves and enjoys denser cakes. What a change from the sky-high fluffy layer cakes I so enjoy creating, but wow, so quick, easy, and tasty. I bought a great Bundt pan (it was hard to choose a style, since they are seemingly endless!) from Nordic Ware a few months ago, and have a list of about 25 variations I’m eager to try. Last night I made this classic Vanilla  Bean Bundt Cake & Vanilla Bean Glaze, and it turned out so incredibly yummy. The girls sat up on the counter and helped me glaze it–we may have gone a little overboard, but can you really ever have too much Vanilla Bean Glaze?

Here’s a photo that brings me a slightly curious amount of joy, but you can see why! I wish these were mine, but, alas, I only own one Bundt pan so far. I have a feeling I will start to collect them the way I have cake pedestals, because they too are so pretty, unique, and, of course, functional. I love that some are authentically retro, and others simply look that way.

As you can see in the photo, they’re practically art. I discovered and favourited this gorgeous Bundt cake pan extravaganza on Flickr many months back, and I’m so glad I did, because it lead me to its owner: Abbey, the ever-creative and self-described “art-obsessed” blogger from aesthetic outburst. If you haven’t checked out her fun blog yet, and are craving a punch of colour and inspiration, I highly recommend it. Isn’t it funny how the Internet can take you down the most unexpected of roads sometimes, which is when you discover some of the best gems? Love that.

Vanilla Bundt Cake via Sweetapolita

Isn’t that just vanilla happiness on a plate? As, I mentioned, my little cakelets and I may have gone a little gangbusters with the glazing, but, hey, we all needed a turn, and it was so much fun . 

Vanilla Bundt Cake via Sweetapolita

The recipe itself is very straightforward, and with the luxe addition of 2 whole vanilla beans into the cake and another into the glaze, I found this to be a really simple, flavourful and, dare I say, special Bundt cake, compared to some of the more basic recipes. (I imagine that if you didn’t want to include 2 whole vanilla beans into the cake itself, you could get away with one and a tablespoon of pure vanilla extract.) As with any pound or Bundt cake, the cake’s texture, or crumb, is dense but moist–divine, if you ask me. I just loved this cake, and had several pieces this afternoon. 

Vanilla Bundt Cake via Sweetapolita

Love those vanilla bean flecks!

Vanilla Bundt Cake via Sweetapolita

I find that the flavours in a cake like this tend to improve after a day or so, as long as kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. It’s a perfectly delightful breakfast, tea-time snack, or occasion cake. Place it on a plate for a pretty look, or high upon a pedestal to celebrate its loveliness.

For those with an interest in history, I read an interesting article from The Nibble, explaining the history of the Bundt pan, as well as more about the authentic European inspiration, the Austrian Kugelhopf. A quick and interesting read: Bundt History.

 

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4 g) salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (2-1/4 sticks)(255 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise or 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vanilla bean paste
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) pure lemon extract
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 tablespoon 915 ml) vanilla bean paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) whole milk
  • about 1 cup confectioners' sugar

Instructions

    For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Beat together butter and sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans with tip of a paring knife and add into butter mixture, reserving pods for another use, and beat until well combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon extract until well combined. At low speed add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
  5. Spoon batter into pan, smoothing and spreading evenly. Gently tap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until the tip of a knife or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan 1 hour, then invert onto a rack and cool completely, about 1 hour more.
  6. For the Glaze:
  7. Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds into whole milk. Let sit in a spouted container, such as a large pyrex measuring cup, for about an hour. Add confectioners' sugar gradually, whisking, until you get desired consistency--about 1 cup.
  8. You want to make sure that it's not too runny, or it won't dry white on the cake, and will run off too quickly. It should take a few seconds to whisk it, and it will feel too thick at first--keep whisking until you get desired thickness. If too thick, add a teaspoon or so of the vanilla milk.
  9. Once the cake has cooled, drizzle glaze over top.
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http://sweetapolita.com/2011/03/vanilla-bean-bundt-cake-with-vanilla-bean-glaze/

[Bundt Cake recipe adapted from Epicurious. Vanilla Bean Glaze recipe from The Pioneer Woman]

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

Good luck & enjoy!

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