12/16/2014

A SPRUCED UP VANILLA HOLIDAY TREE CAKE...

I'm quite happy to tell you about that cake!! It was featured on yesterday's post that I'm so glad many of you enjoyed. I wanted to feature a holiday dessert in the post that was different from the typical dessert. So a few weeks before the post, I was flipping through my cookbooks to get ideas. I was going through Nigella Lawson's "Nigella Christmas" cookbook when I ran across the recipe for this cake. I'll just pause and say that I've always been a fan of Nigella. Listening to her British accent as she describes her cooking on her cooking shows is one of my favorite things to do. She's not a fussy cook either and this recipe is proof of that. Friends, all you have to do to make this cake is get this super fun holiday tree bundt pan (I found mine at HomeGoods, but you can also find it here and here), butter and flour the pan (see my foolproof method for doing that below) dump all of the ingredients in a food processor, "blitz" all of the ingredients (as Nigella says), pour the batter in the pan, and bake. Done and done. The cake itself is a moist, eggy, cake that is full of holiday flavor thanks to the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger. Once you sprinkle the finished cooled cake with powdered sugar, and maybe stud it with some colored or pearled removable pins to create little "lights for the trees (like you see there), I personally think it transforms into a great centerpiece for a holiday table. I think the kids would really enjoy baking and eating this cake as well. It's just a pretty cake that is super easy to make, looks good, AND tastes good. You just can't beat that... 


Here is what you need and what to do (makes 8-12 slices):

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Confectioners sugar for dusting the finished cake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a small baking sheet into the oven at the same time for it to preheat. Butter and flour the pan. To do this, I used a pastry brush to brush room temperature butter in the pan. Using the brush ensures that every crevice of the pan was buttered. I then took a small sifter to sift flour inside and around the sides the pan. I tapped the pan over the kitchen sink to remove any excess flour. I PROMISE that is the most time consuming part of making this cake... :)

2. Add all of the ingredients except for the confectioners sugar into a food processor. Blitz until all of the ingredients are well combined.

3. Pour and spoon the batter into the pan. Smooth the top with a spatula.

4. Place the pan onto the baking sheet in the oven. Bake the cake for about 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

5. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Gently pull away the edges of the cake  with your fingers. Then gently turn out the cake. Once the cake has cooled, dust the cake with confectioners sugar using a small sieve.

Enjoy!

Images by Paula Coldiron
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