Christmas bundt cake
- November 2022
- Serves 12-14
- Hands-on time 25 min. Oven time 40-45 min
Create a festive showstopper with our Christmas bundt cake. Master the base recipe, but feel free to adapt the recipe to make the bundt perfectly suit your tastebuds.
Have you seen our heavenly red velvet bundt cake?
- 16.9g (9.2g saturated)
- 54g (31.7g sugars)
- 220g unsalted butter
- 400g plain flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp spice: pick from ground ginger, cinnamon or mixed spice
- 210g syrup: pick from golden syrup or a mix of golden syrup and treacle
- 265g sugar: pick from light or dark brown soft sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
- 4 medium free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- 80ml liquid: pick from whole milk, strong coffee or fruit or citrus juice (plus the zest)
- 80ml alcohol: pick any liqueur/spirit (or, if not using alcohol, another 80ml of the liquid above)
- 50g extras: pick from toasted chopped nuts, dried fruit or choc chips
- 2.4 litre bundt tin (or see Tips)
- Heat the oven to 160˚C fan/gas 4. Melt 20g of the butter. Brush the bundt tin with half the melted butter, being careful to get it in all the grooves. Chill the tin for 5 minutes, then coat with the remaining melted butter and return to the fridge while you make the cake batter.
- Mix the flour, bicarb, a pinch of salt and your chosen spice in a large bowl. Put the remaining butter in a small pan, then add your chosen syrup, sugar and vanilla (if using). Heat gently until melted and combined (don’t let it boil).
- Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the warm syrup mixture, followed by the eggs. Stir until combined, then add your chosen liquid (and zest if using citrus), then your chosen liqueur or spirit (if using). Fold in nuts, chocolate or dried fruit. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes (no more), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. If the base has domed slightly, you can trim this off once cool. Decorate however you like (see Know How), then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Sizes: Our bundt cake recipe uses the melting method, where fat and sugar are melted together before the eggs are added. That means it’s easy to scale up or down for large or multiple tins. Our base recipe uses four eggs, so you can halve or quarter it easily – divide the rest of the ingredients by the same amount. Or double the mixture and use eight eggs.
Bundt tins usually specify the quantity they’ll hold in litres. Our recipe works for a 2.4 litre tin, but also a 2.1 litre bundt ‘quartet’ pan (which has holes for four medium cakes). Small bundt (bundtlette) trays, usually with six or nine holes, are 0.8-1.2 litres, so a two-egg batter would work. For the tiny bundt tins with a 0.3 litre capacity, a quarter quantity (one-egg batter) would fill the tray twice.
Wrap the cooled, un-iced cake and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature, then decorate.
Okay, so now you have your perfectly formed bundt cake with a clear-cut design, fragrant with flavour. It’s time to give it that final flourish and ensure jaws drop to the floor as you enter the room and put it on the table.
It isn’t vital, but brushing the cake with a syrup while it cools will add extra moisture and flavour. Making a syrup requires nothing more than dissolving sugar in a hot liquid. Choose the liquid based on the flavours of your cake – either using the same liquid that’s gone into the batter or something complementary (syrup made with lime juice works well with a rum and ginger cake, for example). We recommend citrus juice, a 50/50 mixture of booze and water or a 50/50 mixture of booze and coffee. To make your syrup, put 100g caster sugar and 140ml of your liquid in a saucepan. Bring it to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes until reduced by half, then transfer to a shallow bowl to cool completely before brushing over the cake.
A thick white icing poured over the top will instantly turn a bundt cake into a snowy mountain peak, so it’s a no-brainer at Christmas. Put 100g icing sugar in a jug and add 1 tsp just-boiled water. Sir well until smooth, then add a little more water, drop by drop, until the icing reaches a thick, pourable consistency. Drizzle over the cake and leave to set. You can use citrus juice or coffee instead of water if you have any left over from the cake batter. You could also replace 20g of the icing sugar with cocoa powder to make a chocolate icing.
A simple dusting of icing sugar is one of our favourite ways to decorate a bundt cake. You can also top the cake with fruit and nuts. In-season citrus cut into wedges (or, if you have the time, segmented) is a great final addition. You can cook down frozen berries with a little sugar to make a quick compote for spooning over, or grate over a snow shower of white chocolate. If you’re using nuts, give them a good toast to boost their flavour. You can even go a step further and coat the (still hot) toasted nuts in golden syrup, then cook for a few minutes longer to candy them.
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