To many cupcake grubbers, a bundt cake is a thing of the past, a strangely-shaped cake with a large chunk missing from its core, a centerpiece your grandmother would plant on the dining room table next to the potpourri. To Chrysta Wilson, chef-owner of the West Hollywood bakery Kiss My Bundt, the dessert is far more than an anachronism. Sunday is National Bundt Day, and Wilson is going all out, giving away free slices from 1 - 4 p.m., just before her bundt and wine pairing class with wine critic and author Amy Reiley at 5:30 p.m. A sampling: 7UP pound cake, butter rum, pumpkin, cookies and cream, chocolate with dark chocolate glaze, red velvet, and vegan red velvet.
Who knew bundts were making such a comeback? This question bothers Wilson, whose first cookbook, Kiss My Bundt comes out November 27. "In my shop, I'm regularly asked 'What's a bundt?' For someone like me, who grew up in the Southeast--North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida--bundt cakes were everywhere. I've always known what a bundt was."
Glazes poured on the cake can really accentuate its fluted edges and ridges, she explains. "This cake doesn't need extra flair: the cake is perfect as is. There's something comforting about this cake. It's like a woman with proper curves."
Another childhood memory of Wilson's involves cranberries, lots and lots of them. And, before she dies, the baker dreams of wading in a cranberry bog with boots up to her knees and a lake of cranberries grazing her elbows. Though this goal has yet to be realized, she's doing the next best thing: creating a cranberry craze bundt, just in time for Thanksgiving, soaked in either rum, whiskey or orange muscat. She hasn't decided yet. One thing at a time.
Autumn Spice Bundt
From: Chrysta Wilson
Makes: 16-20 slices
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup whole milk
3 tablespoon of orange zest for an orange spice cake (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour and baking powder and salt together and set aside.
2. Mix the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar, mixing on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes.
3. Crack eggs into a separate bowl and add to the batter one at a time. Then mix on medium speed for an additional two minutes.
4. Add the vanilla to the milk. Beginning and ending with the flour, mix 1/3 of the flour into the wet mixture at a low speed, then 1/2 of the milk, alternating until all ingredients are mixed.
5. Transfer the batter to cake pan(s) that have been coated with a baker's cooking spray that includes flour, or greased and floured, filling until the pans(s) are about 3/4 full.
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6. Bake the cake(s) until a toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes for a large cake.
7. Invert the cake(s) onto a cooling rack or serving plate. If cake resists, cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting. (If the cake still resists, cool an additional 15 minutes in the pan). Cool completely before frosting, at least 1 hour for a large cake.
8. Finish with your favorite frosting or glaze, such as cream cheese frosting or cinnamon glaze.
Kiss My Bundt: 8104 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles; (323) 655-0559.