Have you ever started a new project or job thinking you would enjoy it but then you are utterly surprised by the amount of joy it brings? Motherhood was like that for me. Who knew how gorgeous new babies would smell fresh out of a bath or nuzzling into your shoulder still sleepy from a nap? You could have told me, but I would never have believed, that I could enjoy changing diapers because I could wonder anew at the perfect little body that we made. How?! Or the pervasive elation that comes from seeing a child succeed beyond her own wildest dreams, through hard work and perseverance. When finally she rolls over. Or draws her first letters, tongue out, concentration immense. (Don’t even get me started on when she strides across the stage at her university commencement ceremony!) Is there any sweeter smile than that of a child shyly proffering the gift she made by hand? How can you not open your arms and embrace the giver and the gift? Witnessing my girls grow and blossom into the creative, caring, loving, diligent people they are meant to be makes me deeply joyful, down to my soul.
Almost two years ago, I started this blog without any idea of the joy it would bring either. I knew I would like the cooking and the writing. The photography and social media were more of a stretch but I have come to love the challenge of those as well. The blogging community, including my readers (Yes, you lovely people!) became that sweetly smiling child for me, offering a friendly hand, a supportive word, a pithy comment. When this post goes live this morning, I will be at my very first blog conference, meeting with members of the community and, I hope, learning how to be better at this blogging thing. This thing that gives me joy. Thank you for coming along for the ride.
This month’s BundtaMonth theme is swirly cakes! My cinnamon-pecan-brown sugar filling didn’t so much swirl as solidify into pecan candy, but I can tell you that the Bundt itself was buttery and delicious and the "candy" center was deliciously crunchy. Scroll on down to the end to see what everyone else made. Many of them actually swirl.
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
For the swirl:
3/4 cup pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 teaspoons milk
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your Bundt pan by greasing it liberally with oil, butter or cooking spray. Now shake a little flour around in the grease until the whole inside is well coated. Set aside.
Toast your pecans lightly in a dry skillet on the stove. Keep tossing or stirring the pecans so they don’t scorch. This takes just a few minutes. When the pecans have cooled, chop them with a knife.
In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the swirl, including the chopped pecans. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of your upright mixer or a big mixing bowl, if you are using a handheld mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until light yellow and fluffy.
Add in the vanilla extract. Now add in the eggs, beating well between each addition.
Now add in a third of the buttermilk, followed by a third of the flour mixture, beating between each addition. Continue alternating buttermilk and flour until it is all mixed together and your batter is complete.
Spoon about half your batter into the prepared Bundt pan and smooth it out.
Sprinkle on the swirl mixture.
Top with the remaining batter, smoothing it out when you are done.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the cake is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for about 15-20 minutes. The cake should begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Turn the cake out onto a plate and leave to cool completely. If any pieces stick to the bottom of the pan – sadly, this happens sometimes – just loosen them with a spatula and stick them back on the cake. Glaze covers a multitude of sins.
In a small bowl, (The one the swirl ingredients were in will do nicely and you don’t even have to wash it first.) combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, pinch of salt and two teaspoons of milk. Mix thoroughly with a small spoon.
Keep adding milk one teaspoon at a time until the glaze is barely pourable. Drizzle it over the top of the completely cooled Bundt.
Have you ever taken on a project or started something new that you enjoyed more than you ever thought you would?
Here is how you can be a part of Bundt-a-Month:
▪ Simple rule: Bake us a swirly bundt
▪ Post it before June 30, 2013
▪ Use the #BundtaMonth hashtag in your title. (For ex: title could read #BundtaMonth: Cherry Bundt)
▪ Add your entry to the Linky tool below
▪ Link back to our announcement posts
- Apple Swirl Bundt Cake by Renee at Magnolia Days
- Cinnamon Praline Pecan Swirl Bundt Cake by Karen at In the Kitchen With KP
- Cinnamon Pecan Swirl with Cinnamon Glaze by Stacy at Food Lust People Love
- Chocolate and Peanut Butter Swirl Bundt by Anita at Hungry Couple
- Chocolate Matcha Swirl by Kim from Ninja Baking
- Double Chocolate Swirl Bundt Cake by Lora at Cake Duchess
- Lemon Raspberry Swirl Bundt Cake by Carrie at Poet In The Pantry
- Lemon Basil Blueberry Swirl Bundt Cake by Kate at Food Babbles
- Nutella Swirl Bundt by Veronica at My Catholic Kitchen
- Nutella Swirl Bundt Cake by Anuradha at Baker Street
- Orange Creamsicle Bundt by Holly at A Baker’s House
- Strawberry Nutella Swirl Mini Bundts by Alice at Hip Foodie Mom
- Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Bundt by Sandra at The Sweet Sensations
- The Spiced Life Espresso Swirled Bundt Cake by Laura at The Spiced Life
- Vanilla Cherry Swirl Mini Bundt Cakes by Heather at Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
- Zebra Bundt by Tara at Noshing With The Noland