The 10th Anniversary Sourdough Molasses Bundt
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This year marked my 10th anniversary of observing National Bundt Day by baking an original recipe Bundt cake. And I almost missed it.
This November has been a lot. We are gearing up to have work done on our house in the spring, so the first step is clearing things out of the house. I have been clearing a lot of things out of the house. I’ve also been trying to get everything holiday done in November so I can spend December doing something unheard of for me, just enjoying the season. I was putting together the fundraiser. After ending my eight year hiatus and completing NaNoWriMo last year, I really wanted to do it again this year.
While all of this was going on, I had the feeling I was forgetting something. Scrolling idly through Facebook memories, I was a post from two years ago about not having any idea what cake I was going to bake that year, and I realized what it was.
Cake. I fucking forgot cake.
Fortunately, I am the sort who always* has in the house the basics needed for a cake. This year, I also had some seriously neglected sourdough starter, and an apple that I thought was okay rapidly showing signs of not being at all okay.
So I had a rough idea for a cake. I also had a 6-cup Bundt pan that I got I think 3 years ago that I hadn’t even taken the label off of yet.
Which is good because we still have a lot of Hallowe’en candy in the house. We always just put a bowl out so the doorbell doesn’t drive the dogs crazy, and I always bring in an empty bowl. After no trick-or-treating last year, I was really looking forward to my new friend Bella (whom you may recognize) giving the neighborhood kids more sugar than they had ever seen in their little lives.
Not only did the kids not take all the candy, when I brought it back inside there were things in the bowl that I hadn’t bought. I guess they viewed it as a Little Free Candy Library? Also I suspect a youngling with a nut allergy was grateful to have a place to leave their peanut butter cups and Almond Joys and marzipan in exchange for the non-nutty treats I always make sure I buy.
This did not happen when I was a child. In a way, it gives me some much-needed hope for the future.
But I digress. Point is, those honorable little shits did not clean me out of candy as I expected them to and there was much sugar in the house already and adding a large cake to that did not appeal.
So this recipe is for a 6-cup pan. It is also an earthy tangy cake more than a very sweet one. You can add extra glaze or a brush of simple syrup if you’d like something a little sweeter. You can also add more apples. I’m definitely going to add more apples next time.
FOR THE CAKE
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup dark molasses
Optional but delicious, 2 small apples (I used most of 1 small apple and twice as much apple will definitely be better)
– Preheat oven to 350°F and prep your pan (grease/flour or spray)
– Slice your apples thin and set aside.
– In a medium bowl, whisk all dry ingredients well and set aside.
– If you have the physical strength and emotional fortitude to haul out your stand mixer, throw the paddle attachment on it and cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. If you’re me as I was that day, put the butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl and use your little lightweight and far more easily accessible hand mixer.
– Add eggs and vanilla, mix until throughly combined.
– Stir in sourdough starter and molasses by hand until combined, then fold in dry ingredients.
– Pour batter into prepared pan, and arrange apple slices on top. What you see here
is what I did this time around, but next time I make this, I will be using more apples and also pressing them down a bit to submerge them in the batter so they bake into a nice soft moist layer on the bottom of the cake. So go ahead and learn from my mistake now and just do that. Because if you don’t, once you’ve baked your cake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean, you will see this
and something other than this would be much better.
– Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for about 10 minutes, then turn it out to cool the rest of the way while you make the glaze.
FOR THE GLAZE
This cake is really meant to be topped with a nice simple vanilla glaze and you should absolutely do that. My standard for a cake this size is a cup of powdered sugar, a tsp of vanilla, a dash of salt, and just enough milk to make it glazy, but there are a thousand recipes for such a thing on Ye Olde Internet if you don’t already have one you like. I was going to do that. I had every intention of doing that very thing I just talked about.
Remember when you first started reading this post and there was an asterisk next to the word “always’ in the sentence “I am the sort who always* has in the house the basics needed for a cake”?
Today, for what I’m pretty sure is the first time in my adult life since I started doing my own grocery shopping, I did not have powdered sugar in my house.
“Okay,” said I to me, “that’s okay, I have granulated sugar and cornstarch, I can make powdered sugar and then make my glaze and all will be right with the cake world.”
Except for what I’m pretty sure is only the second time in my adult life, I did not have cornstarch.
To which I said ”…fuck.”
Then I thought okay, maybe tapioca flour will work.
Pro Tip: tapioca flour does not work in this context.
I won’t give you measurements and details regarding I did to make a glaze because you don’t ever want to do it anyway. But it involved granulated sugar and soy milk and tapioca flour and vanilla extract and some white candy melts and boiling things and a lot of profanity and far more stirring than a glaze usually requires. To my credit it wasn’t the worst glaze anyone has ever made. But I won’t be making it again anytime soon.
To compensate for my sorrowful glaze I added sprinkles which is exactly how life works.
So, Happy Tenth Bundtiversary to me. I am very glad I remembered to do this.
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