Last week I went to the market with a shopping list for my weekend cooking, and spied an incredibly beautiful bottle -- bottle! -- of buttermilk from my favorite Vermont dairy on the shelf. It wasn't on the list, and I didn't have a recipe in mind, but I had to have that buttermilk. Right away I thought of cake, one a bake-o-phobe like me could pull off. This orange buttermilk Bundt cake, rich and creamy and large enough for a crowd, gets its zing from orange zest in the batter, and orange juice in the glaze. If you love frosting, bake the cake in a couple of round cake pans, and slather the layers with orange buttercream. I like it simple, so I shaved some additional orange zest on the warm sugar glaze, and it was perfect. One tip: If you're using a decorative Bundt pan, be sure to spray every nook and cranny with baking spray. I had a few small mishaps in the unmolding, but a bit of extra glaze covered them nicely.
Orange buttermilk Bundt cake
Slightly adapted from this recipe on Taste of Home. Serves 12-16.
1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 navel orange (approximately 1 heaping Tbsp)
1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Juice of 1 navel orange (approximately 3 Tbsp)
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In the workbowl of a Kitchenaid-type stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. Add this, alternating with the buttermilk, to the mixer. When the batter is smooth, stir in the vanilla extract and orange zest.
Spray the inside of a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray. Pour in the batter, making sure to distribute it evenly. Set the pan on a baking sheet.
Bake at 325F for 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the pan for 15-20 minutes, then unmold onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When the cake is cool (this will take 1-2 hours), place it on a serving plate. Whisk together the confectioners sugar and orange juice in a glass measuring cup. Add more orange juice, a few drops at a time, if needed to make the icing pourable. When the icing is smooth, drizzle all of it over the cake.
Can be made a few hours ahead. If you wish to make the cake ahead and freeze it, do not add the glaze until just before you're ready to serve.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry to use the rest of the quart of buttermilk:
Chicken and avocado lettuce boats with buttermilk Dijon dressing
Salmon and greens salad with buttermilk lemon-thyme dressing
Chipotle ranch dip or dressing
Cranberry, orange and walnut buttermilk ricotta waffles
Pear spice cupcakes
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Apple cinnamon buttermilk cake, from Pinch My Salt
Southern buttermilk cornbread, from Andrea Meyers
Blueberry buttermilk pancakes, from Cooking On the Side
Buttermilk fried chicken, from Simply Recipes
Sage and fontina buttermilk biscuits, from A Cozy Kitchen
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