I was itching to bake another Bundt cake this weekend. Part of the reason why was because the kids absolutely love Bundt cakes. Another reason is that these are big cakes and therefore there are a lot of leftovers that I can freeze and save for another day–which has come in handy more times than I can count. Yet another reason is that it’s the Christmas season, and I am on the look out for a festive cake that is simple yet worthy enough to get a spot on the Christmas dessert buffet table. I wanted to use the red cranberry as my starting point. The British “drizzle” cake–particularly the lemon drizzle cake–is a traditional cake that I had yet to try. Why not put the two together?
If you follow the Great British Baking Show, the drizzle cake was one of the Signature bakes that the contestants had to tackle. Check out this report about the episode. It covers some history about the cake, including the fact that it was created in the 17th century by an Italian pastry chef, and came to the fore beginning in Victorian times. The cake is a light, moist sponge bathed in a flavorful syrup when the cake is still warm.
For my cake this time around, I used self-rising flour, which I usually shy away from using. It seems as though plenty of British cake recipes call for self-rising flour, so I wanted to give it a try. One thing that I did differently than the traditional cake is that I used oil instead of butter. Yikes! Despite this change, I’m still calling it a drizzle cake since I did plenty of drizzling! One of these days, I need to try it with butter and see if the texture changes. Another side-step from the traditional drizzle cake is that I didn’t poke holes in the cake before drizzling. I didn’t want the holes to show through. The cake was very moist even without the drizzle going down the holes, but next time, I will poke this cake with holes as is supposed to be done! Meanwhile–here is how this version went:
I chopped up some fresh cranberries in my trusty mini-food processor. In the standing mixer, I beat together the eggs, sugar, oil, lemon zest and a touch of lemon extract. [The extract isn’t entirely necessary–most drizzle cake recipes I’ve come across don’t include extract. Depends on how lemony you want the cake to be.]
On low-speed, I mixed the flour (with baking powder) alternating with some milk, but only mixed it part-way.
I then added the chopped cranberries and mixed until fully incorporated. The batter became more soupy after adding in the cranberries.
I poured the batter into the pan. The batter filled about 2/3 of the pan, so I got a little worried that the cake would be too low. I put it in the oven nonetheless.
After the cake came out of the oven, I saw that it didn’t rise to reach the rim of the pan, so either the cake collapsed and didn’t cook through (my continual fear when baking cakes), or it will just be a lower cake than my other Bundt cakes. But there wasn’t too much time to worry about that because I had to be ready with the lemon drizzle right after turning the cake onto a rack so that the cake can be drizzled while still warm.
The drizzle was very straightforward. I just mixed granulated sugar with the juice from 2 of the lemons I used to get the lemon zest for the cake.
I then set to work drizzling the syrup all over the cake. (Traditionalists would poke holes into the cake first.)
After drizzling the cake all over, a nice coating formed. To add more lemon punch, I decided to make a topping of sugar and lemon zest.
I then sprinkled this mixture over the very top of the cake.
On the next day, the sugary coating hardened a bit.
I was interested in seeing the inside of the cake. Did it collapse or not?!
Luckily it didn’t. It was lovely in the middle. At this point, I was only interested in tasting the cake!
The cake was so light and moist! The tang from the lemon and cranberries made each bite a truly refreshing experience.