fall bundt cake

spiced apple cider bundt cake with buttered bourbon glaze #bundtbakers

It’s the third Thursday of the month y’all! You (probably) know what that means!

spiced apple cider bundt cake with buttered bourbon glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

Bundt bonanza baby! #bundtbakers is back and this month’s theme is BOOZE!!!

Now that’s my kinda theme! I knew when I joined the bundt bakers that booze was bound to turn up as a theme sooner or later, and I’ve been waiting patiently since day one. When I hosted a few months back I almost chose it myself, but I decided that I shouldn’t force it. Thankfully I didn’t have too long to wait!

I want to say a big big thank you to our host, Lauren of From Gate to Plate, and remind everyone to keep scrolling down after the recipe to see all of the beautiful booze based bundts everyone baked this month!

spiced apple cider bundt cake with buttered bourbon glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

I wanted my bundt this month to have a nice assertively boozey flavor, but also wanted the cake to be seasonally appropriate with some kind of Autumnal produce.

After weighing several options I decided on an apple spice cake with a boozey glaze. I love the flavor of apple cider spiked with a bit of whiskey so I figured I couldn’t go wrong turning that into a cake. I opted for bourbon because it has such a nice sweet caramel-y flavor, but in a pinch you could use other whiskeys. Scotch might be a bit too smoky, though that actually could be an interesting addition.

spiced apple cider bundt cake with buttered bourbon glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

As fate would have it, I’d have a few stumbling blocks before I’d end up with a finished cake to slice into.

Early on I had a feeling that the batter was too liquid, but I’d gotten the recipe from a trusted source so I powered through and put the cake in the oven. The minute it came out of the oven I knew it wasn’t good. The cake seemed like it had hardly risen at all, but within minutes it managed to start to sink in the center. I waited for it to cool a bit before un-molding, but the minute I lifted the pan off of the cooling rack I knew something had gone very wrong. The texture was dense and rubbery, almost flan-like, and not in a good way. I think the addition of a small amount of bourbon to the batter may have made things even worse, but I hadn’t made any serious changes or substitutions so I still don’t fully understand what went wrong.

spiced apple cider bundt cake with buttered bourbon glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

Not being one to accept failure, especially in the face of a #bundtbakers deadline, I asked Russell to run to the store for me while I washed the pan and took out more butter to soften.

The second time around I decreased the amount of liquid and apple and increased the amount of flour. Before the batter even went into the pan I knew things were going to be okay.

spiced apple cider bundt cake with buttered bourbon glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

Aaaand then I went to make the glaze.

I thought a brown sugar bourbon glaze would compliment the flavors in the cake really nicely, but when I tried creaming the brown sugar with butter it refused to dissolve and the resulting glaze had a terrible gritty texture. Ugh. Seriously?

So, that batch went in the garbage along with my first cake. Next I tried melting the butter and brown sugar together in a saucepan to get rid of the grit factor, but again, disaster. I don’t know if my brown sugar was old or something, or if I was just having an off day. Either way, two cakes had been baked and I was about to make a third glaze.

Thankfully the third time really was a charm, and the glaze was perfect both in texture and flavor. Phew!

spiced apple cider bundt cake with buttered bourbon glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

In the end, this cake was worth all the effort and frustration.

It’s unbelievably moist and wonderfully tender with loads of fresh apple flavor and plenty of spice. Like apple pie in cake form, with a hint of sweet bourbon to round everything out. It doesn’t get much better than that, especially this time of year. Bourbon has such a rich caramel-y flavor that the buttered bourbon glaze perfectly compliments all that apple and cider and spice. The glaze does have a kick to it, but you get such a small amount in every bite of cake that it feels really well balanced. None of the alcohol gets cooked out of the glaze though, so this cake is strictly for adults. Sorry kiddos!

spiced apple cider bundt cake with buttered bourbon glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

Spiced Apple Cider Bundt Cake with Buttered Bourbon Glaze

adapted from Serious Eats

1 stick unsalted butter, softened (plus more for pan)
1 medium firm apple (I used Braeburn), peeled and grated (about 3/4 cup grated apple)
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons (1 oz) bourbon whiskey
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Generously butter and flour a non-stick 10 cup bundt pan and refrigerate until ready for use.
In a medium bowl, mix together the grated apples, apple cider, buttermilk, bourbon, and vanilla. Set aside.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter and white and brown sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating fully between each addition.  Mix in canola oil until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding 1/2 of the liquid mixture. Mix to combine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat with the remaining flour and liquid, ending with flour.
Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or just until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool for 20 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a cooling rack to remove from the pan. Cool completely before drizzling with glaze.

Buttered Bourbon Glaze:
4 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoon bourbon
1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

To make the glaze, melt and slightly cool the butter. Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar and bourbon until smooth and free of lumps. If too thick, you can add a few more drops of bourbon until it reaches the desired consistency. Drizzle or pour over the top of the completely cooled cake and allow the glaze to dry before serving.

spiced apple cider bundt cake with buttered bourbon glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

Check out this bounty of boozey bundts! They all sound amazing, and I can’t believe how much our group is growing!

spiced harvest bundt cake with cream cheese glaze #bundtbakers

It’s that time again friends! #Bundtbakers is back, and this month is extra special to me for a couple of reasons.

spiced harvest bundt cake with cream cheese glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

It’s my first turn to host this month, which means I’m in charge of gathering the links to everyone’s bundts and sharing the list with each participant to share on their blog. Hosting also means that I have the honor of choosing this month’s theme! September is one of my favorite months of the year because it’s still warm and sunny enough to spend time outdoors, but there’s a slight chill in the air and you can literally smell fall coming around the corner. The best part of September to me though, is the produce. This is the time of year that all those fall flavors start making their way back into our farmers markets and kitchens, and I could not be more excited about it. Pumpkins and winter squash and apples and pears and root vegetables and cranberries and figs! Be still my heart.

Given my unhealthy obsession fondness for fall produce, I decided “Autumn Harvest” would be the perfect theme for September. Make sure you check out the bounty of bundts below the recipe! They all look soooo deliciously autumnal.

spiced harvest bundt cake with cream cheese glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

The other reason this month’s #bundtbakers is so special to me is the reason this particular cake came to be.

I’ve mentioned, a few times I believe, my good friends who are planning a wedding. Those of you who’ve been reading since the beginning may even remember that these friends inspired me to start blogging in the first place. Shortly after Russell and I were married, our friends were engaged and we had them over to our place to pass on some wedding supplies and talk through the beginning stages of their planning process. I made a big fancy brunch, and when I served a 3 layer pistachio cake for dessert they insisted that I start a blog about my cooking and baking. I habitually posted photos of my food to facebook and instagram, but I was sure that writing an actual blog was out of my league. After another glass (or two) of wine though, they had me convinced and the very next morning I started Brooklyn Homemaker.

spiced harvest bundt cake with cream cheese glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

As their date has drawn closer and closer, Russell and I have tried to do our part to help them through the stressful and complicated business of planning a wedding. They really enjoyed several aspects of our wedding, so we’ve been giving them tips and advice on how we pulled a few of those elements together. I know that wedding planning is torture to some, but I loved every second of planning my wedding, so I’m happier than you can ever know that I have the opportunity to help someone else with their planning.

spiced harvest bundt cake with cream cheese glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

One element of our wedding that they really enjoyed was that our caterer’s mother baked us some pies to serve along with our cake. Since my baking has played such an interesting role in our friendship, they asked if I might be able to bake them a few things for their dessert table. Of course, I was thrilled to agree. We decided on two different types of desserts; a pie, and a bundt cake; two of each so there will be enough to go around. Their wedding is less than a month away now, so I wanted the desserts to be appropriate for the fall season. The type of pie has already been decided, but I’ve had a bit of a hard time choosing what kind of bundt to make.

spiced harvest bundt cake with cream cheese glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

So, forever indecisive, I just baked two different cakes. NBD.
I thought it could be fun to have a tasting and let the bride and groom decide.

I loved the flavors of last month’s #bundtbakers cake, my honey glazed cornmeal cake, so much that I thought I’d try to give it an Autumnal makeover. Instead of blackberries I substituted diced pear, which I thought would pair well (get it? har har) with the flavors of rustic earthy cornmeal and sweet floral honey.
Next I made a play on a carrot cake, an autumn-produce-packed “harvest cake” with grated carrots, parsnips, apples, and pears. I made sure to add plenty of fall spices, and topped the cake with a cinnamon cream cheese glaze. Then I packed both cakes up in bakery boxes and headed over to their house for a fancy cake tasting.

spiced harvest bundt cake with cream cheese glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

While both were absolutely delicious, the clear winner was the spiced harvest cake.

This bundt has a flavor very similar to carrot cake, but with a bit more spice and a richer flavor. The addition of brown sugar helps keep the cake super moist and adds a caramel-y depth of flavor. The combination of apples and pears gives that traditional “carrot cake” flavor a slightly sweeter & fruitier edge, but the addition of parsnips with the carrots keeps everything perfectly earthy and vegetal. If you want to add walnuts or pecans I think they’d be great, but I left them out to accommodate wedding guests with nut allergies. There’s plenty of spice, with an extra boost of cinnamon in the sweet and tangy cream cheese glaze. The crumb is moist and tender and, well covered, I think this cake will travel really well upstate for their wedding.

I’m literally giddy with excitement.

spiced harvest bundt cake with cream cheese glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

Spiced Harvest Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

adapted from Ree Drummond for Food Network

Butter and flour for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup grated parsnips
1/2 cup grated ripe bartlett pears (Bosc should work too)
1/2 cup grated granny smith apples (or any tart firm apple)

Cream Cheese Glaze:
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-4 tablespoons milk

Butter and flour a non-stick bundt pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together the sugars, oil and eggs in a large bowl. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and combine. Then add the grated carrots, parsnips, apples, and pears, and mix well. Pour the batter into prepare Bundt pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. Leave to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until it’s soft and smooth and light. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice and blend until there are no lumps. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition until the glaze reaches the desired thick yet drizzle-able consistency.

Well covered in an airtight container, this cake should keep at room temperature about 3 or 4 days.

spiced harvest bundt cake with cream cheese glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

I’m so excited about how many bakers are participating in this months event! There are a total of 20 outstanding Autumn Harvest themed bundts to drool over, so make sure you follow the links and check them all out. Every single one sounds unbelievably delicious and I wish I could have a slice of each and every one!


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 foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. 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.