With Purim behind us, Pesach is just a flip of the calendar away. Time to finish up the baking ingredients in your pantry! Baking Bundt cakes is a quick and easy way to put those ingredients to use. Plus, the cake will disappear in no time at all!
Bundt cakes have a long and tasty history. They originated in Europe more than 100 years ago. In 1950, the Bundt pan was introduced to the United States when the Hadassah Society of Minneapolis asked the Nordic Ware Company to produce a Kugelhopf pan similar to the one the society’s president had received from her grandmother in Germany.
The landmark pan was produced from cast aluminum for the Hadassah Society. The company also produced a few for their own trademark, which they sold to department stores using the name “bund pan.” (The word “bund” means a gathering. “Bund” cake, with its eye-catching detail, was elegant enough for a gathering or party.)
To protect their trademark, Nordic Ware renamed the pan “Bundt” and began producing it in large quantities. In 1966, a Bundt pan was used for the grand-prize-winning recipe in a national bake-off. Following the contest, the sponsors of the bake-off were overwhelmed with more than 200,000 requests from people who wanted to purchase a winning Bundt pan. Over the next few decades, the Bundt pan continued to gain popularity. Today, there are more than 45 million Bundt pans in kitchens across America … and to think that it all started with a Jewish balabusta!
Lemon Delight Bundt Cake
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup oil
2 teaspoons lemon extract or 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 10- or 12-cup heavy Bundt pan with flour and oil or baking spray. If you are using a lightweight pan, preheat to 350°F.
Combine flour, sugar and baking powder in a large mixer bowl. Add orange juice, oil and lemon extract and mix until well combined. Add eggs, and beat for 3 to 4 minutes at medium speed. Pour batter into greased Bundt pan.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove cake from the oven. Using a long skewer, poke deep holes into the cake at one-inch intervals.
Whisk together the ingredients for the soaking liquid until smooth and well combined. Spoon half the liquid over hot cake, letting it run into the holes. Allow cake to cool.
Remove the cake from the pan, and drizzle with the remaining soaking liquid.
Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
7 tablespoons cocoa
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a heavyweight 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan.
Beat together eggs and sugar until light in color. Add oil and vanilla and mix. Stir flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and add to mixer bowl. Add water and orange juice. Sift in the cocoa, and mix until well combined. Pour into prepared pan, and bake 1 hour.
Combine 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1 tablespoon water and 1 teaspoon each oil and cocoa, whisking until smooth. Drizzle over cake.
Marble Bundt Cake
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup oil
3/4 cup fruit juice
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour or spray a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan.
Mix eggs, sugar, vanilla, juice, oil, flour and baking powder. Pour half of batter into Bundt pan. Add chocolate syrup to second half of batter, and pour into pan. Chocolate will marbleize. Bake for 1 hour. Cool. If desired, drizzle with chocolate glaze, above.