Turn this simple cake into a visual masterpiece by baking it in a special Bundt pan.  The dense, flavorful crumb of this rich butter cake from Sweetapolia takes the shape of the Bundt pan curves and slides out effortless after it has cooled to room temperature. Use real vanilla beans and nothing else to distract you from the subtle fragrance these tiny seeds impart to your finished cake; you will be able to smell them all over the house once your cake comes out of the oven. I was lucky to get my hands on some gourmet beans from Madagascar [courtesy of my good friend, the Wolfman] but if you cannot find good quality ones, vanilla paste might be the next best alternative. This Bundt cake is so good that it disappeared overnight almost as soon as it was ready to cut and serve and I should warn you that there is the risk of potential fights over the last piece of cake here.

VANILLA BEAN BUNDT CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Vanilla Bundt Cake

3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder

1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking soda

1/2 teaspoon (4g) kitchen salt

1 cup+2 tablespoons (255g) butter, softened

1-3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar

2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) pure lemon extract

1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, room temperature

For the Vanilla Bean Glaze

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) whole milk

About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter a Bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer.

  • Beat at medium speed till pale and fluffy for about 5 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans with knife.

  • Add to the butter mixture and beat until well combined for 1 minute. Add eggs one at a time, beating well.

  • Beat in lemon extract until well combined. At low speed add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches.

  • Start and end with flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Spoon batter into pan and smooth over top.

  • Gently tap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until skewer inserted into center comes out clean.

  • Cool cake in pan for 1 hour, invert onto a rack and cool it completely to room temperature for about 1 hour.

  • For the glaze, split vanilla bean and scrape seeds into milk. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually until thick.

  • Once the cake has cooled, drizzle glaze over top. Sprinkle with sugar pearls if desired. Serves about 20-25.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake