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Simple Cakes

    Simple Cakes

    Brown Butter & Cherries Bundt Cake

    There’s something magical about brown butter. The process is essentially cooking some butter in a pan until the milk solid caramelize. You basically end up with a very deep flavored, almost nutty, melted butter.

    The nutty qualities of brown butter really transcend baked goods to a whole new level. In this case, it transformed a regular bundt cake into a real festive dessert. The moment I saw this recipe on the Bon Appétit website, I knew that I HAD to make it. The original recipe also adds a crumble topping so you end up using almost two cups of butter in total (approx. 480 grams), which is a LOT of butter. I chose to leave out the crumble and bake this spectacular cake in a bundt shape, which also means that I reduced the amount of butter by 1 cup. I’ve also decided to add some sour cherries to the batter and top the baked cake with a generous load of rum sauce. Yes, it is as good as it sounds.

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    The technique of browning butter is pretty simple, you just need to be in close proximity to the pan as you stir the butter along and keep track of the browning process. Just like making caramel – the browner the butter gets, the deeper the flavor is going to be.

    I’ve recently read an interesting article on Serious Eats from the ever so-talented Stella Parks of Brave Tart, about preventing fruits from sinking to the bottom of your baked good. Interesting enough, it turns out that coating the fruits with flour before mixing them into the batter is pretty much bullshit, as it doesn’t prevent them from sinking to the bottom. The way to minimize sinking is adding a layer of cake batter to the pan to cushion it, and then adding the remaining batter+fruits on top. Just to be on the safe side and guarantee an equal spread of cherries, I chose to spread each layer with cherries by myself and alternate it with the batter instead of just fold in the fruits and pour the rest of the batter at once.

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    Brown Butter & Cherries Bundt Cake

    Adapted from Bon Appétit

    Brown Butter

    • cups plus / 2 sticks/24o g unsalted butter


    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste/ extract
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1 cup sour cherries (frozen/fresh, pitted) 
    • Walnuts, for garnish (optional)

    Rum Sauce

    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup dark rum
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed 30 seconds in the microwave
    • 2 tbsp butter (40 grams/1 oz)


    Brown Butter: In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter and stir constantly until brown bits form (6-8 min). For deeper flavor, brown the butter a little longer just be careful not to burn the milk solids black. Strain to a clean bowl and set aside until the mixture reaches room temp.

    • Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a bundt pan generously. Sift the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an electric/stand mixer, beat remaining 1 cup browned butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and thick, 2–3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Stir in flour mix just until uniform.
    • Spoon 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with cherries and alternate until all of the ingredients are used. .
    • Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 45 min- 1 hour. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of pan to release cake. Turn the cake upside down on a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

    For the Rum Sauce

    cook the sugar and water util the mixture reaches an amber color. Gradually add in the warmed cream and rum. cook until the mixture is uniform in texture. Remove from heat and let cool 20 min. Stir/blend in the butter. let cool so it thickens and reaches pourable yet not runny consistency.


    Place the cake on a serving plate. Drizzle the Rum sauce on top, arrange the walnuts on top and powder with powdered sugar. This cake is perefctly scrumptious on its own but will also work spectascularously with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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    Simple Cakes

    Yellow Pound Cake with Molten Brownie Center

    Often times, by combining two great components, you can create something which is greater than the sum of its parts. That was the case with this moist yellow cake .

    I really do believe taste is the most paramount factor (which is why I rarely use fondant or other overly-sweet concoctions in my everyday baking), but I do have a soft spot for beautiful, visually attractive food. My Pintrerest page is filled with Japanese cute (or “Kawaii”) dishes.

    So I was really in the mood to have a simple pound cake to serve with my coffee, one which won’t require hours in the kitchen, but still going to be super moist, and somewhat decadent. The end result was this brownie filled yellow cake, which combines my favorite brownie recipe (adapted from “Miette: Recipes from San Francisco’s Most Charming Pastry Shop“) and a simple super moist yellow cake.

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    To give the cake a twist, I decided to cut the baked brownie to little rabbits and submerge them in the yellow cake batter.   You can use any cookie cutter you wish to create this effect, just make sure you thoroughly freeze the cut outs so they won’t lose their shape while baking. Alternatively, use a different, more stable (that is, less chocolate and more cocoa) brownie recipe.


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    Yellow cake with molten brownie center

    Enough for one large pound/English cake pan


    Brownie center (adapted from Miette: Recipes from San Francisco’s Most Charming Pastry Shop):

    •  1 cup/120 g/3 oz. all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon/7.5 g/0.25 oz. baking powder
    • 2 cups/450 g/1 pound high quality (70%) chopped chocolate
    • 2½ cups/ 500 g/ 1 pound + 1 oz.  sugar
    • ¾/180 g/6 oz. cup unsalted butter
    • 1 teaspoon/7.5 g/0.25 oz. vanilla extract
    • Generous pinch of kosher salt
    • 5 large eggs, at room temperature

    Yellow cake:

    • 3 cups/345 g/9 oz. cake flour
    • 1 tablespoon/15 g/0.5 oz. baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon/6 g/0.2 oz. salt
    • 5 tablespoons/100 g/3.5 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla paste/ 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
    • 2 cups/400 g/14 oz. granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup/125 ml/4 fl oz. vegetable oil
    • 3 large eggs + 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
    • 1 cup/250 ml/8 fl oz. heavy cream + one teaspoon lemon juice (alternatively, use buttermilk)


    Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Spray oil/ butter the pan and dust with cocoa powder. Tap excess powder and set aside.

    In a double boiler/microwave safe bowl, melt the butter, chocolate, sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Remove from the heat. Beat the eggs in and finish with the sifted dry ingredients. Bake for 25-30 min and set aside to cool completely. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the brownie mixture to the desired shapes and freeze until firm.

    to make the yellow cake, cream the butter until light and fluffy with you mixer’s paddle attachment (about 2-3 min). Rain in the sugar, then the eggs + yolks (one at a time) and beat until thoroughly combined. Increase mixer speed to medium high and slowly pour in the oil until the mixture is emulsified. Add the vanilla and salt. While the mixer is on low, add the dried ingredients in three additions, alternating with the heavy cream. Finish with the flour.

    While the oven is set for 350f/180c, pour one 1/3 of the yellow cake batter into your pan. remove the frozen brownie cut outs from the freezer and tuck them in the batter. The cut-outs should be upright and squeezed against one another. Pour in the remaining cake batter (should reach 3/4 of the pan, no more), and bake for 60 min, until top is springy to the touch. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before you remove and slice it.

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