Saturday, December 21, 2013

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

It has been ages since I last baked a bundt cake. A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking of having plain butter cake, not just any butter cake, but one that is baked in a bundt pan! LOL! Why is it that sometimes the pan that is used to bake the cake is so important? I have no idea, really, except that I want a plain bundt cake! 

I took one of my cookbooks off my bookshelf, "Cake Simple" by Christie Matheson, who is the co-author behind the famous cookbook "Flour" by Joanne Chang, and several other cookbooks. Cake Simple is a lovely book, all on bundt cakes, big and minis, and this is the fourth recipe that I've tried so far, and all are wonderful.

This cake uses vanilla bean pod and a little bourbon, which I've replaced with rum, to soak the vanilla seeds before mixing into the batter. Other changes I've made was to replace the buttermilk with a mixture of homemade yoghurt and milk. Both brown and caster sugar are used for this cake. As usual, I have reduced the sugar, for the caster sugar from 1 cup to 1/2 cup ; and for the brown sugar, from packed 1/2 cup to loosely packed scant 1/2 cup. And the sweetness turns out just right.

The cake is very moist, tender and absolutely delicious! It has a soft dense crumbs and the taste of the rum is lightly visible in each bite.

This is one lovely cake. Another winner recipe from this book. I did not make the glaze as it does not need it, already good on its own. 

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake
(adapted from "Cake Simple", Christie Matheson)
Serves 10-12
1 cup (230gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I use 250gm salted butter)
plus melted butter for greasing the pan
2-1/4 cups (270gm) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1 teaspoon bourbon (I use rum)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit this)
1 cup (200gm) granulated sugar (I use 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup (110gm) packed light brown sugar (I use scant 1/2 cup)
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 cup (240ml) buttermilk (I use 2/3 cup homemade yoghurt mixed with 1/3 cup milk)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F (165C/Gas 3). Brush the inside of a 10-cup (2.4-L) bundt pan thoroughly with the melted butter and dust it lightly with flour. (Use a pastry brush to help distribute the flour and tap out any excess).
  2. Pour the bourbon into a small bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the bourbon and stir to blend well. (reserve the scraped vanilla pod for making the glaze).
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with the granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the egg yolk, beating well after each addition until incorporated. Beat in the bourbon-vanilla mixture.
  5. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in two increments) alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour and beating just until combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack and let it cool completely. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, let the glaze set for a few minutes, and serve. The cake can be made 1 day in advance and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

Vanilla Glaze
1/4 cup (60ml) milk
scraped vanilla bean pod (reserved from making the cake)
1-1/2 cups (140gm) confectioners' sugar
pinch of salt

In a very small nonreactive saucepan over low heat, combine the milk and the vanilla bean pod and heat to scalding (when small bubbles form around the edge of the milk but before it begins to boil). Remove the milk from the heat and let steep with the vanilla bean pod until the milk is cool.
Meanwhile, combine the confectioners' sugar with the salt in a small bowl. Remove the pod from the cooled milk. Add 2 tablespoons of the vanilla-infused milk to the sugar-salt mixture, and whisk until smooth and pourable, adding more milk as needed to obtain the desired consistency.

I am submitting this post to "Baby Sumo's Christmas Recipe Collection 2013" event hosted by Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out.

 photo 77951578-1914-4b72-8eda-9e40a91183ac_zps331eb4b4.jpg


  1. What a pretty cake! It looks delicious! I agree -- the pan makes a difference and a bundt cake is definitely more festive looking.

  2. Hi Joyce , two words .... yummy and delicious , thanks for sharing :)

  3. Muy bonito tu cake me encantan para Navidad,abrazos y Feliz Navidad

  4. i love the little crumbs inside.. must be an awesome cake with bursting with vanilla flavours!

  5. This is a beautiful cake. I am a little hungry as I type this and a piece of that cake with a cup of coffee sounds so good.
    Blessings for a beautiful holiday and a very blessed New Year. Catherine xo

  6. Joyce, I have yet to buy a bundt pan but I know that when I do, I will want to bake all my butter cakes in them ha ha ha Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  7. Such a beautiful cake, i hope i can have a piece!

  8. yumm would love a piece of that cake.

  9. Feliz Natal!!! Que a manjedoura do seu coração esteja pronta para receber o Menino Jesus que irá nascer!!!
    Um ano novo repleto das bençãos de Deus!!!
    Doce abraço, Marie!

  10. That's a really nice cake. I always like the shape of cakes baked in a bundt pan... I have one but never really used it before. :P Thx again for linking!

  11. Joyce, there is something very appealing about bundt cakes. They are very nice to look at! This vanilla bean bundt cake sounds delicious and I would love to try it if I can get hold of vanilla beans.