Every time I make a bundt cake, I am reminded anew why they are so brilliant. The number of cakes I make varies enormously. When I am writing a baking book, for example, I have been known to make around 20 cakes in a day. There was one recipe that took me 9 attempts to perfect in the Hungry Student Baking Book as the high proportion of lemon juice really affected the balance. Every recipe I am happy with is then re-tested three times independently by my team of testers to ensure it’s absolutely perfect and works for everyone at home.
All this work means my recipes should work really well for you at home, but it also means there is a lot of cake hanging around. Unless I am recipe testing, I tend only to make it for special occasions, presents or if I am visiting or receiving friends and family. This is particularly the case with bundt cakes, as they really do produce a large cake.
Bundt is the general term for these ring shaped moulds, but they come in a huge range of designs, which I collect. The only brand I buy are the NordicWare range, as their non-stick properties are staggeringly good. I have been given cheaper alternatives, which have stuck horribly. They are quite expensive – around £30 each – but will last a lifetime and can save a lot of hassle when you need to produce a special cake. The Heritage bundt tin is my favourite and this recipe is easy and delicious. It flew out of my cafe when I put it on the menu this summer.
This is an easy cake to make all year round, but I feel it works especially well in the winter when oranges are at their very best. I always make homemade candied peel and keep a jar in the fridge. A few thin slices decorating the top of the this cake look and taste wonderful.
- 300g golden caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 225ml sunflower oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of one large orange, finely grated (I use a Microplane)
- 250g self-raising flour
- 75g cocoa powder (must be sifted)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 225ml milk – either whole milk or soy
- To decorate
- 100g milk chocolate
- Juice of half a large orange
- 25g candied orange peel
- 2tbsp icing sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 160C/ Gas Mark 3. Grease a Nordic Ware bundt tin well and set aside.
- Place the sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla and orange into a stand mixer, or bowl with an electric hand mixer and whisk well. The mixture will be come slightly paler, fluffier and aerated.
- Whisk in the flour cocoa, baking powder and finally milk until you have a smooth and fairly thin cake batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for around 50 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes in the tin before carefully turning the cake out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
- When the bundt is cool, it can be decorated. For a quick option, simply dust with icing sugar. For a chocolate orange topping, melt the chocolate and whisk in the orange juice. Whisk well so that no lumps appear in the icing. Drizzle the melted chocolate quickly onto the cake, before it has chance to melt. Top with candied orange peel or an extra treat.
- Serve cut into slices with tea, or even with some vanilla ice cream for an indulgent pudding.
- This cake will keep for around 5 days in a sealed container.