Cathie Campbell

Love those Bundt cakes

I would normally say I prefer pies to any cake, but must admit I have a fondness for Bundt cakes. Here are a few interesting facts to go along with this week’s recipes.

According to The Kitchen Dictionary, originally the trademark name of a tube pan with fluted sides, Bundt is now the general name of that style of cake pan. Classic Bundt pans hold 12 cups of batter and are 10 inches in diameter by 3.5 inches tall. Created in 1950 by H. David Dalquist at the request of a women’s group that wanted to bake kugelhopf, a ring-shaped German bread, the Bundt pan became a sensation when used in the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-Off contest by Ella Helfrich for her Tunnel of Fudge recipe. Dalquist’s other notable invention: the rotating microwave oven carousel.

I was looking up whether or not to use a capital B in the word Bundt. It was originally a trademark by Nordic Ware, and they only manufactured their Bundt cake pans with aluminum. But the term Bundt is not a valid trademark in the United States, having been rejected by the U.S. Trademark Office as a generic term. I will try in the future to spell it with a lower-case b, but old habits are hard to break. So for now, I will capitalize.

Caramel nut cake

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups packed light brown sugar

5 eggs

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Caramel glaze (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 325. Coat a 10-inch Bundt pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beating until smooth and well blended. Reduce speed to low and add flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually beat in milk and vanilla, then stir in pecans. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake in preheated oven 55 to 60 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool.

Caramel glaze

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minutes, stirring

2. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, then stir for 2 more minutes. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

Bananas Foster crunch cake

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

4 ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup light or dark rum

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Caramel glaze

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 12-cup Bundt cake pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until crumbly. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in bananas, rum and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and stir just until blended.

4. In a small bowl, mix pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon; mix well. Sprinkle half the pecan mixture into the cake pan. Pour half the cake batter over the nut mixture then sprinkle with remaining nut mixture. Add remaining batter over the nuts.

5. Bake 45 to 50 minutes in preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 to 15 minutes. To remove cake from pan, loosen sides then invert onto a serving platter. Drizzle with caramel glaze.

Marbled chocolate chip Bundt cake

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 2/3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup chocolate syrup

1 cup (6-oz.) chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 12-cup Bundt cake pan with cooking spray and flour.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well mixed. Add vanilla.

3. Reduce the mixer to low and beat in a third of the flour mixture, just until the flour gets incorporated into the batter. Beat in half the milk. Beat in another third of the flour, then the rest of the milk, and then the rest of the flour; mix until smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

4. Scoop a third of the batter into another medium bowl and whisk in the chocolate syrup; set aside. Spoon another third of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it with a spatula. Spoon the chocolate batter evenly over it. Pour the remaining vanilla batter over the top. Lightly swirl the batter with a butter knife, creating a marbled effect.

5. Bake 60 to 70 minutes in preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Invert cooled cake onto serving plate.

Peach pound cake

1 cup butter, softened

3 cups sugar

6 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups chopped peaches (4 to 6 peaches)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray and flour. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating well. Add vanilla.

2. In another large bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture. Add sour cream and with electric mixer, beat on low until well blended and smooth. Gently fold in peaches.

3. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake 70 to 80 minutes in preheated oven or until the cake tests clean. Cool a few minutes then invert onto serving plate while still warm.

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