Salted Caramel Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake

Last week’s hankering to bake a cake really started with this beautiful bundt, but, obviously, I had to wait until the pan arrived. Even Amazon Prime can’t work miracles (yet).

Actually, I’ve been wanting to bake this for months but couldn’t justify purchasing another bundt pan (this is my third, and likely won’t be my last). Since I didn’t go anywhere for spring break, though, a $30 impulse buy of yet another kitchen utensil seemed reasonable. And, frankly, I wasn’t going to make the cake without the fabulous Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt pan. ‘Cause those gorgeous little divots hold the sauce, which is really what makes this cake into something special.

2016-04-01 Bundt Pan

Kudos to Heather over at Sprinkle Bakes – author of the recipe. It’s a flavorful and absolutely lovely cake. (And, her pictures are better. I can admit it.) I’ll be curious to explore her confections further.

I especially appreciated her note about pan volume, since I think I’ve been over-filling bundt pans my entire life. This is a 10-cup capacity pan, and from what I gather, many recipes are 12-cup. Usually, I fill the pan pretty high and end up with bundts that have a puffed crown rather than a flat bottom. Not this time!

2016-04-01 Bundt filling

She warns bakers to reserve some batter – which I dumped into the bottom of a loaf pan and made a neat little 1.5 inch loaf cake to give away. Consequently, the cake was nice and golden brown and flat on the bottom – having cooked evenly inside the pan.

(The following is mostly a note to self for future-Cate’s reference since I’m being hyper-nitpicky – the cake is really good. Everyone loved it. I even got a .gif of thanks from a coworker.)

I used King Arthur Cake Flour rather than the White Lily flour that Heather says she typically uses. I also used sour cream instead of yogurt. So. I will blame those choices for the mildly dissatisfying texture of my cake – and I’ll also note that I’m the only one who felt that way about it. To me, the texture was, oddly, simultaneously moist and crumbly. It was dense but didn’t cohere, kind of dry but not dry… I can’t explain it. I didn’t love it without the addition of some wonderful homemade cardamom ice cream (which will be my next post).

Salted Caramel Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake (from Sprinkle Bakes)

Grade: A-

For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups low protein all-purpose flour (such as White Lily) or cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tbs ground cinnamon
  • 5 ounces (1 small can) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten and at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

For the caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 Tbs unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine grain salt
  • Maldon flake salt (or other flake salt)

Heat the oven to 350°F.

Grease the bundt pan with flour-based baking spray (such as Baker’s Joy). If you’re feeling feisty, you can grease the pan with butter and coat it with flour, but I wouldn’t recommend it if your pan has a lot of detail. The Baker’s Joy worked very well with this pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the evaporated milk, yogurt, eggs and vanilla. Beat on low speed until just combined. Gradually add in the melted butter – staying on a low speed. Scrape down the bowl; beat for 2 minutes until all ingredients are well blended. Pour batter into the prepared pan – filling until around 3/4 full. You may have some extra batter, but you don’t want to over-fill.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a tooth pick tester comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes in the pan, or until the cake’s edges start to pull away from the pan. Turn the cake onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the sauce: melt the sugar over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Gently prod the sugar as it melts to promote even cooking. Cook until the sugar turns deep amber and add the butter all at once, using a whisk to combine. Be very careful with this addition because the butter will cause the caramelized sugar to bubble and sputter. Keep whisking until the butter incorporates (this make take a minute or two). Remove pan from heat and gradually pour in the heavy cream, whisking constantly. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the vanilla extract and pinch of salt.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let thicken slightly in the refrigerator, about 30 minutes.

Place the cake on a serving plate with a lip. Pour half of the caramel sauce over the cake and garnish with a few pinches of flake salt. Reserve the remaining caramel to serve on the side or add extra caramel to individual slices.

Store the cake covered at room temperature for up to three days. Refrigerate unused caramel sauce and re-warm in the microwave or on the stove top when ready to pour over cake slices.

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