Get ready for the most tender Bundt cake you’ve ever had! This cake goes heavy on warming spices to give depth to its sweetness, and uses yogurt in the batter so it melts in your mouth. Topped with a glaze that’s naturally bright pink from the juice of blood oranges– what more could you ask for?
Ingredients for success
I have to admit it. I’m much more of a pie person than I am a cake person. I find that cakes, especially big ones that bake for a long time, are often disappointingly dry in the center, and cloyingly sweet. Pretty to look at, but unfortunately not nice to eat.
Enter whole milk yogurt. Listen y’all– the answer to all of your cake-moisture problems is YOGURT! Not only does it add the complexity of a lil’ bit of tang to cut through the sugar in the cake, but it also adds so much moisture without making the crumb stodgy. It’s a miracle ingredient that I swear by for loaf cakes and large cakes alike.
For this bundt cake, it uses a cup of whole milk yogurt to give it that oh-so-tempting-melt-in-your-mouth-feel that makes you keep coming back for more. It also reacts with the baking soda to help make the cake light and fluffy, even though it is a close textured crumb. Delicious science? We love to see it!
The brown sugar in this recipe also helps the cake retain its moisture. I’m a big fan of using brown sugar as well as white granulated sugar when possible, because I really like the slight molasses flavor that really elevates even the most simple of recipes.
The spice of life
I generally don’t shy away from spices and seasonings in my recipes, which is why this recipe calls for 2 full tablespoons of ground cardamom. If you are more sensitive to strong flavors, it’s totally okay to dial it back, but I definitely encourage you to use the full amount. It gives the cake a beautifully floral and warm flavor that compliments the blood orange in the most special way.
Tips for the perfect Bundt
Bundt cakes get a bit of a bad rep for being tricky. The success of your cake starts at the seasoning of your pan, and everyone has their own method to keep their cakes from sticking and breaking. Here’s what I recommend:
- Thoroughly coat the inside of your cake tin with melted butter. Be sure to use a bristle brush when applying it so you can really get in every little nook and cranny of the mold. I find that silicone brushes make it harder to get proper coverage.
- Coat the butter layer with a light dusting of flour. This is extra insurance against sticking! Try to keep it even so that you don’t end up with flour-capped ridges on your final cake.
- Use a baking spray that uses flour. One easy step to non-stick baking! I personally do not use this method, but it is often recommended.
Like most cakes, we start with the creaming method to get our butter and sugar nice and light and airy. Next, we add in the eggs, followed by the blood orange juice and zest, and vanilla.
The addition of the juice can sometimes make the batter look slightly broken, but do not fret! It will come right back together as soon as we add the dry ingredients, and has no impact on the final result.
Finally, alternate adding in the flour and yogurt– I like to ad 1/3 of my flour, followed by about half of the yogurt, and repeat. This ensures that everything gets super evenly mixed into the batter so there are no lumps. But make sure you do not overmix! As soon as everything looks uniformly combined, turn off your mixer– your cake is ready to be baked!
To tap, or not to tap?
I’ve had a lot of trial and error when it comes to tapping (or not tapping) my bundt cakes, so I can firmly say that I am team tap. Not only is the result more aesthetically pleasing and easier to glaze, but I find that the cake bakes more evenly around the outside once I’ve gotten rid of the large air bubbles. Here’s how I do it:
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, and then firmly tap it straight down onto a table or counter top twice.
- Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes.
- Repeat the tapping process, then bake.
You should see bubbles actively rising to the surface and popping when you tap your cake on the counter. If you don’t have time to do this step, or don’t care to, it isn’t strictly necessary, but I do think it ends up making a superior final product.
The show-stopping quality of this cake comes from the bright pink glaze, which naturally gets its color from blood orange juice. You can use more juice if you’d like your glaze to be runnier and have a deeper color, or hold back on it to get a thicker, more frosting like consistency and paler pink hue.
You can store this cake at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic wrap (or your favorite plastic-alternative) for up to 3 days (but I doubt it will last that long!) It can also be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, and warm up a slice in the microwave for 15-20 seconds before enjoying.
I hope you give this cake a try! It’s truly delicious, and works as a standalone dessert, or for breakfast with a cup of coffee. Honestly, it’s just the greatest, and you won’t regret making it.