Salted, Malted Chocolate Bundt Cake

This cake came to me in a snow-covered dream. I woke up Sunday knowing I had to do three things: shovel my driveway, take my kids sledding, and bake something. It’s no secret I love to be snowed in; I view it as nature’s permission to let everything go — I don’t stress about it, I don’t complain about it, I just let it all go. Northern Virginia was in the epicenter of the recent “snowzilla” storm. We had historic snowfall and the world shut down for a few days. It was pretty wonderful. I’ll be back at work tomorrow, so while I’m enjoying my last day of snowed in freedom, I thought I’d hop back on the blogging wagon and share this wonderful, easy recipe. No mixer required, and I bet you have most of the ingredients in your pantry.

The malt powder isn’t absolutely necessary — meaning your texture won’t suffer if you leave it out. You’ll still have a delicious, moist chocolate cake — but it’s so, so good. If you grew up drinking malted milkshakes like I did (my dad made/makes the best milkshakes), you might already have a container in your pantry, and if you want a treat, you’ll want to make a special trip to grab some. It’s sold in most grocery stores in the coffee/tea/hot chocolate section usually. You can stir it into cold milk, add it to your favorite cookie recipes, or, of course, make milkshakes with it. It’s nostalgic, old-fashioned, and truly one of my favorite things. My son loves it too, which just makes me so darn happy– have I ever told you how much I love that little guy?

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Salted, Malted Chocolate Bundt Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: Ani Hughes — CookonaWhim.com

For the cake:

  • Non-stick baking spray (I am in love with Baker’s Joy) or butter for the pan
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup malt powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee 1/2 cup hot water (you can use all hot water, but I love the richness the coffee gives)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate glaze:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons malt powder (plus a pinch or two for sprinkling)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk (or enough to make a smooth, pourable glaze)
  • a sprinkle of sea salt (maldon flaked sea salt is my favorite, but kosher salt will work just fine)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10 – 12 cup bundt pan, or spray generously with baking spray. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in microwave or a small saucepan, remove from heat and add cocoa powder and malt powder. Whisk until smooth. Add coffee/water, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla and whisk again until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Add butter mixture and whisk until smooth–this is a loose batter so don’t worry if it looks too thin.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes—don’t over bake! Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto a large platter or cakestand. Let cool completely before glazing.
  5. While the cake is cooling, make the chocolate glaze. Place all ingredients except salt into a medium bowl and whisk until smooth and a thick ribbon forms when you hold your whisk in the air. You want this pourable, not spreadable.
  6. Generously drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake. Wait 5 minutes for glaze to set a bit and sprinkle with malt powder and sea salt.
  7. Slice and devour

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Craving Inspiration

I have been wrestling with the idea of starting a blog for months… When I finally decided to go for it, I quickly learned that choosing a name would prove to be a daunting task. I googled and googled… searching for inspiration. I came up with nothing. I polled my friends and family. No luck. I looked through my favorite food magazines and cookbooks. Still nothing.

So, one morning I woke up thinking about orange pound cake. Maybe I was dreaming about it (it’s pretty darn dreamy…). If you’ve ever had an Orange Julius or a Dreamsicle, imagine that taste in cake form. The tart orange/sweet vanilla combo… Are you imagining it? Ok, that’s why I wake up thinking about this pound cake. Happily, I had a few oranges in the back of my fridge, and goodness knows I had butter, flour, and sugar. With a few more pantry staples gathered, I whipped up my dreamy cakes.

After baking my beauties, I sent a picture of them, still warm from the oven, to a friend and wrote, “Orange pound cake, on a whim!” (with an overly cheerful emoticon, I’m sure). The reply was, “You’re the only person I know who makes orange pound cake on a whim!” And that’s when the light bulb went off. “That’s it!!” I thought. Or maybe I said it out loud. Who can remember?

I will thank that orange pound cake craving for the rest of my blogging life. It only seemed fair to let it be the subject of my very first post. This recipe began as The Barefoot Contessa’s Orange Pound Cake, (Oh how I love that woman…) I have made a few changes but she certainly deserves the credit. Here’s how I make it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of very soft butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • zest from 5 oranges
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon regular fine salt)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (I changed this from buttermilk, because I never have it, and I always have greek yogurt, but it will work with either)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

To Prepare:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two loaf pans, I use the butter wrappers for this.

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Next, cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy-about 5 minutes on medium high speed.

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Then, with mixer on low add eggs one at a time(ish) and orange zest. Scrape down sides.

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Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda) in a bowl, and in a separate bowl or measuring cup combine yogurt (or buttermilk), vanilla, and orange juice, whisk to combine. With the mixer on low add the wet and dry mixtures alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. (I used to think this was an unnecessary, fancy cake baking step, but it really makes a difference… don’t ask me why).

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Don’t overmix. Remove paddle attachment and give the batter a good top to bottom mix with a rubber spatula, then divide evenly between the two pans.

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Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour while you enjoy the buttery orange and vanilla scented aroma floating through your house… When your cakes are done a toothpick will come out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool slightly in pans, and enjoy.

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This cake is good no matter what you do with it. Warm from the oven, midnight snack, breakfast… (It’s kind of like a muffin!), and of course, you can’t go wrong if you top it with a big scoop of good vanilla bean ice cream…