I’ve never made one before in my life.
For me, the romantic notion of fluffy batter poured into a decorative mold and baked to sweet perfection is doomed by the unknown. Will it stick? Will it be lopsided? What about icing? Don’t even get me started on icing! All it takes is for one little crumb to go rogue and the whole thing is ruined…
Amidst the chaos of our current house construction, and then fleeing to avoid said construction, only to return to a complete unfinished project because we are still ripping down walls (and when I say ‘we’ I mean ‘they’ because I have absolutely nothing to do with it) I’ve managed to bake 3 bundt cakes in the past week.
Call it stress relief and my new coping mechanism.
This was my first attempt at a bundt cake. I wanted to go classic, topped with powdered sugar or maybe an icy glaze. I played around with the ingredients until the texture and sweetness was to my liking, somewhere in between a poundcake and birthday cake.
I have two secrets:
#1 The Method
Cream the butter, sugar, and eggs until pale yellow and fluffy. This is standard recipe jargon but very important. It’s the method by which air is incorporated into the batter giving the cake a nice even rise. Everything should be at room temperature for best results.
#2 The Flour
Use self rising flour. This variety includes baking powder, baking soda and salt already mixed in. It’s made with low protein flour which attributes to a classic fluffy texture, different than regular all purpose flour. Self rising flour is not common in American baking recipes but can easily be found in most grocery stores. King Arthur makes a good one.
Now for the scary part- baking. You can’t line a bundt pan! The one (and only) pan I have is glass. I was convinced it would break. Or the cake would stick. But it can go up to 500+ F and needs only a generous coating of cooking spray. I made it 3 times and never had a problem with it sticking. Gone are the days of greasing and flouring the pan. Yippee!
To finish, I drizzled a glaze over the top following the natural lines of the cake. The inside was soft, and there was a lovely vanilla scented sweetness throughout. I took a step back to assess my newly baked project and realized it was a giant French cruller (hence the name).
It almost looks like an adult made it.
I’m no longer afraid of the bundt.
It’s as simple as pouring a fluffy batter into a decorative mold and baking to sweet perfection.
No icing required.
No ornate decorations.
It’s fancy enough for entertaining yet casual enough to enjoy with coffee or tea.
- 2 c. self raising flour*
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 c. oil
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 c. buttermilk
- 1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
- 2–3 tbsp. milk
* I used King Arthur unbleached, aluminum free self raising flour
** For best results, be sure to work with room temperature ingredients
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Spray your bundt pan with cooking spray or butter and flour the pan to prevent sticking.
- If your butter is not soft, microwave for 10-20 seconds.
- In a large bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Use an electric hand held or stand mixer.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for about 1 minute after each addition.
- Add the oil and vanilla extract.
- Working directly over the bowl, sift the flour into the wet ingredients.
- Add the buttermilk and mix gently on low speed until incorporated. Do not over mix; the cake will be tough.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan using a rubber spatula to spread out the mixture.
- Bake in the center of the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
- Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan. Transfer to a wire rack.
- To make the glaze, sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until you have a consistency that’s not too thick or thin. Drizzle over the cake while it’s still warm.