Among the cakes I remember from my childhood visits to my favorite Aunt Vita was her Bundt cakes: especially her rich, golden lemon Bundt cake. What I did not know as a child was that she called it a Bundt cake because of the shape of the pan it was baked in, and the recipe for the cake was hers alone. You can bake almost any cake in a Bundt pan.
At chef’s school I learned that the Bundt shape comes from the European Gulgelhupf and the Eastern European Babka, traditional sweet yeast-dough cakes. But the cake I had learned to love was Aunt Vita’s.
Before we became a gluten-free household, I had developed several recipes for lemon Bundt cake, all made with wheat flour. My efforts to make a gluten-free Bundt cake, one without the benefit of gluten that traps the air and allows the cake to rise, were not immediately rewarded. However, after many trials and errors I finally developed a foolproof recipe that even Aunt Vita would have loved.
A few pointers:
My standard gluten-free flour mixes (indeed most gluten-free flour mixes) proved too heavy to be used alone for this cake. But the addition of potato starch (not flour) was the magic ingredient.
Because baking depends on ratios, the cake batter I developed makes two cakes, and the cakes freeze beautifully as whole cakes or wrapped slices. It absolutely takes no more work to bake two, and now I always have one in the freezer for parties or unexpected company.
The shape of the Bundt pan makes no difference; some of them are plain and some are very fancy. What matters is the size. An 8- to 10-cup Bundt mold is perfect.
When mixing the dough, use a sturdy hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the sugar and butter together and when adding the eggs. But when adding the gluten-free flours alternately with the cream, fold by hand.
The recipe calls for fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. Use a large, juicy lemon with thin skin (the thick, pulpy-skinned lemons usually don’t have much juice); zest it first and reserve the zest, then halve the lemon and juice it.
To freeze a whole cake, let cool to room temperature and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. You can also wrap and freeze half cakes and slices. Let thaw at room temperature.
You can decorate the baked cake with a simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar, or you can mix a simple lemon juice-confectioner’s sugar glaze and drizzle it over the cake.
The Lemon Bundt Cake is our new family favorite!
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups 1, 2, 3, Gluten-Free Flour , or GF flour of choice with xanthan in the mix
- 1 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, coarsely chopped, softened
- 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- Lemon Glaze (recipe follows)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place cream in a small bowl, add lemon juice, and stir. Reserve.
- In a separate medium bowl combine gluten-free flour, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to mix. Reserve.
- In a large bowl, or in the work bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat until medium light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
- In 2 alternating batches, first add half the flour and fold in using a silicone spatula or large spoon, then the cream and fold in. Repeat until all flour and cream are used.
- Stir in lemon and vanilla extracts and the lemon zest.
- Spray 2 nonstick 8- to 10-cup Bundt molds with nonstick cooking spray. Dust lightly with potato starch.
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the two pans, smoothing top. Tap the pans on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes our clean, about 50 minutes.
- Remove pans from oven and let cool to room temperature on a rack. When cool, loosen around edges and center using a very thin cake spatula. Invert cake onto platter.
- Wrap and freeze one cake. Dust the second cake with powdered sugar or drizzle with lemon glaze.
Yield: 1 cup
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Fresh lemon juice, as needed
Place sugar and salt in a small bowl. Add just enough lemon juice, stirring constantly, to make a thick, spreadable glaze.
Drizzle glaze on cake when still warm.
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