Are you guys as ready for summer as I am?
Are you ready for sunny days and warm weather? Ready to feel the warmth of sunshine on your skin? Ready to walk outdoors in short sleeves and single layers of thin cotton clothing?
I’m not afraid to admit that I am. I am 100% ready. I’m also, officially, over this winter.
Up until this point I’ve been doing just fine. Really I have!
Here in the Northeast this winter has been totally mild and easily tolerated. At least it was until last week, when shady ol’ Mother Nature decided it would might great fun to give us a little taste of what we’ve been missing.
For three glorious days, temperatures were suddenly in the mid-70s during the day, with ample sunshine, warm breezes, and the smells of spring air. Record breaking warmth for this time of year. Easily deceived by Mother Nature’s dirty tricks, I started planning barbecues and garden parties.
Our false summer was fleeting though, and disappeared behind some rain clouds as suddenly as it arrived, leaving us to close the windows again and turn the heat back up.
Luckily, Christiane from Taking on Magazines chose “Tropical Vacation” as our theme for the bundt bakers this month. What better way to delude myself into thinking it’s warm and bright and wonderful outside when you and I both know that it isn’t?
If you’re as hungry (pun very much intended) as I am for some tropical distraction, please be absolutely certain that you scroll down past the recipe and see all the bright & tropical bundts that everyone came up with this month!
Oddly enough, I’ve never really been a huge fan of most tropical fruits. For whatever reason, I prefer my produce from more temperate climates. Maybe it’s because my family comes from sturdy cold-weather Bavarian German stock, maybe it’s because my grandfather spoiled me with all of his fruit trees and garden fresh berries, or maybe it’s just because I’m a creature of habit and prefer what I’m familiar with. Who knows?
Either way, given a choice between an apple or a mango, a pear or a papaya, a peach or a pineapple, 9 times out of 10 I’m going to choose the option that grows right here in the Northeast, not the one grown on some faraway island under the shade of a palm tree.
Coconut however, is the one exception to my aversion to tropical fruit. Ever since I was a child I’ve loved coconut, and I can remember countless fluffy white cakes covered in downy clouds of sweetened coconut flakes. I especially love coconut around Easter, when Grandma’s coconut cakes used to be made to look like cute fuzzy bunnies with licorice lips and whiskers, and candy coated eyeballs and noses.
It’s only fitting that I now have the chance to make a sensational coconut bundt cake with Easter only 10 days away.
A sensational bundt cake calls for a sensational bundt pan. Luckily Nordic Ware, the company that literally invented the bundt pan, just released a gorgeous new pan to celebrate their 70th anniversary. This elegant crown shaped pan is a gold plated show stopper and features curves in all the right places! They’re truly celebrating their anniversary in style.
Nordic Ware has been making exceptional cookware and bakeware right here in the US for 70 years now, and even after all this time they’re still a family owned company. The bundt pan is by far their most famous and most popular product, and no one makes bundt pans as well as they do. Their pans are sturdy, heavy duty, ultra-non-stick, and unbelievably durable.
I should know! I put those bundt pans through more than their fair share of abuse!
I know that I’ve said this before, but as a bundt baker and bundt lover, I can’t sing enough praises for Nordic Ware’s bundt pans.
I really wanted to come up with something special this month, so I was on a mission to come up with a recipe that would not only fit our tropical vacation theme, but that could also honor Nordic Ware’s Scandinavian heritage. It didn’t take me long to find a recipe for a traditional Danish cake called a Drømmekage or “Dream Cake”.
If you’re not familiar (I wasn’t), drømmekage consists of a tender vanilla cake that, after baking, is covered with a caramel and coconut topping and returned to the oven to brown up and caramelize. It certainly doesn’t get much dreamier than that!
The only problem was that drømmekage is usually made as a single layer sheet cake, with the topping added only at the very end of the baking process. Since the top of a bundt cake is actually at the bottom of the pan while it bakes, I knew that converting this cake into a bundt might be challenging. I was a man on a mission though, and I was determined to make it work. I just kept telling myself, “I can bundt that.”
At first I just tried making the recipe as originally written but baking the topping into the bottom of the pan. Unfortunately the topping didn’t hold up well and got sort of rubbery when baked along with the cake for the full time, and I found the vanilla cake to be a bit bland. Next I tried simply mixing the topping ingredients together instead of cooking them into a caramel first. I just added some of the cake batter to get it all to come together. This attempt was much improved but I thought it lacked the toasty caramel flavor I was hoping for. For my third (and final) attempt I decided to toast the coconut and brown the butter before mixing it all together. I also added some vanilla bean and coconut extract to un-bland-ify the interior cake.
Third time’s a charm as they say, and this cake seriously ended up being thebomb.com. Thankfully, it was worth all the effort and recipe testing!
The rich brown coconut part of this cake is dense and chewy on the outer edges with a buttery and almost creamy quality on the inside. It has an amazingly rich, toasty, nutty flavor from the browned butter and toasted coconut, and a wonderful caramel flavor from the dark brown sugar. The simple vanilla cake on the interior is tender and buttery and packed with warm homey vanilla flavor.
Getting the coconut and brown sugar mixture to work as a “topping” like it would in a traditional dream cake means that you have to carefully press the mixture against the walls of the pan and make sure to push it up the sides and center tube. This can be a bit of a pain but does make for an impressive presentation. If you want to make your life a little easier though, I think it would be simpler and just as delicious if you were to combine these two batters like a marble cake instead. I’ll leave that up to you.
If you can, I recommend you try to make this cake the day before you’d like to serve it. It was amazing on the first day but I found that the texture of the coconut part had become even more tender and wonderful by the second day.
Drømmekage (Danish Dream Cake) Bundt Cake
If possible, try making this cake one day before you plan to serve it. The cake benefits from a day’s rest.
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod discarded (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup powdered sugar for dusting, optional
Heat the oven to 350.
Evenly brush a 10 to 12 cup non-stick bundt pan with softened butter. Be sure to get into every nook and cranny. Dust pan with flour and tap out excess. Place pan in freezer while you proceed with recipe.
Make the coconut “topping”:
Spread coconut in an even layer over a large baking sheet. Toast coconut for about 10 minutes, stirring once to promote even browning and prevent burning. Watch carefully, the coconut can go from toasty to burnt in under a minute.
Once cool enough to handle, crush up roughly half of the coconut with your hands.
In a medium saucepan, brown the butter (only first stick) over medium heat, stirring regularly. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Once the butter reaches a nutty golden color, immediately transfer to a heatproof bowl. If desired, strain out browned milk solids in the butter. (I did, but not entirely necessary)
Add brown sugar and toasted coconut and stir to combine. Set aside.
Make the cake:
In a the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the sugar and softened butter (remaining stick) on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add scraped vanilla bean seeds (or paste or powder) and mix to combine. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl between additions. Add vanilla and coconut extracts and beat to combine.
Whisk together flour and baking powder in a small bowl.
Alternate additions of flour and milk, beginning and ending with flour, scraping sides of bowl after each addition. Mix just to combine after each addition. Do not over-mix.
Measure out about 2 cups of the batter and transfer to the bowl with the (cooled) browned butter and coconut mixture. Fold the batter in until combined.
If you want the coconut mixture on the outside and top of the cake, transfer it to the bundt pan and press the mixture against the sides of the pan, pushing it almost all the way up the outer sides and center cone of the pan. Next pour the remaining cake batter into the center of the coconut side walls.
If you’d prefer a marbled effect, pour cake batter into pan first, dot the top of the batter with several large spoonfuls of coconut mixture, and gently swirl the two batters together with a dull knife or icing spatula.
After adding batter to pan, gently tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles.
If using an intricately designed pan, you may want to place it on a cookie sheet to keep it level in the oven. Transfer to the center of the oven and bake just until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.
Cool for 15 to 20 minutes on a wire rack before inverting the cake onto the rack to remove the pan. Cool for at least 30 minutes more before dusting with powdered sugar. Store in under a cake dome, in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent the cake from drying out. If well stored, the cake should keep for several days at room temperature.
There are so many mouthwatering bundts this month you can’t help but feel tropical. Regardless of what’s happening outside, you’re gonna need sunglasses to get through these amazing links!
- Banana Coconut Pineapple Bundt by Food Lust People Love
- Banana Pineapple Mini Bundt Cakes by I Love Bundt Cakes
- Banana Rum Cake by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Bounty Bundt Cake by Baking in Pyjamas
- Bundt Cake Tropical by La mejor manera de hacer …
- Chocolate Coconut Tres Leche Bundt Cake by The Whisking Bowl
- Drømmekage (Danish Dream Cake) Bundt Cake by Brooklyn Homemaker
- Golden Tropical Coconut Bundt Cake by Faith, Hope, Love & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Key Lime Bundt Cake by Taking On Magazines
- Lava Flow Bundt Cake by All That’s Left Are The Crumbs
- Lime-Coconut Bundt Cake by Palatable Pastime
- Piña Colada Rum Bundt Cake by Making Miracles
- Pineapple Upside Down Coconut Cake by Adventures in All Things Food
- Raspberry Mojito Bundt Cake by SpiceRoots
- Speckled Tropical Bundt Cake by I Camp in my Kitchen
- Tequila Sunrise Bundt Cake by Los Chatos Chefs
- Tres Leche Bundt with Pineapple and Strawberry Whipped Cream by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Tropical Hummingbird Bundt Cake by Tartacadabra
- Tropical Supreme Cake with Rum Cream Cheese Glaze by Sew You Think You Can Cook
#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 or ingredient. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest Board.
Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our homepage.