Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Vanilla Bean Milk Bundt Cake (one bowl, one whisk)
This is such a simple recipe that I almost didn't share it here. Then I saw a post over on London Bakes, eloquently discussing how great simple can be in the midst of all the stuff and the fuss and the noise. So on point. After reading her post, I realized that my latest favorite baked good had been exactly that--simple. A vanilla bean bundt cake, whipped up by hand, in one bowl, with one whisk. I am certainly a lover of recipes with many parts and steps (as I am sure can be gleaned from some of the more involved recipes here). But sometimes, I want cake y'all, and I want it now.
I think part of what I love about this recipe is that the steps usually completed by a stand mixer or electric beaters--whipping the butter and sugar, beating in eggs one at a time, etc.--are instead done by hand. I realize that may turn some people off, but I feel a sense of satisfaction in putting a little elbow grease, a little extra love into it. Especially when the results are as moist and delicious as these.
The ingredients for this cake are things I virtually always have on hand, and the method is super quick and easy. The only prep required is room temperature butter, which is typically not a problem for me since I usually keep at least a stick of butter out of the fridge at all times anyway (ya know, just in case). But if you aren't crazy like me and need room temperature butter in a flash, simply cube the butter and let it sit in a sunny window for 20 minutes or microwave it on low power in 15-second intervals until soft.
I love this cake on its own, but it's especially wonderful with vanilla frozen yogurt and blackberries. It's pretty much the perfect cake to make on a whim when craving dessert or when needing to impress unexpected guests. What more can I say? I love this cake.
Vanilla Bean Milk Bundt Cake
Note: I sometimes add a splash of almond extract or lemon zest or a pinch of cardamom for a little twist, but do try it with just vanilla first, as it is truly lovely that way. I like to use room temperature eggs and milk if I have extra time. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, submerge in a bowl of lukewarm water for 10 minutes.
113 g (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
125 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk (2% milk or buttermilk also works)
1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
188 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a regular bundt pan. In a large bowl, whip together the butter and sugar until smooth and light. Mix in eggs, one at a time, beating well after the addition of each. Add the remaining ingredients and mix about a minute until super smooth. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top (I usually do this part with a clean index finger). Rap pan against the counter a couple of times.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. I actually find it's best the day after it's made.