Blood Orange Bundt Cake + Pound Cake Talk

Pretty pink glazed Blood Orange Bundt Cake.  Tender with  a burst of citrus, be sure to make this blushing beauty while blood oranges are still in season!

Blood Orange Bundt Cake with Pink Glaze

I’ve embarked on a very important baking journey.  And since I am not quite there yet, I invite you all to join me on my quest to finding the perfect lemon pound cake recipe.  This Blood Orange Bundt Cake is pretty darn close to perfection, but the ingredients list feels a bit too lengthy for something so simple.  I’ve included the recipe for this gorgeous cake at the end of the post for those willing to go the extra mile (it’s totally worth it!), but let’s take a moment to talk about what I’ve discovered about perfecting pound cake so far…

Blood Orange Bundt Cake with Pink Glaze
Blood Orange Bundt Cake with Pink Glaze
Blood Orange Bundt Cake with Pink Glaze
Blood Orange Bundt Cake with Pink Glaze

I’m sure most of you already know this, but the Pound Cake first got its name because the original recipe was made up of a pound of each of the four main ingredients – butter, sugar, flour, and eggs.  In fact, any cake recipe that follows this 1 : 1 : 1 : 1 ratio will yield similar results.  But as recipes develop, over time many pound cakes have strayed from this exact ratio, like substituting a portion of the butter for oil or using egg yolks for a tenderer crumb.  Pound Cake purists might argue that only the original recipe is actually a Pound Cake, but I don’t know any of those people so let’s move on…

For a time longer than I can comfortably admit, I was so confused between pound cakes and Bundt cakes.  Okay, I might still be a little confused.  But to my understanding, the only real difference is the pan.  Bundt is actually a trademarked name by Nordicware and is more representative of the shape rather than the cake (since other types of cakes besides pound cakes can be made in the pan).  This got me thinking – does the texture of the cake change depending on the type of pan it is baked in? 

If you think about it, there is reason to believe that yes, the texture may change between a cake baked in loaf pan vs Bundt pan vs round layer cake pans.  They are all different shapes, hold different amounts of batter, and will require different bake times, so you could probably conclude that the results may vary.

In my own experiment, the deeper, heavily fluted Bundt pan (used for the cake in these photos), yielded a cake that was a touch denser and not nearly as moist as the same recipe baked in a more classic Bundt pan.  Not only did the more decorative cake need an additional 10 to 15 minutes in the oven, according to this article, the leavening agents probably had to work harder in the deep pan and may not have been as effective – resulting in a denser crumb.  Both were delicious, but the cake photographed did dry out faster than the other.

I brought up my concerns with Amy of Constellation Inspiration, and she admitted to having varying results after baking the exact same recipe once in a loaf pan and then again in a very detailed Bundt pan, thus further confirming my theory.  Pretty interesting, no?  So in my quest for finding the perfect lemon pound cake recipe, I’m left with this question – is there a universal recipe that works beautifully in both a loaf pan and a decorative Bundt pan without either being too greasy, dry, or heavy?  And what about a tube pan?  The quest continues, but please enjoy this Blood Orange Bundt Cake while blood oranges are still in season.  More to come...

Blood Orange Bundt Cake with Pink Glaze
Blood Orange Bundt Cake with Pink Glaze

Blood Orange Bundt Cake
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 blood orange
2 cups granulated sugar
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
¼ cup grapeseed or canola oil
½ cup sour cream
½ cup whole milk
about ¼ cup fresh blood orange juice

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Liberally grease then flour all of the nooks and crannies of a Bundt pan and set aside.

Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth.  Meanwhile, rub the citrus zest into the sugar with your fingertips until fragrant.  Add the sugar (and zest) to the butter and cream together on medium-low until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes).

Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.  With the mixer on low, add in the eggs and yolk – one at a time.  Add in the oil and mix until combined.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bow.

With the mixer on low, carefully add in the half of the dry ingredients.  Once combined, add in the sour cream, milk, and orange juice.

Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix on medium-low until the last bits of flour are incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool for only 10 to 15 minutes – or until just cool enough to lift the pan without burning your fingertips.  Place a cooling rack or cutting board on top of the cake (the bottom) and flip the cake pan right-side up to unmold the cake.  The cake should still be warm or it may stick to the pan if cooled for too long.  Loosen the edges gently with a flexible rubber spatula, but refrain from running a knife around the edges or you may cut into the sides of the decorative cake.

 

Blood Orange Glaze
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Whisk together the juice and sugar until they form a smooth, thick glaze.  Add more juice and/or sugar until desired consistency is achieved.

 

Are you an expect Bundt maker?  Please share your wisdom!!