I’ve been playing with various iterations of this vanilla bean bundt cake for a while now. It’s such a simple recipe and almost fool proof. I’ve been eyeing this version from one of my favorite food bloggers, Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman (loooooove) for awhile now and finally decided that last weekend with it being a holiday weekend would be the perfect time to try it. Everybody loved it!
This version includes some of my previous modifications outlined here, but included the zest from both an orange and a lime. I ended up substituting orange for lemon because I used a mandarin lime soda. (I didn’t have mandarins.) I’m not sure if it was due to the addition of vanilla or my choice in soda, but I thought the citrus flavor was a little too subtle. The citrus flavors were definitely there, but I would’ve liked it to be more prominent. Next time, I’ll add a bit more zest.
For the glaze, I added a tiny bit of vanilla and omitted the zest. The omission was only because I was rushing and completely forgot it. Ha! I imagine the addition of zest would really bring out the citrus flavor in the glaze and make the cake look that much more amazing. It’s definitely something I’ll make sure to do next time.
Esthetically, the glaze looked a bit messy to me. I’d like to play around with possibly making a less drippy glaze. I’m not really sure what that means yet, but we’ll see.
- 3 sticks of butter
- 3c of sugar
- 5 whole eggs
- 1tbsp vanilla
- 3c all purpose flour, sifted
- 1c orange and lime flavored soda (I used Hansen’s Natural Mandarin Lime Cane Soda – it doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup)
- 2c powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2tbsp mandarin or orange zest, plus more for garnish
- 2tbsp lime zest, more for garnish
- 1tbsp mandarin or orange juice, reserve the balance
- 1tbsp lime juice, reserve the balance
- Preheat 325º
- Cream butter
- Add sugar, 1c at a time, mixing and scraping down bowl after each addition
- Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing and scraping down bowl after each addition
- Add vanilla and mix well
- Add flour, 1c at a time, mixing and scraping down bowl (do you see the pattern here??!) after each addition
- Add 1tbsp of mandarin or orange zest
- Add 1tbsp of lime zest
- With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the soda (or pop if your from the midwest, like me)
- Scrape down bowl and mix again
- Pour onto a generously greased bundt pan (I use this) and bake on the middle rack for 1hr to 1hr 15min or so…
- The cake is done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean
- Let it cool for a few minutes (5-10min) so it’s somewhat comfortable to handle and with oven mitts, invert the pan onto a plate
- Let the cake cool completely; in the mean time…
- Sift together the powdered sugar and salt in a small bowl
- Add 1tbsp mandarin or orange zest, 1tbsp lime zest, 1 tbsp mandarine or orange juice, and 1tbsp of lime juice
- Combine and gently whisk until thick, but pourable; use reserve juice to get to the desired consistency, if needed.
- Garnish with additional zest
Because bundt cakes are typically so simply decorated with just a dusting of powdered sugar or a glaze or sometimes nothing at all, I think it’s ideal to use a pretty bundt pan. This time, I used this one, but also have this one. I always, always get so many compliments on how pretty the cakes turn out and really, the beauty of the cakes have nothing to do with me. These pans are just that amazing. I’ve also been wanting this blossom one, but honestly, how many bundt pans do I really need???
I mentioned earlier this recipe is almost fool-proof as evidenced by Exhibit A: My Kitchen Helper. She is without a doubt, the best helper in my whole entire household. 😉
The only thing you really need to watch out for is under baking this cake. Don’t worry if the cake looks like it’s starting to burn on top. It’s a substantial cake and needs to bake for a while. The cake is done when a knife inserted comes out relatively clean. Crumbs are okay, wet batter is definitely not. If the knife inserted in the middle is even the tiniest bit wet, let it continue baking. (Trust me, I learned this the hard way.) The top part of the cake, which will eventually be the bottom, should form a deep brown crust and almost look caramelized.