Yesterday, we attended a pool party/early retirement party for my husband’s good friend’s wife in Connecticut. She truly is a wonderful woman and we were so happy to be able to celebrate with her. We had a ton of fun and it was great to be able to see and catch up with everyone. It was also the perfect opportunity to sneak in some baking. 🙂
The hostess actually requested these vanilla blackberry oatmeal bars which I’ve made several times throughout the years for various summer get togethers. Since the bars are so easy, I thought I’d also bring this citrus vanilla bundt cake that I first shared on the blog a couple weeks ago. Both were enjoyed by all.
This time, I actually remembered to add zest to the glaze! (Yay, me!) It looked beautiful when I first poured the glaze onto the cake, however once the glaze set, it looked a bit muddled. No one else seemed to notice the muddled glaze – I actually received a ton of compliments as to how beautiful the darn cake looked – but, it still bothered me.
Here’s a close-up of the cake right after I poured the glaze. So pretty, right?
I think next time, I might try making the glaze without the zest. Then add the zest on top after the glaze dries for a bit but before it’s really set. Hopefully, that will help eliminate the muddled glaze without losing the extra pop of color and amazing citrus scent that only the extra zest could provide. I would also like to look into other glaze recipes, possibly incorporating cream cheese into the glaze, so that it’s a little thicker and less drippy. Or maybe there’s a technique that I’m missing?? In either case, it’s definitely something I want to work on.
I used mandarins instead of oranges this round and I think the only place I really noticed the difference was in the glaze. Mandarins have a much sweeter and more intense flavor versus oranges and I think that really helped balance out the tartness and bitterness of the lime. Was it a significant difference? Nope. However, given the choice I’d go with the mandarins.
- 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 receive 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 just recently discovered this gorgeous bundt pan and literally, can’t stop thinking about it. I had talked myself into believing two beautiful bundt cake pans were enough, but I’m beginning to think otherwise.
The only thing you need to watch out for is under baking this cake. 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.