Bundt in the oven (Blueberry-lemon bundt with lemon glaze / Cranberry bundt cake)

30 12 2011

I’ll admit I’m a bit of a hoarder. Lots of things in my house that I think are too awesome to throw away, and for my wedding I registered for quite a few things that today seem a bit frivolous. (There are also a few things I regret not putting on my registry, but that’s another story.)

My silicone bundt pan is one of those things about which I’m on the fence, so I’ve been trying to make bundt cake as often as possible in the past few months. Fortunately, it’s a great holiday cake that (usually) looks beautiful and is pretty easy to make, so it really hasn’t been a hardship.

Blueberry-lemon bundt cake with lemon glaze

Pictured above is the blueberry-lemon cake I made for a Christmas potluck, but we’ll get back to that. I made my first bundt for Thanksgiving (along with another disastrous batch of spinach linguine; more on that later), with the goal of using up a can of cranberry sauce we had kicking around in our pantry. We’re not huge cranberry people in this house, but I thought it would be a nice Thanksgiving-y complement to the turkey.

I found this simple cranberry bundt cake on AllRecipes.com and was pretty pleased with the results … well, the second time around anyway. As per usual for the F-Words household, I botched my first attempt pretty badly, although it still tasted pretty good.

Didn’t change much about the recipe, although I substituted whole-wheat flour for all-purpose, and walnuts for pecans because that’s what I had available.

I made sure to add the cranberry sauce in layers as recommended by the instructions, since several commenters indicated that the sauce sinks right to the bottom of the cake otherwise. My cake had a nice balanced top-to-bottom distribution of berries, so I was happy.

So far, so good. Took the cake out of the oven and it looked like this:

Being too much of an eager beaver though proved to be my ultimate downfall. I highly recommend waiting much longer than the 10 minutes indicated in the recipe before removing the bundt from the pan, and also don’t be afraid to be spray-happy with the Pam before spooning the batter in. Otherwise, you’ll get a sad-looking mess of a cake and an even sadder baker.

I opted for lots of glaze to mask my collapsed cake, and tried to shove it back in the pan for a little longer, but it didn’t really work. I guess it doesn’t look so bad here, but I was definitely disappointed.

Anyway, armed with this valuable experience, I made the cake again for my church’s young adults’ Christmas potluck at the end of November. Lots and lots of Pam this time and probably about a 20-minute wait for the cake to cool in the pan. Due to nut allergies, I also removed the walnuts and substituted maple extract for the almond extract.

Cranberry bundt cake with maple glaze

Ta-da! My much prettier second attempt.

Cranberry bundt cake

  Cranberry bundt cake

That wasn’t the end of my bundt cake kick, though. Nope. I’m real boring when it comes to making my own food, so when I find something I like to make, I make it over and over again, albeit with some modifications. Plus, the holidays are a great excuse to make pretty cakes.

So I was pleased to find an even better recipe for Martha Stewart’s blueberry-lemon bundt cake with lemon glaze, as posted by a kind soul on Food.com. Love blueberries, both fresh and cooked, and I was looking for an excuse to dust off my lemon zester and citrus juicer (told you, hoarder problem).

While I popped that baby in the oven, I went to town on the zested (de-zested?) lemons with my citrus juicer. I love this little guy; he was kind of expensive but the integrated pour spout and measuring cup are amazing.

Little story about this handy tool: I went everywhere looking for something like this but could only find the handheld, stick-shaped type of reamer. I really wanted to get the kind that fits on top of a cup or bowl, because that’s what I used to make orange juice as a kid in Malaysia. Plus, I find they really get the job done squeezing every last drop out of your citrus fruits.

I know, I know. Who takes TWO pictures of their citrus juicer? But I just wanted to show how much I got out of those two lemons.

I was a little worried because the cake pretty much flew out of the pan when I inverted it onto my cooling rack, but it was fine. The wonders of Pam and a proper cooling-down period.

As mentioned by some commenters on the recipe, the glaze is a little thin, so don’t be afraid to put in more icing sugar, unless you find it way too sweet. I didn’t really measure out the icing sugar and was in a rush to finish up, so my cake doesn’t look as glazed as the one in the recipe picture.

Everyone was full at the potluck so the cake wasn’t really touched, but it was a big hit the next day when friends came over for games. So I guess it refrigerates well! I found the fresh cake was moist and just the right mix of sweet and tangy, although I myself was a bit too full to enjoy it.

Merry Christmas / Happy Hanukkah / Joyous Kwanzaa / Happy New Year & happy holidays from the F-Words household!

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