Chocolate Chip Marble Bundt Cake

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Chocolate Chip Marble Bundt CakeTomorrow is National Bundt Day, and Food Librarian and the food blogging community are baking more than their fair share of bundts. In fact, this is Food Librarian’s third year of I Like Big Bundts, a time when she bakes a bundt a day for 30 days. That’s a lot of bundts!

Now that I have one or two or three or possibly more bundt pans, I decided I have no excuse for not participating, at least on National Bundt Day. Plus, my coworkers will expect something in the office tomorrow since I took today as a vacation day. I know, they’re demanding. I decided to make something with chocolate chips, and my google search happened to pull up this bundt on my friend Jami’s blog, Night Baking.

There are a bunch of steps to this bundt–it’s definitely not one of those recipes where you throw everything in one bowl then into the pan, but the end result is a moist, not overly sweet cake. My marbling skills are apparently lacking, so the inside of my cake looks a little sad; somehow I don’t think my coworkers will mind once they take a bite.

Happy National Bundt Day!

2 1/2 cups (17.5 ounces) sugar, divided
1/2 cup (1.5 ounces) cocoa powder
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup (4 ounces) hot water
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
2 2/3 cups (11 3/8 ounces) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
4 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips

Make the chocolate syrup first: in a small saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup, and water. Bring just to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray or grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Use the stand mixer to cream the butter with the remaining 2 cups (14 ounces) sugar until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, then beat in the remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Reduce the mixer speed to low. Beat in a third of the flour mixture just until the flour begins to disappear into the batter. Beat in half the milk. Beat in another third of the flour, then the rest of the milk, and then the rest of the flour; mix until smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop out a third of the batter into a medium bowl. Whisk in the reserved chocolate syrup and set aside. Spoon another third of the batter into the bundt pan and smooth it with a spatula. Spoon the chocolate batter evenly over it. Pour the remaining vanilla batter over the top. Lightly swirl the batter with a wooden skewer or butter knife to achieve a marbled effect. Making a continuous figure eight motion around the pan works well.

Bake until the cake springs back lightly when touched, about 60-70 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Invert the cooled cake onto a cake plate and dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Recipe from Buttercake Bakery via Night Baking.

Orange Sour Cream Loaf Cake

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Orange Sour Cream Loaf CakeI had good intentions. I really did. I was all set to make low(er)-sugar, low(er)-fat chocolate chip cookies from a cookbook called Eat What You Love that my best friend got me hooked on. Then I took a walk and saw the jacarandas in full bloom and cleaned out my fridge and found oranges waiting patiently to be eaten, and thought all signs point to spring (or spring baking). And once I discovered a full tub of sour cream (obviously purchased with a now-forgotten-recipe in mind, as I hate sour cream), I knew I had to make some sort of sour cream orange…thing. I googled “sour cream loaf cake” and when this gorgeous photo greeted me, I was smitten.

The original recipe called for making the batter in a food processor, but I decided early on I was doubling it and had visions of the doubled batter not fitting in the Cuisinart and ending up all over my kitchen so I opted to use my stand mixer which worked out just fine. I should also point out, this is one of those dump everything in and mix cakes, which is super nice because that way you don’t end up washing ten bowls. The recipe is similar to Ina’s Lemon Cake and Lemon Yogurt Cake because there’s a syrup that is poured and and a glaze to finish it off. And like those cakes, this one is moist and light, and the orange flavor becomes more evident after a few bites. This is one cake I will definitely be making again.

Photos of the process.

Cake Ingredients
1 cup full fat sour cream (I used light)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
zest of 3 oranges
1 tsp real vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
½ cup extra light olive oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ cups all purpose flour

Cake Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to size and place it in the bottom of the pan.

In a food processor, process sour cream, granulated sugar, eggs, orange zest, vanilla extract, salt, olive oil, and baking powder together. Add the flour and pulse until combined, being careful not to over mix. (I used a stand mixer and it worked just fine.)

Pour the cake batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Wait for 10 minutes and carefully remove to a cooling rack.

Syrup Ingredients
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Syrup Preparation
While the cake is cooking, add the orange juice and granulated sugar to a small sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted and the liquid is mainly clear. About 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Place the cooling rack on top of a piece of wax paper. Spoon the mixture over the cake. Allow the cake to finish cooling.

Glaze Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice

Glaze Preparation
Mix together powdered sugar and orange juice. Spoon glaze over the top and let the cake set up overnight before serving.

Place the cooling rack on top of a piece of wax paper. Spoon the mixture over the cake. Allow the cake to finish cooling.

Recipe adapted from The Cooking Photographer.

Buttermilk Cake Squares

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Buttermilk Cake SquaresThe recipe calls these squares of deliciousness brownies; however, being the brownie expert I am, and having sampled one or two or three or a lot, I feel the need to clarify: These are not brownies, they are moist, chocolately, yummy pieces of cake topped with frosting you just plop on top of a warm pan of brownies cake. I’m guessing they were named brownies because they’re baked in a pan and cut into squares, but don’t let that fool you. These are cake squares. Yes, that is the official terminology.

Did I mention these cake squares are pretty damn good? Like, really good? Especially when they’re still warm? Well, they are. And they’re super easy to make! A few ingredients on the stove, a few in the mixing bowl (including flour and sugar together, weird, I know!), combine everything, then add in two more things. And the frosting? No need to spread and make it look pretty. It kind of glides all over the warm cake all on its own.

Photos of the process here.

Cake Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate-Buttermilk Frosting
In a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup butter, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3 tablespoons buttermilk or sour milk. Bring mixture to boiling. Remove from heat. Add 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. If desired, stir in 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans.

Cake Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15x10x1-inch or a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine water, butter, and cocoa powder. Bring mixture just to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add the cocoa mixture to the flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake about 25 minutes for the 15x10x1-inch pan, about 35 minutes for the 13x9x2-inch pan, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Pour warm Chocolate-Buttermilk Frosting over the warm brownies, spreading evenly. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

The recipe claims to make 24 pieces, but those would be huge squares.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens.

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