Cooking

Birthday Season: Berry Bundt

Fresh Berry Bundt Cake

If you have an Assistant, they may want to make it "fancy" with the addition of food coloring.

If you have an Assistant, they may want to make it “fancy” with the addition of food coloring.

Years ago, when we lived in the Old Neighborhood, we had certain traditions. On the weekends, The Husbands would grill elaborate meats while we would make bundt cakes. (I’m pretty sure that this started with an NPR Weekend Edition story about the inventor of the bundt pan; if that wasn’t the origin, it certainly kicked the habit into high gear.) After countless recipes and much experimentation, I developed a sort of bundt cake base that could accommodate all kinds of add-ins, extracts and flavors.

This particular cake was the idea of the Tiny Kitchen Assistant in honor of The Husband’s birthday. The Assistant gets very excited about The Husband’s birthday because it comes four days before his, thus heralding the start of Birthday Season!

The Assistant and I went to the farmer’s market, got our eggs and berries and headed home to bake the cake before The Husband’s flight returned from the east coast. The lemon zest is a touch that I recall from making blueberry muffins — it makes the berry flavor pop. The Nutella was a last-minute edition from the Assistant who wisely decided that berries and Nutella pair well.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 Tbsp to mix with the berries
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 3 cups berries (one each blueberries, raspberries and chopped strawberries)
  • 1/2 cup Nutella, microwaved 30 seconds until liquid

Instructions

Thick batter, packed with berries.

Thick batter, packed with berries.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease the bundt pan in all of its little nooks and crannies

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, periodically scraping the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low (unless you want egg splattered everywhere), gradually add eggs and vanilla.

Keeping the mixer on low (unless you want flour dusting every surface of your kitchen), add half of the flour mixture until incorporated. Add the buttermilk. Add the remainder of the flour mixture and lemon zest. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

Take your empty flour bowl and add the 2 Tbsp flour. Toss with the berries until coated. Gently fold the berries into the batter, trying to get them as evenly distributed as possible.

After microwaving, the Nutella just drizzles on. Spread evenly with a spatula.

After microwaving, the Nutella just drizzles on. Spread evenly with a spatula.

Spread half the cake batter into the greased bundt pan. Pour the Nutella over the batter. Finish with the remainder of the cake batter.

Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the pan. Bake for another 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean; I set my timer for 25 minutes for the first check. Note that you’ll always have berry smear on your skewer, but you don’t want batter smear.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for half an hour or more. You can then glaze the cake with a basic powdered sugar glaze. I use this recipe from C&H sugar, but replace one Tbsp milk with melted butter. It gives the finished product more cling and body.

You can see the Nutella ribbon through the middle.

You can see the Nutella ribbon through the middle.

Results

Cake, berries, Nutella and frosting? Seriously, what’s not to like? (Other than the color of the frosting that makes it look like mint chocolate chip.)

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