Easter Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

Easter Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

It’s that time of year again, a time for bunnies, flowers, and chocolates… Easter is almost here! This is the perfect occasion to do a really pretty cake. I have a lovely cake for you, today, which is beautiful for Easter, but it is so easy and delightful that you could make it (minus the chocolate eggs and flowers, as decoration) for any occasion you like.

Easter Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake is one of my favourite cake recipes. Its wonderfully rich vanilla flavouring comes from vanilla bean paste. You can use vanilla beans or vanilla extract, if you’d prefer, but I’m a huge fan of vanilla bean paste, so that’s what I’ve used for this cake. Both the bundt cake and the glaze which is drizzled on top contain vanilla bean paste, so you get double the vanilla goodness!

Easter Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

As you can see, for Easter, I’ve decorated the cake with candy-coated chocolate eggs on top and flowers, which were from my garden’s pink trumpet vine, around the bottom edge. Feel free to decorate the cake any way you want to–or not at all. I can imagine a few tiny chocolate bunnies on top of the cake, along with the chocolate eggs, or maybe a few sprigs of very small flowers (either real ones or sugar flowers, like forget-me-nots) circling the top. Get creative! This is an occasion for celebration and beauty.

Easter Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

I wish you could see how gorgeous the inside of the cake was. I didn’t get any photos of the inside of this cake, because I was too busy serving it to our guests, at last year’s Easter lunch. The crumb of this cake is very tender, and the flavour is just wonderful. As simple as vanilla may seem, it can be very satisfying. This cake totally gets it right. Those adorable chocolate eggs are delicious, too! (I could eat them by the handful, if I let myself!)

Happy Easter, everybody! I hope your holiday will be beautiful.

Enjoy the recipe…

Easter Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

This cake is beautiful for Easter, but it is so easy and delightful that you could make it for any occasion you like. Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake is one of my favourite cake recipes. Its wonderfully rich vanilla flavouring comes from vanilla bean paste.

This recipe was adapted from Sweetapolita.

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4g) salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (2-1/4 sticks or 255 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature

For the Glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1-3 tablespoons whole milk (use less milk if you use vanilla extract)
  • About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar/ soft icing mixture

To Decorate:

  • 30-40 mini candy-coated chocolate eggs (I used Cadbury’s eggs)
  • A handful of fresh flowers (They must be organic/ not treated with chemicals of any kind, to be near food.)

Directions

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F/ 180°C/ 160°C fan-forced with rack in middle. Generously butter pan or spray with canola oil, and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans with tip of a paring knife and add into butter mixture, reserving pods for another use, or add vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, and beat until well combined, about 1 minute.

Add eggs, one at a time, to creamed butter and sugar, beating well after each addition. At low speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into pan, smoothing and spreading evenly. Gently tap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until the tip of a skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan for 1 hour, covered with a clean tea towel. Then invert cake onto a rack and cool completely, for about 1 hour.

For the Glaze:

Put confectioners’ sugar/ soft icing mixture and vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract in Pyrex measuring cup. Add milk 1 tsp at a time, whisking constantly, until you get desired consistency. The glaze should be thick yet pourable.

You want to make sure that it’s not too runny, or it won’t dry white on the cake, and will run off too quickly. It should take a few seconds to whisk it, and it will feel too thick at first–keep whisking until you get desired thickness. If too thick, add a teaspoon or so of the milk. If glaze is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar/ soft icing sugar 1 tsp at a time.

Once the cake has cooled, drizzle glaze over top.

To Decorate:

While the glaze is still moist, gently press candy-coated chocolate eggs into the glaze on the top of the cake. Arrange fresh flowers around the bottom edge of the cake.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2018 for a delicious moment.

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Caramel Apple Pretzel Slice

This luscious chilled slice has a wonderful combination of flavours and textures. A base of crunchy crushed pretzel with a hint of cinnamon, a sweet creamy filling, and a layer of homemade apple jelly with fresh grated apple make a delicious slice. A drizzle of caramel topping added just before serving is the perfect sweet finishing touch to this dessert.

Like many food cravings, this one started with a fond childhood memory. Well, in a way, it did. I had a craving for strawberry pretzel salad, which was a very popular dessert at family picnics, when I was growing up in the 1980’s, in Ohio. The sweet and salty, crunchy and creamy juxtapositions made for a delightful dessert. I’ve made strawberry pretzel salad a few times, and my family really enjoyed it. It was just as delicious as I had remembered.

Then… I thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful to try making this dessert with apples instead of strawberries? Yes, that sounds delicious. Then, I had a revelation… What would make this even better? Caramel sauce. Oh, yessss. So, that is how this recipe for Caramel Apple Pretzel Slice was born.

Caramel Apple Pretzel Slice

I daydreamed about making this Caramel Apple Pretzel Slice for months. Since it’s a chilled dessert, I was waiting for summer to make it. I’m always looking for things to make in the heat of summer, since I live in such a hot climate, here in South Australia. But I kept pushing it back, because I kept making other things. Other cravings had to be satisfied, you see. Next thing I knew, summer was nearly over, and I had not yet made this slice. I finally made this dessert on the second-to-last day of summer. It was well worth the wait! In fact, I think it’s a pretty perfect late summer dessert, since apples are coming into season, and a chilled dessert is always welcome at this warm time of year. Of course, it would be delicious any time of year!

By the way, for those of you who are wondering what the term “slice” is all about, as far as I can tell, it is an Australian word for just about anything, sweet or savory, which can be served in slices. Things which we Americans would call a brownie, bar, frittata, or even a salad, as in this case, would probably be called a slice, here in Australia. It makes sense, for this recipe to be called a slice, since it is served in slices.

Caramel Apple Pretzel Slice

I’ve got to say, this dessert was luscious. I love a good sweet and salty balance, as well as a contrast of crunchy and creamy textures. The fruitiness of the apple also works beautifully. This slice is fairly easy to make. It just takes a bit of time to do the layers. There is more waiting than work involved. You won’t need to turn on your oven at all to make this slice. You will need to turn on your food processor and your mixer, unless you are willing to put in a good arm workout (I’m not).

The pretzel crust and the creamy layer are both quite easy to make. The apple jelly layer was a challenge for me to figure out, when I was considering how to create this recipe. I wanted the apple layer to be easy to make, and to taste very fresh and fruity. Also, I thought it might be difficult to find apple jelly mix.

One great thing that I learned is how incredibly easy it is to make your own jelly from fruit juice. You just use a simple ratio of 1 Tbsp gelatin powder to 2 cups juice. It’s super easy, and you don’t need to add any sugar. The fruit juice is sweet enough. I used cloudy apple juice, because I like it a lot more than the clear kind. So, I made apple jelly for the apple layer, along with grated apple. I know grating apple might seem a little odd. Trust me, though, it’s lovely. Grated apple has such a fresh taste, and it works really well in this dessert. (I first made it for my son, when he was a baby. It is a quick, easy treat for little ones who are just starting to learn how to eat.  Make homemade apple jelly for your babies and toddlers. They’ll love it!)

As for the caramel sauce on top, you really need to drizzle the sauce on just before serving. If you do it too early, the caramel will mix with the apple jelly and make a less-than-pretty presentation. If you like more salt than sweetness, you could use salted caramel sauce instead of caramel sauce.

Enjoy…

Caramel Apple Pretzel Slice

This luscious chilled slice has a wonderful combination of flavours and textures. A base of crunchy crushed pretzel with a hint of cinnamon, a sweet creamy filling, and a layer of homemade apple jelly with fresh grated apple make a delicious slice. A drizzle of caramel topping added just before serving is the perfect sweet finishing touch to this dessert.

My recipe was inspired by a recipe for Strawberry Pretzel Salad. Directions for the apple jelly were found here.

Ingredients

For Crust:

  • 2 cups/ 200 g pretzels
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 7/8 cup/ 200 g salted butter, melted and cooled slightly

For Creamy Filling:

  • 8 oz/ 225g cream cheese (not low fat), at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz/ 225mL whipping cream/ thickened cream (not low fat)

For Apple Jelly Layer:

  • 1 Tbsp gelatin powder
  • 2 cups cloudy apple juice
  • 1 large apple

Topping:

  • Store-bought (or homemade) caramel sauce, in a squeeze bottle

Directions

For Crust:

  1. Spray oil or butter a 9 x 13-inch Pyrex baking pan.
  2. Put pretzels, sugar, and cinnamon in bowl of food processor. Pulse until pretzels are crushed to fine crumbs. Pour the melted butter over pretzel crumbs. Stir with a fork until pretzel mixture is evenly moistened with butter.
  3. Press mixture into bottom of baking pan. Chill for about 20-30 minutes, while preparing the creamy filling.

For Creamy Filling:

  1. Using an electric mixer, whip the whipping/ thickened cream until fluffy. (Do not walk away, while mixing! This will happen very quickly!) Using a rubber spatula, scoop out whipped cream into a large glass bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  2. Using electric mixer, again, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, for about 2 minutes.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the whipped, sweetened cream cheese.
  4. Spread cream mixture evenly over the pretzel crust. Refrigerate slice while you prepare the apple jelly layer.

For Apple Jelly Layer:

  1. Pour 1 cup of cloudy apple juice into a saucepan, and warm over low heat. You don’t need to boil the juice, just to warm it up.
  2. Once apple juice is warm (Use your finger to test warmth. It should be warm, not hot.), whisk in 1 Tbsp gelatin powder. Mix it well, until there are no clumps.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat. Whisk in the other cup of apple juice, until blended. Pour jelly into a large Pyrex bowl.
  4. Refrigerate jelly for 1 1/2 hours or until thickened, but not completely set.
  5. Once jelly is the right consistency, peel and grate the apple. Gently stir 1 cup of grated apple into apple jelly.
  6. Spoon blobs of apple jelly mixture over the cream cheese layer. Gently and evenly spread jelly mixture over creamy filling.
  7. Cover and refrigerate slice for at least 3 hours, or until apple jelly layer is firm.
  8. Cut slice into squares, to serve. Drizzle caramel sauce over each serving. Serve immediately.
  9. Leftovers should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Slice will stay fresh for 2 days.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2018 for a delicious moment.