Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekend Cooking...Kismet and Cake

It was all the Bundt pan's fault.

I was wandering around my favorite site, Cook's Illustrated...maybe it was the newsletter...maybe it was an old copy of the magazine...I am not sure...but I saw an article about Bundt pans and their rating for the very best one bundt pan on the market.
Sadly, I did not have a Bundt pan. I think I may have grown up Bundt free.
So, I decided to mosey over to my second favorite site, Amazon and see if they had the recommended one for sale.
You know they did!
The Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Original Bundt Pan/Model #50037.
I wanted a Bundt pan and I wanted the best, darn it!
In days it was mine.

Now, I needed a recipe.
On the back of the Bundt pan's cardboard collar was a recipe for Lady Bird Johnson' Lemon Bundt Cake. Now Lady Bird may have known her roadside wildflowers but this recipe calls for 10 egg yolks! What was I going to do with the ten egg whites? That seems excessive. So, I went looking for another idea.
In my array of recipes saved on my computer was one from a couple of years ago, a Lemon Bundt Cake from, yes, Cook's Illustrated. Also, on their latest newsletter was a video of them making the same cake. It was meant to be! It was kismet! It was was Lemon Bundt Kismet Cake.

Everyone at work seemed to like it!
It was very good, with a firm, pound cake texture and a lovely lemon flavor.

Lemon Bundt Cake
Serves 12 to 14.    
You will need between five and six tablespoons of lemon juice for this recipe. Because the amount of juice can vary from lemon to lemon, we suggest you first measure the juice from the three lemons you have zested, then juice a fourth lemon if necessary. Serve this cake as is or dress it up with lightly sweetened berries. The cake has a light, fluffy texture when eaten the day it is baked, but if well wrapped and held at room temperature overnight its texture becomes more dense -- like that of pound cake -- the following day. 


3 lemons , zest grated and saved, then juiced for 3 tablespoons juice (see note above)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking power
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk 
3 large eggs , at room temperature
1 large egg yolk , at room temperature
18 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 1/4 sticks), at room temperature
2 cups sugar (14 ounces)
2 - 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (see note above)
1 tablespoon buttermilk
2 cups confectioners' sugar (8 ounces)


  1. 1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray with flour (alternatively, brush pan with mixture of 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon melted butter). Mince lemon zest to fine paste (you should have about 2 tablespoons). Combine zest and lemon juice in small bowl; set aside to soften, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. 2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Combine lemon juice mixture, vanilla, and buttermilk in medium bowl. In small bowl, gently whisk eggs and yolk to combine. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, cream butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes; scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce to medium speed and add half of eggs, mixing until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Repeat with remaining eggs; scrape down bowl again. Reduce to low speed; add about one-third of flour mixture, followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until just incorporated after each addition (about 5 seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture. Scrape bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour. Scrape into prepared pan.
  3. 3. Bake until top is golden brown and wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into center comes out with no crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes.
  4. 4. FOR THE GLAZE: While cake is baking, whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice, buttermilk, and confectioners' sugar until smooth, adding more lemon juice gradually as needed until glaze is thick but still pourable (mixture should leave faint trail across bottom of mixing bowl when drizzled from whisk). Cool cake in pan on wire rack set over baking sheet for 10 minutes, then invert cake directly onto rack. Pour half of glaze over warm cake and let cool for 1 hour; pour remaining glaze evenly over top of cake and continue to cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours. Cut into slices and serve.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. OMG this is triple kismet! Mr. BFR asked for a lemon cake for his birthday later this month. I haven't yet started looking for recipes. I need look no farther. Thank you! Just what I had in mind -- a nice, moist lemon pound-type cake with a simple glazed served with strawberries. You read my mind.

  2. This looks better than something you'd find in the finest bakery. I wish I was your coworker and got to try this beauty:)

  3. This looks good and I have a friend who loves lemon cake. I will give it a try next time he is in town for a visit. Cake is one of my favorite things in the world.

  4. Oh, I definitely grew up making Bundt cakes of all kinds. And since I'm from the land of Lady Bird I guess that's kismet of it's own. LOL

    My Mom loved to have me make Bundt cakes because while you could glaze them, you didn't have to. She had a great chocolate pound cake recipe that I don't have anymore, but used to be able to recite from memory. I'll have to see if I can find it or remember it. This cake looks yummy!

  5. Looks yummy and sounds like Paula Deen would be a fan of this one with 2 1/4 sticks of butter. Have a good weekend. Happy cooking and reading!

  6. Looks perfect! I love lemon cake, and the glaze, dripping down the sides, perfection! Whatcha making next?

  7. there's nothing quite like a lemon bundt--they're always delicious!

  8. I grew up bundtless too and don't own a bundt pan, but that cake looks like it's worth buying one. I love pound cake and I love lemon!

  9. Your reasons for bundt crack me up! Great post.

  10. Great, great, great! I've copied and pasted and saved it in my 'cakes' folder. Definitely want to make this one. Thanks!

  11. all you lovers of lemons will love this. really nice lemon taste.

    I saved myself a slice yesterday and am going to have it now with a cuppa tea. sorry there is not enough for you all! lol

  12. I was given a huge bag of lemons from a local tree. In addition to thinking about what to do with them, I've also been thinking about an Easter dessert. Your cake is a great solution. Your timing on this post couldn't be better. It's amazing how Cook's Illustrated is always coming to the rescue for me too.

  13. Caite, you are such an enabler. First it is the slow cooker, now the Bundt pan! Bad, bad, bad!

  14. Seems mine timing was good for several of you! Excellent! can't use bad and Bundt in the same sentence!

  15. I on the other hand grew up with Bundt cake excess...I think my mother was unduly attached to her Bundt pan, as we seemed to have at least one Bundt cake a week!

    Not surprisingly, I have always had a Bundt pan, and lemon is one of our favorites!

  16. At least this cake only requires 3.5 eggs, that is an improvement from 10 :) I love lemon and I've always wanted to make a Bundt cake, so I may just try this one soon! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  17. That is a beautiful cake! Sounds delicious, too.

  18. Lemon cake is one of my favorites. I love the freshness of it.

  19. Oh, this looks so good. a perfect cake for coffee or tea! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter!


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