Friday, April 6, 2012

Adventures in Baking: Olive Oil Vanilla "Bundt" Cake

One of Justin's favorite desserts growing up was vanilla bundt cake. Apparently he could eat the whole thing in a matter of days.

Unfortunately, with age, he can no longer eat thousands of calories' worth of saturated fat, so I tweaked around a recipe for his birthday substituting butter for olive oil. I'd made olive oil cakes before, but I hadn't anticipated how delicious this one would turn out. With a lemon-vanilla glaze, it's a show stopper.

{Printable Recipe}

1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp + 4.5 tsp olive oil (I know it's weird, but since you're substituting about a stick of butter or more, it's worth the extra measuring)

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk

1.5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk - or if you don't want to buy a quart of buttermilk for a half cup, make your own by mixing 1/2 cup regular milk with 1/2 tablespoon vinegar, and let sit five minutes. Buttermilk.

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp (or more) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
lemon juice
bourbon (optional, but recommended)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Now, as a disclaimer, I hate when recipes make you mix everything separately first, and then combine it all together. All those wasted dirty dishes! All that cleanup. Ugh.

Not this girl. I tend to skip steps. Not only because I hate cleanup, but also because I can't follow directions to save my life.

That's what a master's degree will get you. Can't follow directions. But I could probably write you a 10-page research paper at a moment's notice.

Mix eggs, sugars, vanilla, and oil. The original recipe has me mixing the eggs with butter and then adding the eggs one at a time. No thanks.

Save your vanilla bean pod to make vanilla sugar! (combine a cup of sugar with a vanilla bean, and put in a sealable container - voila)

And yes, that IS an ice cream maker in the background...

Plop your flour, baking powder, and salt in a sifter. No mixing in a separate bowl. Sift into the mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat until just blended.

Pour into the pan and bake for an hour.

Once the cake is cool, pour over the glaze.

Almost guilt-free. And very little mess.


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