I actually managed to plan ahead for something! Today is National Bundt Day, and I actually baked my cake three days early. If I'd really had my act together, I would have written the post early, too, instead of sitting here trying to finish it when I'm tired and cranky. Luckily I still have a piece of cake left, so my day will end on a good note, as long as I get to it before my husband does. =)
I first became aware of National Bundt Day thanks to my blogging friend Mary, the Food Librarian. For the past several years, she baked 30 bundts in the 30 days leading up to National Bundt Day. You can read all about it here. She didn't have time to do it this year, but she did bake a bundt for today. In fact, I was quite amused to discover that she made the same cake that I did, the Vanilla Bean Malt Cake from Baked Elements.
The recipe makes a small bundt cake, baked in a 6-cup pan. I haven't used my small pan very much since I got it a few months ago, so I was happy to get it off the shelf. Besides the vanilla bean and malted milk powder alluded to in the recipe title, dark brown sugar and buttermilk contribute to the flavor of the cake. The cake batter is pretty easy to mix up; it uses the creaming method. I deviated from the recipe just a little--in the technique, not the ingredients. The recipe says to scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod and mix them with a bit of bourbon. Instead, I rubbed the vanilla seeds into the sugars before creaming the butter with them. I added the bourbon before mixing in the eggs. Other than that, I followed the directions, and my cake took 40 minutes to bake. Once the cake was cool, it got topped with a simple glaze made from powdered sugar, vanilla and a bit of milk.
The verdict? Wow. This cake is really good. Like many cakes of this sort, it improves with age. It's probably good that it's a small cake, because I would have eaten way too much of it if it had been bigger. As the recipe notes indicate, you don't really taste the malt in it, but it gives the cake a bit of "something" that makes it really appealing. I will definitely be making this one again.
If you'd like to try the cake for yourself, I encourage you to get your hands on a copy of Baked Elements. Don't forget to check your library if you want to preview it before deciding whether to buy it. =)