Once in a while a new recipe comes along that really knocks our socks off. This month, it’s this simple buttermilk bundt cake laden with fresh berries. True, our berry deprivation over the past months has made us long for their juicy, in-season sweetness. But this unvarnished cake has something else. Buttermilk provides both a tang and a richness to baking recipes that is totally unique. Add a honey-sweetened whipped cream topping in which buttermilk is also key and you have a double whammy which not only makes a statement, but also a luxurious, bed for a mix of naturally sweet, seasonal berries. Best of all, every time we make this cake we get to use one in our collection of bundt pans.
Double Buttermilk Bundt with Fresh Berries
For the cake:
- 3 1/4 cups (16 1/2 oz./515 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 22 Tbs. (2 3/4 sticks) (11 oz./345 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups (11 oz./345 g) granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) buttermilk
- 1 1/2 Tbs. vanilla paste, or 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
For the whipped cream:
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) buttermilk
- 3 Tbs. honey
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
For the glaze:
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 Tbs. milk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups (8 oz./250 g) assorted fresh berries and/or cherries
To make the cake, preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Generously spray a 10-inch (25-cm) Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated before adding another. Add the buttermilk and vanilla paste or vanilla bean seeds and beat until combined. The mixture may start to separate but will come back together when the flour mixture is added.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. When the flour is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 30 seconds.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan.
Meanwhile, make the whipped cream: In the clean bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment, beat together the cream and buttermilk on medium speed until soft peaks start to form, about 2 minutes. Add the honey and salt and beat until medium peaks form, about 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until combined.
While the cake is still warm, brush the top and sides with the glaze. Let cool completely, then spoon some of the whipped cream in the center of the cake. If using strawberries, stem them and cut in half. If using cherries, cut in half and remove the pits. Top the whipped cream with the fruit. Cut the cake into slices and serve with the remaining whipped cream alongside. Serves 10 to 12.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen