Lemon and blueberry bundt cake

I meant to bake this cake last weekend to bring in to work, then totally forgot whilst mooching about the house all day and only remembering the night before. So poor co-workers had to do without that time. Tomorrow we are going back to work a session with previous co-workers, so what better to celebrate with than with a gloriously buttery, lemony, fruity cake.

The cake before the glaze anointing. Look at how beautiful it already looks. It’s really a simple pound cake recipe (equal parts butter, sugar and flour) from here but I reduced the amount of sugar in the cake and in the glaze, and increased the amount of blueberries a little. You could bake it in a standard cake tin but a bundt tin just makes it look so impressive. Just make sure you prep your bundt tin well and the cake will turn out intact every time.

The cake post-glaze in all its glory. It’s got a beautiful soft crumb, offset by the tangy bursts of blueberries and sharp lemony glaze.

The perfect antidote to this blustery stormy weather we’ve been having!

Lemon and blueberry bundt cake

Ingredients

225g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
150g blueberries
Zest of 2 lemons

For the glaze

120g icing sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
Zest of 1 lemon

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3.
  2. Prepare your bundt tin. See how to do it here.
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder together. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the mixture.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together with either a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, and whisk until incorporated after each time. Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled.
  6. Add the flour and baking powder mixture a few tablespoons at a time and whisk each time until a smooth batter forms.
  7. Toss the blueberries in 2 tbsps of flour/baking powder which you set aside, then fold them into the batter along with the lemon zest.
  8. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared bundt tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean when the cake is done.
  9. Let the cake cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack.
  10. Mix the icing sugar into the lemon juice until dissolved. You may need to zap the mixture in the microwave for a minute or so to help with this.
  11. Generously drizzle the glaze over the cake, and sprinkle the lemon zest on top.

Coffee and cardamom pound cake

I made this cake to bring in for the night shift one day. I don’t know what came over me, making that broccoli and stilton soup for lunch and then making this cake before starting nights. I must have had a particularly restful weekend. Also, doing this satisfies my craving for having sweets but allows me to distribute the rest of the calories to other people. And boy does this cake need calorie distribution, what with having over a block of butter in it. Gareth doesn’t like cake see (except cheesecake), so I have to find people to gift the cakes to lest I eat it all myself. Lucky them!

This recipe in Ottolenghi’s Sweet cookbook appealed because the flavours seemed really interesting. Sometimes interesting can be ‘interesting’, but I trust Ottolenghi’s palate and was sure it would turn out delicious. And it did!

Just a few notes on the recipe, and things I might change myself when I bake this again. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 tbsp of instant coffee granules but the coffee taste wasn’t too evident in the cake so feel free to increase it by another 1/2 or 1 tbsp to see if that would taste stronger. I also decreased the sugar in the cake slightly. The actual icing tasted fabulously coffeeish so I would coat the cake completely with it, rather than drip down the sides. I weighed out the actual amount of icing sugar required and it seemed a huge amount. I must have spooned out about 150g or so to mix it in and it was very sweet already. So you probably won’t need the full 240g of sugar, add and taste as you go along.

The notes in the book are very useful on making ground cardamom. For the amount required in the recipe, use 40 cardamom pods. Crush them lightly with the flat edge of a knife and remove the seeds. Ground them down with a coffee or spice grinder. Much better than using store-bought cardamom, which can be quite difficult to find anyway.

It is a proper pound cake and will have quite a dense texture, but it doesn’t sit heavy at all. The recipe might seem a bit involved, but it wasn’t really and I quite enjoyed making it, and eating it. The night shift seemed to like it too!

Coffee and cardamom pound cake

Serves 10-12

90ml full fat milk, plus 20ml more for the coffee
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour, sifted
100g plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp table salt
250g caster sugar
300g salted butter, soft and diced
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tbsp instant coffee granules
2 tsp good quality cocoa powder
1 tbsp extra butter, melted and extra flour for dusting

Icing
1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee granules
45 ml full fat milk, warmed
Up to 240g icing sugar, sifted (probably will require less)
30g salted butter, softened

  1. Grease a 23cm bundt tin with the melted butter using a pastry brush. Pour in some flour into the bundt tin, and tilting it on its side keep tapping and turning it around to ensure all the inside surfaces are coated with a thin layer of flour. Tip out the excess flour. Crucial step this, to ensure your cake tips out beautifully at the end.
  2. Preheat the oven to 195 degrees Celcius/175 degrees Celsius Fan/Gas Mark 5.
  3. Place the milk, eggs and vanilla extract into a bowl and lightly whisk to combine.
  4. Into a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer stir the flours, salt and caster sugar together. Then add the butter and half of the egg mixture and mix with a hand mixer or the stand mixer until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute. Then gradually add the remaining egg mixture and continue beating until incorporated. (Don’t worry if the batter looks split).
  5. Pour out half of the batter into another bowl.
  6. Add the ground cardamom into one batter half, and fold to combine with a spatula.
  7. Warm the extra 20ml milk and dissolve the coffee granules and cocoa powder in it. Add to the other batter half and fold to combine.
  8. Spoon the mixtures into the bundt tin in four alternate blobs, building up the layers until the batters run out. Then use a skewer or small knife to swirl through the mix to create a marble effect. Don’t overdo the swirling or you will lose the effect.
  9. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside the whole tin for 10 minutes. Then turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.
  10. To make the icing, combine the warmed milk and coffee in a bowl. Add the butter, then the icing sugar gradually, tasting as you go along. You will probably not need all of the 240g, I used about 150g. Whisk until smooth and thick, then spoon all over the cooled cake.

Chocolate and orange marble bundt cake

I was hankering to bake something this long weekend (my first since starting my new job in November!), not too complicated but something new to challenge myself with. I found my as-yet-unused bundt tin after a rummage in the cupboard and thought, why not?

It’s a basic cake recipe except the orange goes into half the batter and the cocoa into the other half. I did have some fears of the cake sticking in the tin’s complicated furrows but if you follow the instructions like I did, out it pops like a beauty. I didn’t have any baking spray so used some melted butter to grease the tin and then floured it so I did find that some of the butter stuck a little on the cake when I removed it from the tin, but nothing a little chocolate orange glaze couldn’t hide. I suspect baking spray and applying the flour with a sieve or flour shaker would have given a more delicate layer on the tin.

My recipe is adapted from this recipe and this recipe, so have a go, it’s not as hard as it looks!

Chocolate and orange marble bundt cake

225g soft salted butter, cubed
175g caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g self-raising flour, sifted
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
1 large orange – zested and juiced
50g orange chocolate
Melted butter or baking spray and some flour

  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius/160 degrees Celsius fan. Grease the bundt tin with the melted butter or baking spray, ensuring every nook and cranny is covered. Shake or sift some flour all over the inside. Turn it upside down and tap away the excess flour.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together with a handheld or stand mixer for about 3 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time and continue to mix in between to incorporate them into the mixture. It will look like it has split every time but continue mixing and it will be come together.
  4. Add in the flour a few tablespoon-fulls at a time and continue mixing.
  5. Remove half the batter into another bowl. Into one half, stir in the orange juice and zest. Into the other half, mix in the milk and cocoa powder.
  6. Dollop alternate spoonfuls of the batters into the bundt tin. Use a skewer to create a marbled pattern by dragging it through the mixture.
  7. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. A skewer poked in should come out clean.
  8. Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Turn the cake out carefully onto the wire rack and let cool completely.
  10. Break the orange chocolate into chunks and melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Drizzle over the cake with a spoon.