Goodness gracious, this was one fantastic cake. Firm, tightly crumbed, and packed with more butter 'n eggs than should be allowed, this simple yet flavorful cake is the perfect vehicle for sauces made from summer's bounty of fruits. Picture it: a nice slab of this cake covered in strawberry sauce and--since there's not quite enough butterfat in the recipe--a big fat dollop of whipped cream. Or maybe lemon curd and fresh blueberries tickle your fancy. Those would work quite beautifully as well, as would any number of sorbets. My family made fast work of this cake, and oh how I wish I had more so I could try out more accompaniments!
- Good news: you don't need a fancy mixer (or any mixer at all) to make this cake.
- Bad news: you'll need a food processor. A blender might work in a pinch.
- Proceed with caution if you only have a 12-cup bundt pan. High-rising, overflowing batters seem to be trend for me and my oven, so I (thankfully) chose to use a 15-cup bundt pan. Use your judgement, and if it looks like too much batter for your 12-cup pan you can always make a few cupcakes with the excess batter.
- I found this cake to be a bit on the sweeter side of how I like my cakes, but not unbearably so. We served this with a sweet-tart strawberry sauce, which was a perfect foil for all that sugar. Next time I might try reducing the sugar to 2 cups; hopefully the texture isn't too terribly adversely affected. This recipe is from Cook's Country--a division of America's Test Kitchen, so this recipe has been tested and re-tested numerous times...and they might have already tried reducing the sugar and failed. Those folks sure do know their stuff, but that won't stop me from trying to tweak it ;)
- It's probably best that your guests don't know just how much butter is in this one. Just serve smaller slices and load the dessert plate with fruits. This cake is too good not to try!
Classic Yellow Bundt Cake (serves 12 to 14)
From Cook's Country
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
8 large eggs, at room temperature
2 ½ cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pound unsalted butter (4 sticks), melted and hot
Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 12-cup bundt pan with vegetable oil spray. (CAUTION: you might not need all of the batter. I used my 15-cup bundt pan, and the finished cake rose to the top of the pan. If you use the 12-cup pan, be on the lookout for overflow.) Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
Process the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a food processor until combined, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, pour the melted butter through the feed tube in a steady stream, about 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
Sift one third of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and whisk it in (a few streaks of flour should remain). Repeat twice more with the remaining flour mixture and continue to whisk the batter gently until most of the lumps are gone (do not overmix).
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Wipe any drops of batter off the sides of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue to bake until deep golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes (mine took 70 minutes), rotating the pan halfway through baking.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack. Let cool to room temperature, about 3 hours. After the cake has cooled, it can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.