There are only 2 updsides to colder weather – 1. The beautiful fall colors, and 2. Not having to shave my legs above my knees (sorry hubby). One of those upsides, the fall colors, only lasts a few weeks in October. The month of October has to be the best month out of the year in Missouri. It’s also my birthday month, so that makes it even more special. We always take a winery trip with a group of friends for my birthday weekend. It’s something I look forward to every year. The weather is always great, the wine is always great, and the hangover….well, that’s not great. But, it’s worth the pain to spend a wonderful day outside with my friends.
Today was the last day of our United Way activities. I wanted to bring something that was easy to make and wouldn’t require me to go to the grocery store. I’m pretty sure I live there! Anyway, I found a recipe for a Vanilla Bean Bundt cake that looked interesting. It had some added lemon flavor and used vanilla beans. I had all of those things in my cabinet, so I went with it.
This was not a complicated recipe, but it does have some ingredients that not all people will have in their kitchen. Vanilla beans….really? Not many people just have those laying around their kitchen. I had some leftover from my homemade vanilla experiment. Lemon extract, I probably had that leftover from the lemon cake/lemon curd/lemon icing birthday cake debacle. Buttermilk, you can easily make buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp. vinegar to a cup of milk (minus the 1 tbsp. of vinegar that you are adding in). In other words, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk, fill your measuring cup with milk, but leave enough space to add in the 1 tbsp. of vinegar. You should have a total of 1 cup of liquid. Let the liquid stand for a few minutes to curdle. Use this as a substitute for buttermilk. Actually, it’s not a substitute, it IS buttermilk if you make it this way.
Ok, enough about the buttermilk. My final opinion about this cake is a little mixed. The cake itself is very moist and looks beautiful. The flavors were a bit too muted for me. I would have liked to taste a bit more lemon (changed in the recipe below), and more of a vanilla flavor. Although, the lack of vanilla flavor could be my fault. This cake isn’t overly sweet, so it’s perfect for those people that don’t prefer sweeter cakes. Everyone at my work loved it, as usual, and I enjoyed it as well. Just keep in mind that it’s a cake with very subtle flavors, but is incredibly moist. Enjoy!
Here are the step-by-step instructions (full recipe follows – Printable Recipe):
Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze
Adapted from: Sweetapolita
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan, shaking to remove any excess.
Add 3 cups AP flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt to large bowl and use a whisk to combine.
In a separate bowl using a mixer, cream together 2-1/4 sticks of softened butter and 1-3/4 cups sugar. Mix until fluffy – about 4 minutes.
Using a paring knife, split 2 vanilla beans in half and scrape the seeds into the bowl. Mix on low for and additional minute.
Add in 4 eggs, one at a time, beat on low after each one to incorporate, and finally add 1/2 tsp. lemon extract.
With mixer on low, alternate adding portions of the flour mixture and then buttermilk, ending with flour. Mix just until combined.
Spoon the mixture into a prepared bundt pan smoothing out the top. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Place cake, still in pan, on a cooling rack. Let cool for 45 minutes.
Run a butter knife along the outside rim and inside rim of pan to loosen the cake. Invert onto a wire rack, and let cool for an additional 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, add 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tbsp. milk, 1/2 tsp. lemon extract and seeds from 1 vanilla bean to a small bowl. Mix until smooth. Add more milk or sugar to reach desired consistency.
Once cake has cooled, pour glaze over cake and serve.