Mar 312017
Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

This cake will forever be known as the cake that broke my electric hand mixer. To be fair, I had a £5 one from Argos second-hand, but the poor thing completely died when I tried to beat the butter! After a futile attempt at changing the fuse, I decided that maybe L could pick one up for me on her way home. But, being mother’s day weekend, all the good mixers were sold out in town. So, I mixed an entire bundt cake by hand… ouch. I now own a new 5-speed, extra quiet Bosch mixer, and I’m excited to test it out!

I opted for a vanilla cake because the in-laws like “classic” flavours a.k.a nothing too adventurous. Nonetheless, when we brought the cake over to celebrate UK mother’s day, they had never heard of this type of cake. I couldn’t help but think of the scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding! Even though this mysterious cake had a hole in the middle, they enjoyed it. It was also my first attempt at making gum paste/fondant decorations, and these were definitely more labour intensive than mixing the batter by hand!


Happy belated mother’s day to all you UK mums!

This recipe is from Sweetapolita, and the cake is dense like a pound cake. It is packed with vanilla flavour, and tastes like good-quality vanilla ice cream. The vanilla bean glaze is what initially drew me to this cake because I didn’t want to bring cupcakes covered in buttercream to serve after a large roast dinner.

We enjoyed this cake with vanilla ice cream and boozy cherries!


3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
250 g. unsalted butter, softened (1 small pack)
2 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Ingredients for the Glaze:

1 vanilla bean split and scraped, or 1 tbsp. of vanilla bean paste (I had half a vanilla bean so I additionally used 1/2 tbsp. of paste)
3 tbsp. whole milk
about 1 cup of icing sugar

Pre-made yellow fondant for the flowers
Green gel dye (for stems)



Preheat the oven to 176C with a middle rack. Butter and dust your bundt pan. I used an 8 inch pan, but I think this recipe is more suited for a 9 inch because my batter rose over the tin slightly.

Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. [Cry into your bowl when your mixer dies and you have to finish beating by hand.]

Add the vanilla bean paste to the butter mixture and beat for 1 minute.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. On low-speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

Use a rubber spatula to spoon the batter into the pan, smoothing and spreading evenly. Gently tap the pan to eliminate air bubbles. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 1 hour, then invert onto a rack and cool completely.

Instructions for the Glaze:

Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the whole milk. Add extra vanilla bean paste if needed. Let it sit in a Pyrex measuring cup for about 1 hour. Add icing sugar gradually, whisking until you get a desired pouring consistency. You want it to be liquid but not too runny, otherwise it will dry clear. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and decorate further if desired.


I rolled out pre-made yellow fondant on top of cling film dusted with cornstarch, and used a hand drawn daffodil stencil for the pattern. I rested the flowers on table spoons so that they would dry slightly curved. The daffodil flutes are made by hollowing out a ball of dough with the end of a paint brush.


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