Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake
My first show of the semester - the university company's dance concert - ran this weekend, and it was truly a fantastic run. I'm so grateful to be in a company with the talented dancers I share the stage with. And getting to do a CRAZY duet with my best friend was even better! I am pretty glad the show's over, though - now that I'm in heavy rehearsals for the musical and I've started the choreographic process for the student showcase, it's nice to have one less thing on my mind!
As a general rule, during show season, I try to cut back on desserts. Teeny tiny costumes don't mix well with food babies or love handles, so generally dessert is the first thing to go.
That effort was completely unsuccessful.
This particular cake was one of many downfalls. I took this to a potluck, hoping that I wouldn't come home with much leftover...and then had to bring a third of the cake back and set it alongside the rest of the batches of giant chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin scones.
I think I gained 3 pounds that weekend. And I would not have gained said three pounds had every single recipe not been delicious.
This is the kind of cake that lends itself to very easy snacking. It's a sturdy cake that you can hold in your hand while taking bite after delicious bite until it's all gone...and you feel the urge to grab another piece. It's chock full of moisture, thanks to the yogurt, and every bite bursts with sweet vanilla. And the glaze? Oh, the glaze...it was the perfect saccharine compliment to the mildly sweet cake, adding little sparks of sugary goodness here and there. I could not get enough of that glaze.
Neither could Jon, cause he kept taking huge bites with all the glaze on them when we split a piece. Which led to splitting another piece.
Approach this cake with caution, folks. It's almost too delicious.
Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Vanilla Glaze
Source: adapted from Epicurious and The Pioneer Woman via Sweetapolita
For the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2-1/4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 tbsp high-quality vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup milk
For the glaze:
1/2 cup milk (use what you have on hand, but whole would be better)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
Approximately 1 cup powdered sugar, more as needed
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 10-15 cup Bundt pan and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with a mixer at medium speed until pale, creamy, and fluffy. And beautiful. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them, along with the vanilla extract, to the butter mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Mix the yogurt and milk together, then add alternately with the flour to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Only mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Gently tap it on the counter to get rid of air bubbles. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, until a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for an hour, then invert the cake onto the cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
To make the glaze, mix together the milk and the vanilla extract. Measure out the powdered sugar and gradually add the vanilla milk until the desired consistency is reached - it should feel too thick at first, but still be pourable. Pour over the top of the cooled cake and allow to set. Don't be stingy - use as much glaze as you want! It'll make you happy. Enjoy!