bundt pan

basic bundt series: chocolate bundt cake

Hey there! Remember me?

basic bundt series | chocolate bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

If you follow me on instagram, you probably already know from my stories that I have been a busy busy BUSY little bee. If you don’t follow me, btw, what the hell man?

Not cool.

basic bundt series | chocolate bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

In the months since the holidays, I designed and renovated another hair shop with my husband and wonderful amazing mother, and now Maxwell’s has a second location in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. It’s taken every ounce of strength in my being not to call it “Maxwell’s 2, Electric Boogaloo”. Sadly for me, but more appropriately, Russell decided to keep the same name, Maxwell’s for Hair, or Maxwell’s Crown Heights if you need to keep the two locations straight.
It’s absolutely nuts, but you guys, we’re a chain! (Oh Spud!)

I also moved into a new position at work, which is amazing and exciting and perfect for me, but getting used to the new role has taken a lot out of me, which is another reason that I’ve been MIA on this end.

Oh yeah, and I decided to paint our bedroom, which basically turned into redecorating the entire room from floor to ceiling. I’ve brought some of you along with me on this journey via instagram stories, but just to re-cap, I painted the walls, painted the ceiling, got new bedding, added a bunch of purdy new potted plants, and after an exhaustive search, decided on new curtains.
If I can get my shit together maybe I’ll post about it, because there have actually been even more changes in there since I last blogged about my apartment, but who am I kidding?
No promises.

basic bundt series | chocolate bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Thankfully, things are beginning to calm down around here and it feels like, at least temporarily, life is getting back to normal. The new shop is doing well, I’m adjusting to the new position, and the bedroom is like 93% done.

basic bundt series | chocolate bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

I also got a new oven for Christmas which has not seen nearly enough action, so now that things are calming down I’m hoping to get back into baking much more regularly. Just in time to get back into the kitchen, Nordic Ware released a stunning new bundt pan that you know I just HAD to have.

Their Brilliance pan is modern yet timeless, perfectly elegant, and absolutely gorgeous. I’ve said it time and time again, but on top of being beautiful, Nordic Ware bundt pans are sturdy, heavy-duty, ultra-non-stick, and unbelievably durable. You know I bake a butt load of bundts y’all, so trust me, these pans hold up well to a beating!

They’re also a family owned company that still makes their beautiful bundt pans right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. The bundt pan is by far their most famous and popular product, and no one makes bundt pans as well as they do.

basic bundt series | chocolate bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

I’ve been trying to perfect a chocolate bundt for a good long while now to share as part of my Basic Bundt Series. I’m always looking for bundt recipes that are classic and simple, relatively easy to prepare, impossibly delicious on their own, but also customizable with a few simple changes or substitutions.

After more recipe testing than I’d like to admit (it’s written all over my waistline), I’ve finally perfected the most amazing chocolate bundt cake the world (or at least my mouth) has ever known!

It’s perfectly moist and tender, with rich chocolate flavor thanks to the addition of both dutch process cocoa and mini chocolate chips, and has a nice depth from the addition of both coffee and brown sugar. It’s also just sweet enough without being cloying, and the best part? No stand mixer! The whole thing can be thrown together with a big bowl, a whisk, and a silicone spatula!

basic bundt series | chocolate bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

A coworker of mine described the flavor of this cake as “Oreos dipped in milk” which honestly might be the highest praise any of my cakes have ever received.

Ever.

Part of that “Oreo” flavor definitely comes from using dutch process cocoa, which is darker and richer, more chocolatey and less cocoa-y, than traditional baking cocoa. It’s definitely worth looking for, but if you can’t find it, don’t worry! This cake will still be incredibly moist and delicious and chocolatey, if just a bit lighter in color and less Oreo-like in flavor.

basic bundt series | chocolate bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

I went with a basic white glaze because I thought it would contrast nicely against the deep dark brown of the cake, and I honestly didn’t think any more chocolate was necessary. If you wanted to though, you could certainly go for a ganache or cocoa glaze instead.

In terms of customization, the sky’s the limit with this basic chocolate cake. One of my favorite ways to jazz it up is to zest an orange or two into the granulated sugar before mixing it in with the dry ingredients, and then swapping out the brewed coffee for some fresh squeezed orange juice!
You could also swap out the mini chocolate chips for a cup of fresh raspberries or halved pitted cherries to add some summer brightness.
If you wanted a more powerful coffee flavor you could also mix a couple teaspoons of espresso powder in with the coffee, or make a glaze with a coffee liqueur. Speaking of adding liqueur to the glaze, why not go nuts with some Amaretto or Frangelico, or even go all out with bourbon or rum?

Gussied up and personalized, or un-fussed with and made as written, this chocolate cake is a definite crowd pleaser y’all!

basic bundt series | chocolate bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Chocolate Bundt Cake

1 cup hot brewed coffee
3/4 cup dutch process cocoa powder (plus more for pan) *see note
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter (plus more for pan)
1/2 cup peanut (or vegetable) oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional) **see note

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Brush (or spray) a 10 to 12 cup bundt pan with softened butter (or oil), and add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder. Shake the cocoa around the pan until evenly distributed, and tap out any excess.

In a large measuring cup or microwave safe bowl, combine the coffee and cocoa powder and whisk out any lumps. If the coffee is still very hot, add the stick of butter and stir until melted or, if necessary, microwave it just until the butter is melted. Whisk in oil, buttermilk, and vanilla to cool the mixture down a bit before adding the eggs. Then add the eggs and brown sugar and whisk until well blended and free of lumps.

In a separate bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, flour, salt, & baking soda and powder. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the liquid ingredients. With a silicone spatula, stir just until there are no visible streaks of dry flour left. Then stir in the mini chocolate chips if using, just until evenly distributed.

Pour batter into the prepared pan, not more than 3/4 of the way up the sides. If using a 12 cup pan, all the batter will fit. In a 10 cup pan, you may want to reserve just a tiny bit to avoid a mess in your oven. Bake in the center of the oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the cake no longer jiggles, and the top springs back when gently pressed with a fingertip. You could try a toothpick or cake tester but the melted chocolate chips may give you a false reading.

Cool for about 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 1/4 a teaspoon at a time to avoid thinning it too much.

Place a sheet pan under the cooling rack to catch any drips, and pour the glaze in a steady stream over the cake.. Let the glaze harden for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

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

cooks notes:
* I use a dutch process cocoa for a deep, rich chocolate flavor, but if you can’t find it, regular cocoa powder will work.
** If you use regular size chocolate chips or chunks, they’ll likely sink to the bottom of the pan and could cause the cake to stick. The minis however, are light enough to stay evenly distributed throughout the batter as it bakes.

Advertisements

earl grey bundt cake with milk and honey glaze #bundtbakers

The first time I ever tried Earl Grey tea I was pretty sure it was one of the most disgusting things I’d ever tasted.

earl grey bundt cake with milk and honey glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

I was waiting tables at a high end restaurant in Ithaca, NY, and the owners took coffee and tea very seriously. They also owned a coffee shop in College Town, so their passion for quality teas translated into their restaurants. We had some fancy imported loose leaf teas that we would bag up and steep to order, and one day I decided to forego my usual latte to see what all the fuss was about.

Earl Grey is very floral, almost perfume-y, and my unrefined pallet didn’t quite know what to make of it. To me, that first sip tasted a bit like soap, or like drinking perfume straight from the bottle. I may have even done a cartoon style spit-take right there in the kitchen, next to the espresso machine. In my defense, at the time I wasn’t really a tea drinker, and besides the occasional glass of iced tea I was strictly a coffee man. I went right back to my latte and didn’t try Earl Grey again for a good long while.

A few years later I started opening up to hot tea, and eventually, I gave the Earl another shot. These days I totally love it and always keep a big jar of loose leaf Earl Grey on the shelf (although I still take it with honey and lots of milk, never black).

earl grey bundt cake with milk and honey glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

Given my newfound love for it, I’ve been wanting to bake with Earl Grey for a long while but the inspiration just hasn’t come to me. I’ve been playing with the idea of making some cute little financiers or tea cakes (get it? Tea flavored tea cakes?) but I just never got around to it. The idea would come back to me every once in a while, but I’d just keep putting it off and waiting for the right moment.

earl grey bundt cake with milk and honey glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

Enter the #bundtbakers.

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted a bundt recipe in a couple months, basically since confessing that I wanted to take some time to focus on my health. I’ve actually been doing really well and finally feel like I deserve to let myself eat the occasional slice of cake again. Even if I weren’t feeling better I don’t think I could have stayed away from my bundt baking buddies much longer anyway!

When I saw that Laura from Baking in Pyjamas had chosen “Beverages” as the bundt theme for October, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to get back to my bundt baking roots. I’m so so happy to be back, and all these beautiful beverage-y bundts are making me thirsty hungry!

earl grey bundt cake with milk and honey glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

Another reason I wanted to get back into bundt baking is this new pan I just got!

I know I’ve gushed about Nordic Ware bundt pans before, but get ready, here I go again. Their line of cast aluminum pans are sturdy enough that they don’t bend or warp, and just thick enough that they bake super evenly with no irregular browning. They’re super non-stick too, and even though I do always butter and flour my pans before baking anyway, I can honestly say that I’ve never once had a cake stick, even when using super sticky ingredients like marshmallows or caramel. The one time I tried using a different pan though, this happened… They’re also built to last, and even with all the bundt baking I do, all of my pans are just as wonderful and just as non-stick as they were the day I bought them. If all that isn’t enough, their pans are also made right here in the good ol’ US of A.

Nordic Ware bundt pans are also available in a huge selection of beautiful designs and styles, a few of which you’ve already seen here. Their latest pan, the bundt squared, is really fun and I’m so excited to have one of my own! The square shape puts a sort of modern twist on an elegant classic design, and I just love it. I have to admit though, that one of my coworker’s mind was completely blown by the square shape. I posted a preview of this cake on instagram a few weeks ago and she texted me the minute she saw it. “A SQUARE BUNDT????! Is nothing sacred?” Even after getting to taste test the cake, she kept bringing it up. “This cake is really good, but a square bundt pan?”

So, I guess this square shape might not be for the traditionalists among you… Hahaha!
But guess what? Nordic Ware invented the bundt pan, so as far as I’m concerned they can do no wrong.

earl grey bundt cake with milk and honey glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

With the theme and the shape decided on, my next step was to figure out how to get that distinctive Earl Grey tea flavor into my cake. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of just grinding the tea leaves up and putting them directly into the batter, because I wasn’t confident that the flavor would really come through that way. I was also worried that the ground tea leaves wouldn’t soften up enough in baking, and feared that people would be eating a cake with a sandy texture and a bland flavor.

My first thought was to infuse the tea leaves in buttermilk like I did for last year’s hibiscus lime bundt cake, but while wasting too much time on pinterest one day I came across another idea. To my surprise (and relief) there was an entire blog post about baking with tea! I gotta tell you, their solution is absolutely genius, and I never would have thought of it myself.

earl grey bundt cake with milk and honey glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

To extract as much bold tea flavor as possible, they recommend infusing your tea leaves in butter! I cannot sing enough praises for this method. This cake tastes EXACTLY like a warm cup of Earl Grey tea.

This method uses up a lot of tea leaves though, and you want to try to use the freshest, highest quality loose tea that you can find to get the best possible flavor. You’ll also need to use more butter than you think you will, as the leaves will absorb some and you won’t be able to squeeze it all back out. To get 1 cup of butter for my cake I ended up using two and a half sticks of butter and a whole cup of tea leaves.

I was expecting the butter to take on a dark brown tea color, but to my surprise after infusing it the butter took on an olive green tint. In fact, the melted liquid butter really just looked like a dark unfiltered olive oil. You may have noticed the green butter in the photo at the top of the post.

earl grey bundt cake with milk and honey glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

For a little extra Earl Grey oomph, I also added just a touch of bergamot oil. If you’re not familiar, the bergamot orange is the citrus fruit that gives Earl Grey tea it’s distinctive floral scent and flavor. Fresh Bergamot oranges, and even bergamot oil for that matter, can be a little difficult to find, so feel free to leave it out if need be. The infused butter definitely imparts loads of fresh tea flavor, I promise.

earl grey bundt cake with milk and honey glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

I knew before this cake even went into the oven that it was a winner. A stray smudge of batter licked off my finger tasted exactly like a milky, honey sweetened cup of tea. While it was baking away in the oven, my entire apartment smelled like a warm Earl Grey hug. Don’t tell anyone but I may have even put my nose right down into the center of the cake after I turned it out onto the cooling rack.

Not only does this cake have amazing flavor, but thanks to a bit of oil, it’s also super moist with an incredibly tender crumb. To top it all off and drive home the cup of tea theme, I made a simple milk and honey glaze. I happened to only have buckwheat honey on hand, which is why the glaze came out the color of milky tea. It was not intentional I swear!

earl grey bundt cake with milk and honey glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

Earl Grey Bundt Cake with Milk and Honey Glaze

2 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1.5 oz (about 1 cup) loose leaf Earl Grey tea (best quality possible)
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon bergamot oil (optional) *see note
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk, at room
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Milk and honey glaze:
2 tablespoons honey (buckwheat honey adds flavor and color, but any honey will work)
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Make tea infused butter:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low to medium heat. Once fully melted turn the heat down to low and add the tea leaves. Stir and heat over low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes more.

Place a small fine mesh strainer over a measuring cup and strain the butter. Press the tea leaves with a spatula or spoon to squeeze as much butter out as possible. You want to measure out exactly one cup of butter. If necessary add enough additional butter to make 1 cup. Discard tea leaves and refrigerate butter until completely firm.

Once firm let butter soften at room temperature for at least an hour before baking. Cold butter can be made several days ahead if kept refrigerated in a well sealed air tight container.

Make the cake: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter and flour a 10-12 cup bundt pan.

With the paddle attachment in an electric mixer, cream 1 cup of softened tea infused butter with sugar for about 5 minutes, or until very light and fluffy. Add oil, honey, and bergamot oil and mix until well combined. On low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, until just combined.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl (or measuring cup), combine the buttermilk and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour batter into prepared pan and tap on the counter to even the batter and remove air bubbles. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool for an hour or more before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Make the milk and honey glaze: 
To make the glaze combine honey, 1 tablespoon milk, and vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk in confectioner’s sugar and continue to whisk until combined and free of lumps. If too thick, you can add a few more drops (up to an additional tablespoon) of milk to thin it for easy pouring. Pour over the top of the completely cooled cake and serve.

Cake should keep, well sealed in an air tight container, for 3 to 4 days at a cool room temperature.

*note:
Different brands of bergamot oil can have different potencies, so start with no more than 1/4 teaspoon, and taste the batter before baking and see if you might enjoy a few drops more. If you can find it, the zest of fresh bergamot orange would be even better. Start with about a teaspoon of zest and taste to see if you’d like more.

earl grey bundt cake with milk and honey glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

There are so many absolutely delicious bundts this month! Please take a moment to check them out!

.

BundtBakers

.
#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving Bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundtsby following our Pinterest Board.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our homepage.

Nordic Ware bundt pan giveaway!

UPDATE: CONTEST HAS ENDED! Winner will be contacted by email

Good news everyone!

Nordic Ware Jubilee bundt pan giveaway | Brooklyn Homemaker

The amazing folks at Nordic Ware have offered to giveaway one of their beautiful Jubilee bundt pans to a reader of Brooklyn Homemaker. Nordic Ware invented the bundt pan, and I use their heavy duty cast aluminum line of pans for all of my bundt baking adventures.

Nordic Ware Jubilee bundt pan giveaway | Brooklyn Homemaker

Nordic Ware has been around since 1947, and has been making all of their cookware right here in the US. If you want to know more about Nordic Ware and the birth story of the bundt pan, check out my the brief bundt history I posted back in July, along with my recipe for roasted cherry kugelhopf.

Nordic Ware Jubilee bundt pan giveaway | Brooklyn Homemaker

Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been around the bundt baking block, and I have to say their pans are the absolute best! Their cast aluminum line is sturdy and heavy enough to bake really evenly, and I’ve never had any trouble with dry edges or over (or under) cooking in spots. Even though some of their bundt pans are very intricately designed, my cakes have always come out without a hitch, thanks to their excellent non-stick coating (along with a healthy coating of butter or cooking spray).

spiced harvest bundt cake with cream cheese glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

The swirled diamond shape of the Jubilee bundt pan was inspired by the diamond jubilee, and the resulting pan has a gorgeous beauty that’s both modern and classic. Just to be sure that you fully comprehend the stunning good looks of this pan, I’m going to fill this post with my favorite photos of cakes I’ve baked in the Jubilee. The diamond shapes aren’t just there for looks either! They create little pockets in your cakes that collect soaks, glazes, and icings; resulting in cakes that are just as moist and delicious as they are beautiful!

honey glazed blackberry cornmeal bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

If you like big bundts and you cannot lie, please check out the contest rules below, and comment on this post for your chance to win your very own Jubilee bundt pan from Nordic Ware!

So exciting!!!

Nordic Ware Jubilee bundt pan giveaway | Brooklyn Homemaker

Contest rules:

Entries will be accepted until, and contest will end on, Tuesday January 20th, at 6PM EST.

To enter, please follow these links and “like” both Brooklyn Homemaker and Nordic Ware on facebook. Then come back and leave the comment “I like big bundts!” on this post, and tell me what type of bundt you’ll bake first if you win!

Only one comment per entrant, please.  Sorry, but immediate family is excluded. The winning pan can only be shipped within the contiguous United States, so entrants must live or have a mailing address within the lower 48. Winner will be chosen, using a random number generator, from the total number of comments when the contest comes to a close. Winner will be contacted via email for shipping information.