basic bundt series: buttermilk pound cake

Hi there friends! Long time no see!

basic bundt series | buttermilk pound cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve basically dropped off the face of the planet recently. Ever since diving head first into the renovations of Maxwell’s last summer, I’ve been posting less and less frequently and lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want out of my lil’ ol blog and how much time and energy I want to put into it. Things have definitely calmed down now that Maxwell’s is up and running (and doing pretty darned well, thanks for asking), but rather than jumping from that project right back into blogging the way I used to, I’ve been taking some time for myself lately and trying to enjoy the summer.

We recently bought a car (it’s used guys, we’re not that bougie) and after 10 full years in Brooklyn, the city suddenly seems sooo much smaller and more accessible than it used to. Rather than staying home to bake and photograph fruit pies on a beautiful Summer days, we’ve been piling in the car and taking field trips to parks, beaches, stores, and points of interest that are a real pain in the arse to reach by subway or bus. We’ve even taken the dogs up to the Hudson Valley for a few little hiking trips, and went to the Adirondacks for a long weekend in Lake Placid for my birthday. Hence, for the first time ever, I didn’t post any cake recipe for my birthday this year.

basic bundt series | buttermilk pound cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

I’m really not trying to gloat here guys, I just want to let you know that even though I haven’t been posting nearly as frequently lately, you’re still on my mind.

Like, a lot.

basic bundt series | buttermilk pound cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

I got into blogging because I love food, especially baking and historic recipes and random food trivia; but as it turns out, blogging is A LOT of work and actually pretty pricey as hobbies go. Taking a little time for myself has given me some new perspective and helped me realize that I can’t keep up with the pace that I initially set for myself, and that’s okay. I need and deserve a life outside of blogging and I can’t beat myself up if I fall behind on posting. As much as I’d love to post constantly, life gets in the way. I’m sure you understand.

basic bundt series | buttermilk pound cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Anyway, worrying about all this actually of made me want to stay away entirely, but with every letter I type I feel a weight being lifted off my shoulders and it’s honestly helping me remember how much I loved doing this in the first place. I know I could have just made the decision to step back on my own and just quietly moved on with my life, but if I’m not oversharing can I really even call myself a blogger at all? I mean… Probably not right?

Long story short, I guess what I’m trying to say here is that you’re probably going to see less of me around here going forward, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you.

basic bundt series | buttermilk pound cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

One thing that really helped me get back into the swing of things and re-discover my love for This Old Blog™ was baking one of my absolute favorite things in the whole wide world, the magnificent, magical bundt cake!

I’m sure that you know by now that I have an unnatural love for bundt cakes. A love that may even be illegal in certain states.
While I absolutely relish the interesting & creative challenges thrown my way by the #bundtbakers group over the past few years, I’ve been thinking lately that I’d really like to spend some time perfecting some simpler, easier, more traditional bundt cakes with a broader appeal and a more familiar flavor profile.

I still plan on getting jiggy with the #bundtbakers every now and again, but for the first time in several years I’d like to share some cakes that don’t necessarily fit in with their creative themes.

basic bundt series | buttermilk pound cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

I’m hoping to eventually follow this post up with a an entire series of bundt cake recipes featuring simple, familiar flavors; vanilla, lemon, chocolate, spice, etc.
The basic bundt series.

Get it?

To kick the whole thing off, I thought I’d go with the simplest, and most potentially versatile cake that I could think of. The plain ol’ pound cake. Butter. Eggs. Buttermilk. Vanilla.
Heaven.

basic bundt series | buttermilk pound cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

This cake is delicately sweet and super buttery. Since the butter is the standout flavor in this recipe, I’d recommend springing for the best you can find. I promise it’s worth the extra buck or two.

Because I use buttermilk rather than sour cream, this recipe is a little lighter and more delicate than some other pound cakes you may have had, but I actually prefer it this way. As a cake rather than a loaf, sliced thick and served with fresh fruit, I think the lighter crumb is just the ticket.
In the Summer a big thick slice of pound cake is heaven with fresh whipped cream and macerated strawberries or fresh ripe blueberries.

If you want to kick this cake up to the next level though, feel free to experiment a little!
This recipe is the perfect base for almost any flavor you could want to pair with it. Add a few tablespoons of your favorite booze to add another layer of flavor. Toss in a cup of fresh (or frozen) berries to make a fruity, summery pound cake. Instead of fruit, why not stir in a cup of chocolate chips and some chopped walnuts? Or infuse the butter (or buttermilk) with tea leaves, lavender flowers, fresh herbs, or dried spices. You could even stir some fresh citrus zest into the sugar before creaming it into the butter.
Once you get the basics down, the skies the limit folks!

basic bundt series | buttermilk pound cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

buttermilk pound cake bundt

1 cup (2 sticks) best quality unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter and lightly flour a 10-12 cup bundt pan. Tap out excess flour. Refrigerate pan until ready for use.

Beat butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until very light, about a minute or two. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula and add oil and beat until smooth and combined. Add sugar and beat until fluffy and pale, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing just until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix vanilla into buttermilk.
Alternate additions of the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the butter, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape the bowl after each addition. Do not over-mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan, leaving at least an inch from the top of the pan. Tap the pan on the counter several times to smooth out the batter and remove any air bubbles.
Bake for about 60 minutes, give or take 5 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean from the center of the cake.

Cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack before turning out of pan. Turn out onto the rack and cool completely before glazing.

Best Simple Bundt Cake Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons half & half

Mix sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons half & half together in a small bowl. Mix until completely smooth and free of lumps. You want the glaze to be very thick so it doesn’t slide right off the cake, but it does need to be liquid enough that it pours smoothly. If necessary, thin the glaze out with more half & half, adding only about 1/2 a teaspoon at a time to avoid thinning it too much.

Pour the glaze in a steady stream over the center of the cake. Place a pan under the rack just in case the glaze drips. Let the glaze harden for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Cake can be store, tightly covered at room temperature, for about 3 days.

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14 comments

  1. Hey Tux! I’ve missed you, but I TOTALLY get it. You managed to put into words what I as a so-called blogger have been feeling. It’s not my full time job and life always seems to get in the way. I’ve managed to get back into it a bit more lately. Readers understand and it will make them look forward to your posts even more. This recipe looks wonderful. We all know how much you love baking, your blog is practically wafting with the smell of fresh baked confections. <3

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just saw your cake on Foodgawker and wanted to stop by. First of all, this is a beautiful bundt cake in all its simplicity. I just want to gaze at these pictures.

    I completely get what you mean about blogging and the need to scale back. I recently returned to blogging after a year hiatus. This time around without the self induced pressure of sticking to a set timeline. If feels so much better. And congratulations on the success of your shop!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! I’m so glad you found me!
      I’m also really glad to hear that you decided to get back into blogging after your hiatus. It’s great to give yourself time off, but it sure feels good to get back to the things you (and I) love too!

      Like

  3. I just really love you for posting this. Golly, I’ve been having the same exact feelings about blogging for some time now, but I wasn’t sure how to express it in words…until you so eloquently did so here!!

    I love the part about deserving a life outside of blogging. Isn’t it so funny how we feel so guilty for actually living our lives?! I always catch myself getting down about not posting regularly, or feeling like my pictures suck, or not having a ton of Instagram followers, or some other blog related thing that doesn’t actually matter. I feel like often I revisit the “what do i really want the blog to be?” conversation with myself, and most of the time, the answer is “it’s my creative outlet” or “a fun hobby.” And yet, I still obsess to the point that the last few posts haven’t been fun at all…it feels like more of a chore, which defeats the purpose in the first place.

    Anyhow, you and your blog have inspired me a lot over the years – the times when I’ve been MIA, I’ll see you post something and it encourages me to get back at it. But maybe i need to take a cue from you this time too, and just call a spade a spade and stop feeling so gosh darn guilty all the time! I love that you’re breaking out from behind the screen and getting out in the world and exploring. I’d rather have an awesome REAL life than one that only looks great on camera :)

    I’ll totally miss reading your blogs, but it will just make it even more special when you post from now on! And like duh, I’ll just stalk you on Facebook.

    Love this idea of the basic bundt – funnily enough, i don’t actually have a bundt pan, but i think it’s my next kitchen purchase :) Let me know which you recommend for a first timer! I always get really concerned about the cake not coming out of the pan lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lindsay!

      Bajillion instagram followers or not, your photos are GORGEOUS and your posts always have me in stitches so keep on doing what you’re doing!

      As for bundt pans, whatever you do make sure it’s a nordicware pan! They’re really the best! And the cast aluminum pans are much better and sturdier than the thin colorful ones.
      When it comes to shapes, my two favorite shapes they offer are their “heritage” pan and their “elegant party” pan. They’re both beautiful and modern but the designs are simple enough for any cake you’d want to bake in them, and they’re not so detailed that you have to worry about how the cake will release after baking.
      Make sure you always butter and flour your pan, or invest in that baking pan spray that has flour in it already.

      Liked by 1 person

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