#1 – 48 Recipes Challenge: Recipe 28 – Triple Berry Buttermilk Bundt Cake

This month’s recipe is once again inspired by my local Clandestine Cake Club, which in July celebrated its third birthday so the theme was triple.  I’m not yet confident enough with baking to attempt a triple layer cake, so it needed to be triple flavour, hence a Triple Berry Buttermilk Bundt cake.  It’s a new technique for me as I’ve never made a bundt cake before (another one of those things I’d filed in the ‘too difficult’ box).  In fact, I didn’t even own a bundt tin so my first task was to track one down.

Creating the cake batter was simple and followed fairly standard baking procedure.  The thing I was worried about was ensuring that the cake didn’t stick to the tin, which is often an issue with bundt cakes because the tins are so decoratively shaped that there are lots of surfaces, angles and corners for the cake to stick to.  There seemed to be conflicting advice on how to avoid this.  The recipe I was using advised greasing the tin with butter, and after cooking allowing the cake to cool for 30 minutes in the tin before turning out.  Online advice suggested both buttering and flouring the tin or using cake release spray (which I don’t have), but other advice said not to flour the tin as doing so would result in a white floury coating on the finished cake.  Some recipes suggested turning the cake out warm, others suggested that allowing it to fully cool within the tin was the only way to ensure the cake came out intact.  Confusing indeed for a novice…

I chose to follow the recipe I was using so I just buttered my non-stick tin.  I made the batter, spooned it into the bundt tin and popped it into the oven.  As the recipe says, right up until the last minute it didn’t look like it was going to cook through, but then it suddenly did and the skewer was coming out clean.  I took it out of the oven and things looked promising.  It was shrinking away from the sides of the tin as I hoped it would.  I made the decision to leave it in the tin until it was totally cool as I didn’t want to risk it not coming out intact.

Looking good, but stuck in the tin!

Triple Berry Buttermilk Bundt Cake – looking good, at this stage

Sadly, once the cake was cool it wouldn’t budge.  I tapped it, I shook it, I banged it on the worktop.  Not moving.  I tried to slide a spatula down inside the tin but was too worried about damaging the shape of the cake.  I turned to google for help.  Clearly getting a bundt cake out of a tin is a common problem as there were lots of hits.  I tried steaming it out of the tin by pouring boiling water onto a clean tea towel and draping it over the cake.  Made no difference whatsoever.  I read all about the science of why butter and flour is so much better than just butter and wished I’d floured the tin after all.  I read a lot about how heat is better to release the cake and thought maybe I should have tried to turn it out before it had cooled.  But, I didn’t.  I was starting to make serious plans to try to turn this stuck cake into something presentable for the Cake Club picnic.  The last remaining suggestion online, clearly marked as a last resort, was to freeze the cake in the tin, and then try to release it.  In desperation, since nothing else was working, into the freezer my bundt tin and stuck cake went.

12 hours later I got it out of the freezer, gave it a couple of smart taps and turned it upside down.  Still a non mover.  I left it upside down in disgust and went to bed.  Miraculously, overnight it released itself with only some minor stickage which I could easily hide with the glaze.  Phew!

Triple Berry Buttermilk Bundt Cake - finally released!

Triple Berry Buttermilk Bundt Cake – finally released!

To finish the cake off, it was a case of simply mixing up the glaze, pouring it on and then my berry bundt was ready to take its place amongst the picnic.

The finished cake

The finished cake

The taste didn’t disappoint.  A lovely moist flavoursome cake, quite dense in texture but the buttermilk in the batter and the lemon juice in the glaze gave a lovely sharpness.  It went down very well at the picnic and the leftovers were much appreciated by my colleagues.  One to make again although possibly flouring the tin this time, or maybe investing in some cake release spray!

Scores are:

Healthiness – 2/10 (it’s got fruit in but cake is never really going to be good for you, as such)

Ease of preparation – 5/10 (the cake and the glaze are really easy to make, getting it out of the tin is more challenging)

Flavour/taste – 10/10  (I’m not sure this could be improved, it was a really lovely cake)

If you want to give it a try, here’s the recipe:  http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/06/triple-berry-summer-buttermilk-bundt/

Let me know how you get on with the release!


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