We return this week to our regularly-scheduled programming: Baked, Occasionally. The series where Shannon from A Periodic Table and I bake our way through Baked Bakery’s latest cookbook: Baked Occasions. Each month we will bring you a new recipe from the Baked Occasions cookbook. This month’s winner? Ultralemony Bundt Cake with Almond Glaze.
This month’s decision was exceptionally difficult, as we could have made any of the May options in the book and been equally happy with any of them. With options like Strawberry Layer Cake In fact, we almost made more than one, but then I talked myself back off that ledge and decided that, with Spring in full swing that we would dive face first into the Ultralemony Bundt Cake with Almond Glaze. This cake is filled to the top with slap-you-in-the-face lemon flavor and accented with just a slight hint of almond that works beautifully with its bright, citrusy flavor.
A mixture of all purpose and cake flours gives this cake an extremely tender crumb while still keeping it sturdy enough to move around without problem. I took my to the thinner side and ended up regretting it. So even if you think your glaze might be a bit too thick, so long as it’s still easily pourable just stick with it and it’ll make for a thick, beautiful glaze.
I was also not prepared for how brown the cake would be and almost panicked near the end of baking when I saw the bottom of the cake. Once I cracked open the book, however, their cake is even much browner than mine, so don’t be afraid. If you start to get nervous, just place some aluminum foil over the cake during the final ten minutes or so of baking.
In the book, the Baked guys say that some people complain that this cake is “too lemony” to which I would say… then why are you eating something called “ultralemony cake”?
What I liked:
- Flavor: This cake has an amazing bright, strong, citrusy flavor that is somehow perfectly accented by the hint of almond in the glaze. That being said, if you have allergies, feel free to skip the almond and sprinkle the cake with some candied lemon peel or just a few sprinkles instead!
- Ease: Life is hard sometimes and I would be lying if I said the ease of this cake recipe didn’t factor into my choice this month. It’s so easy to make!
What I didn’t:
There’s really nothing that I didn’t like about this cake! If I had to pick something, I guess it would be…
- Lemon Waste: This cake uses like a million lemons (or 10, I lost count), and I felt bad that a lot of them were going to be wasted. Slice your extra lemons and make some infused water or throw them down the garbage disposal to freshen it up. Also, did you know that if you throw a lemon chunk into your blender with warm soapy water it works wonders for cleaning it? Just some tips…
- Arm Fatigue: Zesting lemons can be really hard on your arm, so you’ll get a really good work-out but you might have to take a few breaks in between. If you end up short a lemon, your cake will probably survive, but try to stick it through (or enlist some help from a significant other, small child, or neighbor. If you promise them cake as a reward they may be willing to help!)
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon koshersalt
- 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 10 lemons, zested (about 10 tablespoons)
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 3 tablespoons dark rum
- 2 tablespoons lemon extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 2 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 2 1/2to 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 10-cup bundt pan
- baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Generously spray the inside of a 10 cup bundt pan with nonstick baking spray. Make sure all of the nooks and crannies are thoroughly coated.
- Sift the flours, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
- Place the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add lemon zest and rub the zest into the sugar with your hands until it is fragrant and yellow.
- Pour melted butter and oil into the lemon sugar and beat on medium speed until well-combined. Add the rum, lemon extract, eggs, and egg yolks. Beat until combined.
- Add flour and cream alternately, beginning and ending with flour. (flour-cream-flour-cream-flour)
- Scrape down the bowl and mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
- Pour mixture into the prepared pan and place pan on a large baking sheet or sheet pan - This will help to catch any cake batter that may overflow.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.
- Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes, place wire rack over half sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Whisk sugar lemon juice, and rum in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar melts.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved, stirring. Set aside until slightly cooled
- Gently loosen the sides of the somewhat cooled cake from the pan and turn it out onto the wire rack.
- Using a toothpick or skewer (something thin) poke several holes into the cake on the crown and sides. Use a pastry brush to gently brush the top and the sides of the cake with syrup, allowing the syrup to soak into the cake in between batches.
- Let cake cool completely.
- Whisk together 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and almond extract together in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cups of the confections' sugar and whisk until the mixture in pourable, but still fairly thick. If it is too thick, add a few more teaspoons of lemon juice to thin it out. If you thin it out too much, add some more confectioners' sugar.
- Pour glaze in large thick ribbons over the top of the bundt cake. Sprinkle almonds over the glaze and allow to set before serving, about 20 minutes.
- Cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
* The rum, which I expected to taste and not like, basically disappears into this cake somehow. If you don't have rum or don't want to use rum, you can replace it with equal part lemon juice in the cake, or just omit it all together from the syrup.
* For optimal visual impact - keep your glaze on the thicker side (unlike me). You want it to be pourable but very thick.