I love bundt cakes for their ease of baking. They only need one or two prep bowls. They don’t need to be frosted or decorated. Just put them on a plate and they are pretty enough all by themselves to invite compliments. If you want to dress it up a bit more just add a glaze and a sprinkle of nuts. Bundt cakes travel well to potlucks and parties. And they taste good.
Bundt cakes are made in special decorative cake pans with a tube in the center that allows the cake to bake evenly, like this one and this one. Bundt cakes are generally denser and richer than layer cakes and of finer crumb in order to hold the shape of the decoration on the batter. Pound cake recipes that are rich in butter and eggs do well in bundt cake pans.
Bundt cake pans come in several sizes with the largest holding about 12 cups in volume and the smallest holding 6 cups or about half of the following recipe. You’ll only want to fill a bundt cake pan about two thirds full to allow room for the cake to rise, so a recipe that makes about 8 cups of batter is the perfect volume for a 12 cup bundt cake pan.
I made up this Maple Apple Bundt Cake to use up the last of our storage of golden delicious apples. If you’ve got apples from last fall’s harvest they will be soft and somewhat shrivelled on the first day of spring. This is the perfect use for those kinds of apples. In fact, my friends were picking the baked apple pieces off the top of the cake while they were waiting for dessert to be served. Win-Win!
I used maple sugar in the streusel topping. It gives a sweet maple flavour, that’s worth the extra expense. If you don’t have maple sugar in your pantry, you can substitute maple syrup or even brown sugar on a teaspoon for teaspoon basis.
If you plan on making this for dinner tonight you’ll want to give yourself 2 hours to include prep time, baking, and cooling time. The cake must be cooled for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Maple Apple Bundt Cake
1 cake for 12 cup bundt pan
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup organic sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple sugar
1 cup pecans, broken
¼ cup butter, softened
Prepare bundt pan by greasing the sides and centre with butter, and flouring the sides and centre. Shake the pan with the flour in it to coat all sides of the pan. Dump out excess flour. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time and beat after each addition. Add vanilla and buttermilk and mix to combine. Beat for 1 minutes till the mixture is light and the butter is completely mixed with the buttermilk.
Prepare the apples by peeling, coring, and chopping into small cubes. Stir into the egg-buttermilk mixture.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Add to the batter. Mix until just combined. Don’t over beat.
In a small prep bowl, combine cinnamon, maple sugar, and butter to make a paste. Prepare the apples by peeling, coring, and chopping into small cubes. Add the apples to the cinnamon-sugar paste, along with the pecans. Mix to combine. The apples and pecans will be chunky in the butter-maple sugar paste. This is expected.
To assemble the bundt cake:
Sprinkle 1/3rd of the streusel topping into the bottom of the prepared bundt pan. Spread ½ of the batter on top of the streusel topping in the bundt pan.
Sprinkle 1/3 rd of the streusel topping on top of the batter, spreading it evenly.
Pour the remaining batter into the bundt pan. Top with the remaining streusel mixture.
Knock the bundt pan firmly on the counter to dislodge any holes in the batter. Place the bundt pan on the middle rack of the oven.
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes at 375°F. Cake is done when it pulls away from the sides of the pan and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake pan from the oven and place on a rack. Cool for 10 minutes in the cake pan. Loosen the sides and center of the pan using a silicone spatula. Invert the pan over a plate. Place the plate on the cooling rack with the cake inside. Finish cooling. Remove the pan when the cake drops onto the plate of its own accord. This often happens immediately upon the pan being inverted, but it can take a few minutes with very intricate designs.
Slice while still warm. Serve topped with whipping cream and slices of fresh apples, if desired.
Choosing the best bundt pans
Bundt cake pans come in so many beautiful shapes and sizes. The pans themselves imprint the decorations on the tops and sides of your cake. The best bundt cake pan is the one you own and use. However, if you are choosing a new bundt cake pan choose one with a nontoxic ceramic coating rather than the typical nonstick coatings. Ceramic coatings are more durable and don’t wear off the surface of the pan, potentially getting into your food.
Check the volume of the pan and look for a pan with at least a 10 to 12 cup volume. Smaller pans are difficult to find recipes for. Most bundt pan recipes are designed for 10 to 12 cup bundt pans. A bundt pan that size will serve 10 to 12 people. Smaller pans give cakes that serve fewer people.
More delicious bundt cake recipes:
Now that I’ve peaked your curiosity and your sense of adventure, here’s more bundt cake recipes to put all those pretty bundt cake pans to work.