Sometimes I like the frosting even more than the cake. Even if it’s a good cake. This vanilla bundt is a good cake. But I *may* have eaten more than a little of this browned butter glaze with a spoon.
Cake-wise, it’s a lovely, dense, spongy, moist cake. In terms of texture, I would say it’s in between a pound cake and an everyday (fluffy) cake you’d make with a box mix. (Someday I plan to learn what I’m talking about when it comes to cake terms, but today is not that day).
So the texture is nice. But flavor-wise, it’s the glaze that stands out. It’s a perfectly nice cake, and maybe I’m just a bit immune to vanilla. If I make it again, I’ll add more vanilla or a vanilla bean to the cake. I did make it a point to taste a piece without the glaze, and I think it could stand nicely on its own if by some bizarre turn of events you have sour cream in your fridge but no butter.
The glaze, though. The glaze is lovely. And how could it not be? I mean, it’s basically browned butter in frosting form. Mmmm.
And good lord, the best part of bundt cakes is that they decorate themselves. Get a lovely pan if you don’t already have one! Would highly recommend any of the Nordic Ware pans, not so much the knock off silicone ones. Despite my dearth of cake-type vocab, I do have feelings about pans. And I think I’m officially over it with silicone cake pans. It’s easy to get stuff out of them, but the bake is lighter and the delicate edges of decorative pans end up being overly crispy. (Which is why you keep seeing pictures of cakes made in the same pan – my other ones are silicone, and I’m never satisfied with the bake).
Vanilla Bundt with Browned Butter Glaze (adapted from AverieCooks)
For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons powdered buttermilk + 1 cup water OR 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream, lite is okay (plain Greek yogurt may be substituted)
- 6 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
for the glaze:
- 4-6 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2-3/4 of a stick), browned
- 1 heaping cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or seeds from 1 large vanilla bean; or 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract)
- about 1/4 cup cream or milk, as necessary for consistency
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Spray your bundt pan liberally with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and powdered buttermilk and set aside.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, water or buttermilk, sour cream, oil, and vanilla.
Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing until just combined. You’ll end up with some small lumps, but don’t over-mix or try to stir them smooth.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45-55 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly, the top is a bit browned, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
Place pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool and let cool completely before trying to glaze.
For the glaze – brown the butter by cooking it over medium-high heat in a small saucepan until it’s amber to brown in color, about 5 minutes depending on pan size, but watch it closely so you don’t burn it. I tend to stir it pretty frequently to make sure I don’t burn it. Butter will go through stages of hissing, sputtering, and making noise until the water cooks off at which point the browning occurs. The butter will smell nutty and aromatic.
Transfer the butter, including brown bits from pan, to large mixing bowl (this stops any carryover cooking). Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla bean paste, and slowly add the milk, whisking until smooth. It may be a bit lumpy so you can beat it with a handheld electric mixer if you prefer. As necessary, add additional cream (or confectioners’ sugar) to reach desired glaze consistency and taste. Glaze should be of medium thickness and easily pourable.
Pour/drizzle it over the cake, let it set a bit, and enjoy!