I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I love a bundt cake.
(I’ve definitely mentioned it before)
When I first started blogging I used to say that the reason I loved bundt cakes so much is that they remind me of my grandmother. While that may be true, I think there might be a little more to it than that.
To this day, every time I visit my grandmother she has some kind of homemade sweet in the house, whether she knows I’m coming or not. This has always been true, and when I was a kid I used to spend a lot of time at grandma’s house. There were always any number of store-bought cookies and donuts and candies in the pantry and some kind of homemade cake or pie was usually kicking around somewhere too. This may or may not (definitely does) have something to do with my love of baking and sweet things, along with my perpetual and permanent state of being a bit overweight.
Grandma has always been known for her pies, and for her special pineapple cheesecake she makes with a vanilla cake mix crust. She used to make a lot of coffee cakes too, and every once in a while she’d make a bundt cake.
She doesn’t really make them anymore, and even when I was a kid they weren’t something she made very frequently, but they have always been something that I thought of as very very special.
Maybe it was their rarity that made them feel so impressive to me. Maybe it was the fact that Grandma was the only person (at the time) I’d ever known to make them. Or, maybe it had something to do with their unique shape. Something about their shape makes them feel really dramatic and fancy, even though most bundt cakes also manage to feel sort of rustic and unfussy at the same time.
Whatever the reasons, bundt cakes have always held a very special place in my heart, and I imagine they always will.
When I stumbled across a blog some six months ago that mentioned an entire group of other bloggers who loved bundt cakes as much as I did, I couldn’t wait to join in the fun.
I could not be more thrilled to have found these bundt loving bloggers. At first I was worried that making a bundt cake each and every month was going to be too much for me, or that I wouldn’t have the time to keep up with it, but as the months have gone on I’ve found myself more and more excited about each new theme. Ideas for some have proved to be a challenge, while others have come to me right away, but each and every cake I’ve baked has maintained that special meaning for me.
This months theme, chosen by the amazing Lauren of Sew You Think You Can Cook, is caramel. Lauren, you may not know this, but yours was the first blog I saw mentioning #bundtbakers, and you’re part of the reason I’m here. I can’t thank you enough.
Caramel is such a perfect choice for this time of year. It pairs so perfectly with the warm homey flavors of October, and I couldn’t have chosen a better theme if I’d tried. Make sure you scroll down past the recipe to see all the delicious caramel themed cakes that everyone came up with this month. I decided to translate the sweet buttery nutty flavors of pecan pralines into a bundt cake with toasted pecans, brown sugar, and brown butter. To reinforce that caramel candy flavor, I topped everything with a homemade salted caramel drizzle and even more toasted pecans. This cake is rich and moist and warm and golden. The brown sugar adds that rich caramel flavor, and the brown butter adds some depth and intensifies the toasty nuttiness of the pecans. If you’re a fan of caramel, and of pecans, this recipe is definitely a keeper.
Brown Butter Praline Bundt Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle
Brown Butter Praline Bundt Cake:
butter and flour for pan
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks)
2 cups chopped pecans
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Salted Caramel Sauce:
(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 (heaping) teaspoon fleur de sel (or any flaky sea salt)
Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 10+ cup bundt pan and set aside. In a medium saucepan, brown butter over medium high heat until it’s golden brown and smells intensely nutty. Should take about 10 minutes or so, but watch it closely so it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.
On a sheet pan, arrange pecans in a single layer. Toast at 350 for about 10 minutes, or until they smell like nutty heaven.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combined cool brown butter, granulated sugar, & brown sugar. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix to combine. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 alternating batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix each addition until just combined, do not over-mix, and scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Finally, stir in 1 1/2 cups of toasted pecans on low speed until well distributed. Reserve remaining 1/2 cup of pecans for decorating the finished cake.
Spoon batter into prepared bundt pan and smooth the top. WARNING: At this point the batter will look and taste like butter pecan ice cream, but if you eat it all, you won’t have any left for your cake. Bake at 350 for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes before inverting the pan to release the cake onto the rack. Let cool completely before adding drizzle.
Make the caramel sauce:
Add the sugar in an even layer to the bottom of a medium-sized heavy saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, whisking regularly as it melts. The sugar will begin to clump together, and it may stick to your whisk, but it’s okay. Once the sugar has melted completely, stop whisking and instead swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar continues to cook.
Cook to a deep amber color. It should look almost a reddish-brown, and have a slightly toasty aroma. Keep a close eye on things at this point, things can go from perfect to burnt in under a minute. If you want to use an instant-read thermometer, cook the sugar until it reaches 350 degrees F.
As soon as the caramel reaches the right color (or 350 degrees), add all the butter. The caramel will bubble up so be careful. Whisk until the butter is completely melted. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mixture will bubble a lot. Whisk until everything is well incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add the fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.
Let the sauce cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into a heat proof container to let cool to room temperature. If you have any left, you can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks.
Drizzle the cooled caramel sauce over the cooled cake, and top with remaining 1/2 cup of toasted pecans. Slice. Serve. Enjoy.
Check out all the mouthwatering cakes this talented group of bakers has come up with this month:
- Apple Butter Bundt Cake with Cider Caramel Glaze by Cassie of Cassie’s Kitchen
- Apple Pecan Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze by Aisha of La Cocina de Aisha
- Brown Butter Praline Bundt Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle by Tux of Brooklyn Homemaker
- Caramel Apple Bundt Cake by Kaylin of Keep it Simple, Sweetie
- Caramel Banana Bundt Cake by Kathya of Basic N Delicious
- Caramel Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing by Rebekah of Making Miracles
- Caramel Chocolate Bundt Cake by Natalia of Principiando en la Cocina
- Chocolate Caramel Apple Bundt Cake by Lauren of Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce by Laura of Baking in Pyjamas
- Classic Vanilla Bundt Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle by Tammy of Living the Gourmet
- Cornmeal Bundt Cake with Caramel Popcorn by Patricia of Patty’s Cake
- English Toffee Bundt with Drunken Dulce Drizzle by Stacy of Food Lust People Love
- Fall Classic Caramel Bundt Cake by Maleka of La Luna en Dulce
- Fair Toffee Apple Bundt by Jane of Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Milky Way Bundt Cake by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Salted Caramelized White Chocolate Glazed Butterscotch Pecan Bundt Cake by Laura of The Spiced Life
- Snickers Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze by Bea and Mara of I Love Bundt Cakes
- Spiced Apple Bundt Cake with a Caramel Brickle Drizzle by Teri of The Freshman Cook
- Spiced Caramel and Pear Bundt Cake by Rocío of Kids&Chic
- Three Flavor Zebra Bundt Cake – Vanilla, Caramel and Chocolate by Caro of En la Cocina de Caro
Interested in learning more about us? #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BundtBaker home page here.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are just a lover of Bundt baking, you can find all of our recipe links by clicking our badge above or on our group Pinterest board.