make it yourself: a simple bundt cake

It’s not all food politics and railing against big agriculture at the Next Gen House. We spend a lot of our time cooking and baking (at the moment we have cookies cooling in the dining room, venison stew on the stove and refried beans in the crock pot). My family celebrated my sister and dad’s birthdays this weekend, and I made an often requested family favorite – lemon bundt cake with cream cheese glaze. 

I find baking to be very calming and actually quite beautiful. How you can take some simple ingredients and with a little measurement and effort make a dessert that makes people roll their eyes back in their head with joy? Magic.

I am a huge fan of Cooks Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen for recipes that stand the test of time. The bundt cake I made was from the ATK family baking cookbook. 

I love that cakes in particular have a very specific order of operations. Dry ingredients mixed up first.

Wet ingredients separately, in this case buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla.

Creamed butter and sugar.

Four eggs given from the ladies in the backyard, stolen from under the rump of a broody hen.

Zest of lemons for a citrus flavor.

ATK recommends brushing a flour and butter mixture into your bundt pan to get it to release properly. It worked really well!

 Beautiful, thick cake batter with a buttermilk and lemon scent.

 An hour later, perfection.

Whip up a glaze with cream cheese, confectioners sugar, vanilla and milk. Drizzle liberally. Just glop it.

Take gratuitous shots of the cake and glaze. That way you can remember what it looked like before hungry people devoured it.

The next time you reach for a box of cake mix with a list of chemical ingredients a mile long, think about making your own cake. There’s a great joy to be found in making delicious foods for your family – birthday cakes included!