A few months ago I came across a wonderful little piece of history, well family history anyway. My mother had been on an organizing spree (thank you spring), and had been going through old pots and pans. I had seen and admired them before, but never been brave enough to ask for them. By "them", I mean the mini copper bundt pans that belonged to my grandmother. She had a taste for fine kitchen wares, and these just seemed too nice in the past. Luckily on that day, I was ready, and now they happily sit in my kitchen, keeping the memories of my Gina alive and well.
The passing down of family mementos is a wonderful tradition, made all the better, and sweeter, when these items can still be used on a regular basis. Which is exactly what I did with my Gina's bundt pans...
With warm spring sunshine pouring in through the windows it just felt like the right time to bake a cake...
One that is just the right size for little ones (and big ones), and that travels well too! Filled with yummy almonds, and drizzled with a sweet orange glaze.
Yep, warm weekend afternoons spent out in the park on the newly green grass, enjoying a delicious sweet treat sounds just perfect to me... and I think Gina would agree.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1-1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract (depending on how intense of flavor you want)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup ground almonds (can add a 1/4 cup more if desired)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2-3/4 cup milk
- 1/2-1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 orange
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Slivered almonds for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the mini pans, or a 10" bundt cake pan (I only had 4 mini bundt pans measuring about 4" in diameter, so I had enough batter left over to make a 9" cake round). Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and ground almonds in a separate bowl.
In a large bowl, or mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the almond and vanilla extract, then the yogurt. Next, beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk (make sure to finish with the milk, that way you can control the consistency of the batter.) You are going for a classic cake batter consistency here. Fill the mini pans about 1/2 an inch from the top, the same goes if you have leftovers going into a cake pan.
If you are baking mini cakes around the same size as mine, start checking your cakes around the 35 min mark. Look for the tops to be golden in color and a tooth pick to come out clean. If you're baking a traditional 10" cake start checking it around 55 min to an hour. Once they are baked, remove from the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes. Now the fun part. Hopefully if you greased and floured the little guys, they will plop right out onto a wire rack or cool sheet pan easily. Others may need a little encouragement (tapping, wiggling, knife around the top edge, etc).
For the glaze, use your best judgement. I kept it simple and started with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and squeezed in 1/2 of a fresh orange. From there I just kept adding one or the other until I had the consistency I wanted. I also added about a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla.
Finally I used a spoon to drizzle the gaze over the cakes and sprinkle the slivered almonds on top.
I hope you enjoy these delightful little cakes as much as I did, and hopefully your will power is stronger than mine!
* Last time in Recipes: Carrot Gnocchi with Lemon Kale Salad