Bundt Cake: Portland

5 Apr


Well, call me lazy. I’m embarrassed it’s taken me more than three months since I made this cake to post about it. Perhaps because I had to download all the photos from my phone (there’s got to be a better way…).

For my first-ever Bundt cake, I’m pleased with how this one turned out. I decided on Root Beer Bundt Cake from the Crepes of Wrath, to help send off a coworker. The texture and taste were wonderfully rich and dense, but I might do without the frosting next time. It proved a little too rich with an already rich cake.

Bundt cake ingredients

Standard wet and dry cake ingredients were employed, along with some high-quality, real-sugar root beer (and, wow, could I tell a difference).

Blaine and bundt cake

Blaine, a devotee of Bundt cakes himself (and whose own Baileys Bundt cake photos I’ll post soon), volunteered to help me craft this cake. Here he’s stirring the butter-sugar-cocoa-root beer mixture to melt all the elements before incorporating it with the dry ingredients.

Bundt cake batter

Once cooled a bit, the wet ingredients met the dry ingredients in a lumpy batter that then went into a buttered and floured, nonstick bundt pan.

Beautiful bundt cake

Finally, because I’m always curious about the origins of things, when my mom had mentioned that Bundt cakes became a fad of sorts in the 1960s and 1970s, I looked up a bit of history.

It turns out the Bundt pan is the product of a Minnesota man: H. David Dalquist, a culinary pioneer who developed the signature pan, with its fluted sides and round center, according to a 2005 Associated Press obituary. The company that he and his wife, Dorothy, started in the late 1940s, Nordic Ware, still exists today. And there’s a reason why only Nordic Ware pans carry the “Bundt” in their name: It’s a trademark, hence why the “B” is always capitalized. (For example, this is the one I have, and it’s instead called a “fluted mold cake pan.”)

Though first created in 1950, the pan didn’t catch on until the 1960s, when the Betty Crocker brand of entertaining was taking off and cake-mix cakes were all the rage. My mom remembers a recipe for Harvey Wallbanger cake made with yellow cake mix and Galliano liqueur being passed around, but there are also from-scratch recipes available.

Frosted bundt cake


Here’s a final view of the cake. I only frosted half, and it’s not the most artful frosting, but the cake itself was just the right balance of chocolate and root beer. I’ll be using this recipe again.



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