This recipe is dedicated to my American and German friends and now I’ll explain why. ‘Bund’ roughly means gathering in German (please correct me if Google is wrong) so I guess that this traditional ring cake would be to feed a group of people, hopefully friends, so it would be a ‘bundkuchen’. An alternative German translation is ‘waistband’ so probably equally suitable! Bundt is actually the trademarked name given to cast aluminum pans by Nordic Ware made in North America and made popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s. But bundt cakes seem to have been around longer than that and probably are an evolution of the gugelhopf/kugelhopf, a cake made of yeasted dough and baked in a similar tin. I guess a sponge cake is quicker and easier for most people these days than an enriched yeasted dough. There is no one recipe that defines a bundt cake so it is completely open to interpretation – my ideal. Because a large point of a bundt cake is the molded decoration on the cake (and therefore the cost of the tin), bundt cakes are generally simply decorated with icing sugar or a pour-over glaze.
I have been drooling over pretty bundt cakes in bloggerland for many weeks now. Though just a cake, the distinctive ring shapes with folds and peaks really pulls this cake into another level of sculptural. But I really did not feel like paying £30 plus for one of the ultra pretty Nordic Ware ones. Until I found one half price in TK Maxx this past Friday; I couldn’t resist. So cake tin bought, I needed a recipe that would do justice to my new tin. Big problem; all the recipes I could find were in cups and sticks of butter. For a precise chemical reaction such as cake making, inaccurate and annoying American measurements are infuriating. So I made up my own recipe, a sort of amalgamation of several different recipes from the USA which I converted to weight measurements and added some inspiration of my own. I have to admit it worked out well and I will be looking forward to experimenting with my pretty tin again in the future.
This cake is lovely and moist and looks so impressive sitting on a pretty cake stand with glaze dribbling down the sides. The glaze forms a tasty crust and helps the cake keep longer, as does the addition of ground almonds. I think this would make a perfect Thanksgiving centre piece for those of us who don’t like pumpkin pie or who don’t live in the USA. Although the recipe list looks extensive, it really isn’t. If you haven’t got all the spices, try substituting ground mixed spice.