Do you own a Bundt pan? I have three and counting, and yes they are all Nordic Ware pans. These days it’s amazing the detail that goes into a Bundt pan. You could end up baking a cake that looks like a crown or maybe the castle. Bundt cakes are so beautifully simple – a single layer, no frosting, only a glaze or dusting or drizzle for that “wow” factor.
While the word “Bundt” didn’t creep into mainstream vocabulary until the mid-to-late-1900s, the cake itself goes way way back to German and Nordic desserts. Although the Bundt cake today can take many forms, with just about any cake recipe making the leap from pan to pan, the Gugelhuph German dessert not only used a particular pan, but a traditional recipe as well. It was a yeast-based cake that included raisins, almonds and a fruit brandy. To prevent soggy, underdone middles, these cakes were baked in a ring-shaped pan. If someone wanted to bake one of these cakes, they needed to have an old family pan that had been handed down from generation to generation, and brought to America by immigrants from central Europe.
In 1946 that all changed. A Minneapolis couple, Dave and Dotty Dalquist, started Nordic Ware by creating a line of Scandinavian bake ware unavailable anywhere else in American. The thriving immigrant population allowed Nordic Ware to survive. In the early 1950s, Nordic Ware was approached by a local Jewish community in search of a traditional ring-shaped pan. Still, few people had ever heard of Nordic Ware or its ring-shaped bakeware. That is until 1966, when a woman in Texas used an old Bundt Pan to create The Tunnel of Fudge Cake as her entry to the Pillsbury Bake-off. Suddenly every home in America needed a Bundt Pan.
Oh yes, and before I forget – today is National Kentucky Day. This cake with Kentucky Bourbon seemed the appropriate way to say Happy Kentucky Day!
Kentucky Bourbon Butter Glazed Bundt Cake
1 cup Butter, cubed at room temperature
2 cups granulated Sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
3 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Buttermilk
2 tablespoons Kentucky Bourbon
Heat the oven to 325 degree.
Grease a 10″ bundt pan with butter-flavored shortening very liberally. Dust the pan with flour, shake out any excess and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs, one at a time with the mixer on low. Once the eggs are incorporated into the creamed butter, add vanilla extract, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Pour buttermilk over the top, add bourbon. Mix on low for 30 seconds and then increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 65 to 70 minutes until a cake tester entered into the center comes out clean.
Once the cake is baked, make the glaze.
1/3 cup Butter
3/4 cup granulated Sugar
2 tablespoons Kentucky Bourbon
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, lower the heat. Add the sugar, Bourbon and Vanilla Extract. Stir continuously until the sugar is dissolved. Do not rush the process or bring to a boil.
Poke holes all over the warm cake using a knife and pour the glaze evenly on the cake while still in the pan.
Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan overnight for the flavors to intensify. Transfer cake to a cake plate. Just before slicing, dust with powered sugar if desired.