This lovely vanilla bean and Earl Grey bundt cake is suffused with the aroma of black tea and bergamot, studded with fragrant vanilla beans, and drizzled with a tangelo glaze. Consider it a laid-back showstopper for your Easter or other spring gatherings.
This is a thoughtful little vanilla bean and Earl Grey bundt cake that’s ready to make you look good during peak bundt season. My evidence for peak bundt is purely vibes, but I do think of Easter and spring generally as being very bundt-heavy. And it’s a good thing, too, since bundt cakes are particularly well-suited to citrusy treatments.
This cake is layered with late season citrus. The cake itself has tangelo zest and bergamot-tinged Earl Grey tea leaves throughout, while the exterior is drizzled with a simple glaze of tangelo juice and powdered sugar. To keep things current, wild violets, red buds, and sliced tangelos adorn the bottom of the cake.
A Good Bundt Cake Starts with the Pan
You probably already know if you are a bundt person. The main tipoff is whether or not you own a bundt mold. Buying one is an investment and a commitment. I’ve been very happy with Nordic Ware’s cast aluminum bundt pans. For my first bundt mold, I went with the classic, but it always felt kind of dull next to showier designs. So I got another bundt pan with crisp edges and curving swirls. Bundts come in a couple of sizes – 10-cup and 6-cup. The bigger bundt makes for an impressively large bundt cake, which is good for company and potlucks. The 6-cup is good for smaller affairs – and makes enough cake for 6 – 8 folks.
Will the Cake Stick to the Pan?
The theory and practice and unsticking a bundt cake from the pan is well documented. Brushed melted shortening or butter and flour or sugar dusting methods work in a pinch. But my preferred, works-every-time method is to use a baking spray made especially for un-sticking cakes. The dusting technique can leave your cake with a milky or lumpy exterior, while the spray disappears and is great. I use this one.
This lovely vanilla bean and Earl Grey bundt cake is suffused with the aroma of black tea and bergamot, studded with fragrant vanilla beans, and drizzled with a tangelo glaze. Consider it a laid-back showstopper for your Easter or other spring gatherings. Recipe adapted from King Arthur Baking.
This recipe makes enough for a 6-cup bundt. For a larger 10-cup bundt, use the servings slider to increase the servings to 12 servings. This will give you the correct proportions for the larger cake, but note that the gram amounts will not increase, just the cups.
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (247 g) sugar
- 2- inch section of vanilla bean, halved
- 2 tablespoons grated tangelo zest, or use your citrus of choice
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (3/4 teaspoon if using another salt)
- 1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea, from about 2 - 3 teabags
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons tangelo juice, or use your citrus of choice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Edible flowers and sliced citrus for garnish
30 minutes to an hour ahead of time, set your butter, eggs, and milk out to come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 6-cup bundt pan with non-stick baking spray or use one of the methods detailed here.
Measure the sugar into a small mixing bowl. Scrape the vanilla beans from the pod into the sugar, add the zest, and mix both into the sugar with your fingertips.
Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into another bowl, and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, flavored sugar, and tea on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed. Add the vanilla extract.
Switch mixer to low, and add 1/3 of the flour, followed by half the milk. Add the next third, the rest of the milk, and the rest of the flour. At each step, mix just until incorporated.
Spoon batter into the prepared baking pan. Smooth out the top with the back of the spoon, and bang the pan on the counter a few times to dislodge any bubbles.
Bake the cake 35 - 45 minutes. Check for doneness with a wooden skewer at the 35 minute mark – the skewer should come out with just a few crumbs attached. Continue checking every 5 minutes until cake is cooked through.
Set cake on a baking rack to cool 10 minutes, then flip out of the mold and back onto the rack. While the cake is still warm, in a small bowl, mix 3/4 of the juice with the powdered sugar. Add additional juice as needed – the glaze should be drippy. Spoon over the cake and allow cake to cool.
Garnish with edible flowers and sliced tangelos, and serve! Cake will keep well covered at room temperature for a few days.