Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

If you’ve been reading the recipes that I post here on my blog, then it shouldn’t be any secret that I have a weakness for the chocolate/peanut butter combination. What may not be nearly as obvious though is my love for vanilla. It’s such a classic flavor that when done well, can never go wrong. Vanilla beans are magical to me. The seeds inside of the vanilla bean are an intoxicating aroma to me, and I could add them to just about anything. I make my own vanilla extract when I can get my hands on some vodka. Want to win me over? Bring me a bottle of vanilla. Bonus points if I’ve never tried it before. I’ve got three types of vanilla extract in my cupboard, and at least a dozen or so vanilla beans.

When I came across this recipe at Sweetapolita, I immediately bookmarked it. The glaze across the top looked so good that I knew I needed to make it as soon as possible. (Side note: Have you ever read Sweetapolita? It’s a beautiful blog!) I was pleased how the cake turned out. It was delicious, and I’ve been eating it every chance I get. It tastes especially good with a cup of coffee in the morning. Yes, I do occasionally eat cake for breakfast. It’s one of the perks of being an adult, and I rationalize that it’s perfectly acceptable because there’s no frosting involved.

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As for the glaze, I was less than impressed with it. In Rosie’s pictures, the glaze was thick and dried white on the cake. She warns that the glaze can’t be too runny or else that won’t happen. I tried to get the same results, but didn’t want to add too much icing sugar. The recipe calls for 1 cup icing sugar, but when I hit 2 cups, I gave up. I did drizzle the glaze on top anyway, and it did add a sweet touch to the top of the cake. When I make this cake again, I’ll reduce the amount of milk. To see the glaze recipe, be sure to click through to Sweetapolita’s blog.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake
From Sweetapolita

(Printable Recipe)

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups softened butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 vanilla beans
4 eggs
1/4 tsp pure lemon extract
1 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a bundt pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Halve the vanilla beans lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with the tip of knife. Mix into butter mixture.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon extract.
5. Alternate folding in the flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour and two of buttermilk.
6. Pour into bundt pan and smooth out. Bake for approximately one hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Let cake rest in pan for one hour, then turn out onto a cooling rack and let sit for another hour before glazing.


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