The moistest, most tender and flavorful vanilla bundt cake you will ever meet. Served alone, it makes the perfect everyday tea cake, but sided with macerated strawberries and whipped cream, makes it worthy of a special occasion.
You know these cakes that sit so “innocently” on the counter throughout the weekend, and unconsciously pulls you in for a sliver after a sliver, until before you know it, its halfway gone and never actually makes it through the weekend?
Yeeeeaaaaah, well this is one of those cakes.
Give yourself a high five and a Willpower Award if this cake survives more than a day at your house.
The macerated strawberries are something, but the cake itself is a whole other story. I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E!
THEEE most perfect vanilla bundt cake out there and I’m not even scared to to say it! Yes its THE BEST and I have no doubt that this will be you go-to bundt cake from now on too.
The cake is a vanilla explosion with a tender crumb that just melts in the mouth. It is moist beyond belief and stays like that for days and days. It has the tenderness and fluffiness of a yellow cake, with a tighter crumb like that of a pound cake but not as much.
Glazed, it will remind you of a vanilla cake doughnut…Uh huh!
The cake is so versatile. Dress it down and serve it plain for an everyday snack with your tea or coffee, or dress it up with macerated strawberries and whipped cream for dessert.
Or chocolate ganache.
Or salted caramel sauce.
Or both and top that with vanilla ice cream.
Here’s a little behind-the-scenes secret…My cake looks like crap on top!
I didn’t spray the pan well, so the cake stuck to the bottom. When I tried to flip it…I was greeted with 3/4 of a cake. The other 1/4 was still sitting there in the pan. Looking at it in despair, I sucked in my tears, wore my tough guy pants, did a little patchwork and went with the decision of piling the strawberries on top instead of on the side to cover up the mess. And you know what? As far as photography goes, best decision ever!
But as far as the cake’s texture is concerned, it wasn’t ideal (at least for me) because the juices from the strawberries soaked into the cake after standing for a long time, making the cake’s top somewhat soggy. With that said, it’s up to you whether you want to serve your strawberries on the side or on top. Or even at all.
Let me show you.
After you make a “finger lickin’ good” batter, you’re gonna plop it into a well-prepared pan. Don’t be like me! Then you’ll want to smooth it out. Like sooooo…(I love saying that:)))
Bake for 35-40 minutes until a beautifully golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool for 15 minutes then invert onto a wire rack.
Then drizzle on that glaze. This is what makes it taste like a donut so don’t skip it.
While the cake is cooling, macerate the strawberries, which is a fancy word for saying extracting the natural juices of the strawberries. By sprinkling on a few tablespoons of sugar onto the strawberries and leaving it for about a 30 minutes, the sugar dissolves, sweetening the strawberries and magically making a fast strawberry sauce. Yum-O!
As I said, either top it on the cooled cake and serve on the side. Its a textural thing so go with what you prefer.
Isn’t she a BEAUT? Oh yeah! She’s a definitely a ‘she.’
And how can whipped cream ever be a bad idea? Might as well add some of that, because I mean…strawberries ‘n cream?
Cut yourself a small wedge…or big…and enjoy.
Before I leave you to go enjoy this, I just have to show you the crumb of this thing.
Will you look at the vanilla seed-speckled fluffiness. So good.
Now I’m ready to say goodbye.
Make this please.
- 1 tablespoons vanilla extract*
- 1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1½ cups all purpose flour (lightly scoop into the measuring cup, then scrape down the excess with the back of knife)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (1¾ sticks/ 7 oz), softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature (submerge eggs with its shell in a bowl of warm water to quickly bring to room temperature)
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature (microwave for a 10-15 seconds to quickly bring to room temperature
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- 4 teaspoons (or more) whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Macerated Strawberries: (optional)
- 1½ pounds (680 grams) strawberries, hulled, sliced in half lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Whipped cream, to serve (optional)
- Position rack in the lower center of the oven and preheat to 325F/163C.
- Generously coat the inside of a 6-cup bundt pan* with nonstick cooking spray, or butter it thoroughly, dust it with flour, and knock out the excess.
- Pour the vanilla extract in a small bowl. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and using the tip of a knife, scrape down the seeds into the vanilla; stir to blend well. Set aside. (Discard the scraped vanilla bean pod or reserve for another use; like putting it in your sugar canister to make vanilla sugar)
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a handheld electric mixer), beat the butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add both sugar and beat together until lightened in both color and texture, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, until well blended after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat again for 15 seconds.
- Add the vanilla mixture and beat until well blended, about 20 seconds.
- Turn the mixer on lowest speed, then add in half of the flour mixture, blend lightly, then stream in the buttermilk, followed by the rest of the flour mixture. Beat just until combined; do not overmix. Batter will be very thick and might look slightly separated and that's perfectly fine.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top evenly.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few cooked crumbs attached.
- Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully invert the cake on the wire rack to cool. Cake can be glazed while still warm or after cooling completely. Details below.
- In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together. The glaze should be loose enough to drizzle. (If too thick, add a little more milk; if its too loose add a little more powdered sugar.
- Place a piece of foil under the wire rack to catch any dripping glaze. Drizzle the glaze on the cake in a zigzag motion. Allow the glaze to set for 15 minutes before serving. (Glazing while cake is still warm will make the cake soak some of the glaze leaving a very thin, translucent shell of a glaze (as pictured). While glazing on a cooled cake will result in a thicker, whiter and more defined glaze (prettier, but its your call).
- While the is cooling, toss together sugar and strawberries in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally until juices form; about 30 minutes.
- Cut cake into wedges. If using, spoon the strawberries and its juice alongside the cake, with whipped cream if desired.*
*If you don't have a 6-cup bundt pan, you could most definitely make it in the classic sized 10-cup pan. It will be shorter but equally delicious.
*The macerated strawberries were placed on top of the cake in the pictures for photographic purposes. I'd recommend, spooning the strawberries alongside individually cut portions rather than topping the whole cake because the strawberry juice will soak the cake if standing for a long time.
*Cake can be made a day ahead, stored under a cake dome or an airtight container at room temperature.
Adapted from Bon Appetit by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito