This is that time where I cover my face with my hands and plead guilty to the fact that I’m SO behind schedule. It just figures that one of the few times where I actually hint at what’s coming up next, I manage to flub things up and postpone everything to the last possible minute – when it’s 99% likely that something won’t go as planned. I swear this is a lesson I should have learned by now, but maybe the 100th time is the charm, or something like that…
On the other hand, the best things are totally, ALWAYS worth waiting for, a few days late or not, and this cake has officially been filed under “best things” – no questions asked. There are recipes that you expect to be showstoppers and absolutely are, and then there are the ones you expect to be good, but just maybe not knock-your-socks off good. This bundt cake is in a third category: the kind of recipe that you jump into with very little prior thought or planning, thinking that something pretty good might come out of it, only to be blown out of the water when it turns out really freakin’ great. (And yes, we have to thank that – in part – to the magic of sweet vanilla bean whipped cream and juicy candied kumquats, but even without the embellishments, this one’s a stunner.)
It’s light and refreshing, loaded with sweet notes of vanilla and bright bursts of kumquat, and a lot like a pound cake with its tight but ultra-tender crumb. The difference is that it’s nowhere near as heavy as a pound cake (definitely no pound of butter going on here), with a crisp flavor that screams “Hellooooo Spring” because of all those tangy-sweet kumquats. Every bite has this intoxicating combination of sweet vanilla and tart citrus, dense crumb and soft-enough-for-a-butter-knife tenderness, and cool winter fruit inspiration with bright spring vibes. And if you add that whipped cream (which really should never be a matter of “if”) – you get the added contrast of light-as-air cream with perfectly dense cake. Throw in those candied kumquats for a little somethin’ extra and you have yourself a fancy-pants springtime dessert that (bonus!) is really easy to make.
A light, fresh, and citrusy bundt cake with a tender, poundcake-like crumb and tangy bits of kumquat in every bite.
- 12 3/4 ounces (3 cups, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unrefined coconut oil
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 8 3/4 ounces (1 1/4 cups) vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 3 eggs, room temperature*
- 6 3/8 ounces (3/4 cup) low fat buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 1/4 ounces (1 1/2 cups) chopped kumquats
- confectioner's sugar, for dusting
- 8 1/4 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- Preheat oven to 325ºF and grease a 10-15 cup bundt pan with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a bowl and handheld electric mixer), cream together the coconut oil, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla bean until light and fluffy. Wiping down the bowl and beater as needed, beat in the eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated.
- Whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla extract.
- With mixer on lowest speed, mix in about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by 1/2 of the liquids, mixing each addition in until mostly incorporated and continuing in this manner until all has been added. Add chopped kumquats and fold in by hand just until all ingredients are evenly combined.
- Transfer batter to bundt pan, making sure to fill to all corners and edges, and smoothing out top lightly with a spatula. Firmly rap pan on counter a few times to ensure batter settles into pan evenly.
- Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted all the way into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 30 minutes, and then flip onto wire rack to cool completely.
- Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Serve with vanilla bean whipped cream and candied kumquats, if desired. Cake is best at room temperature, but for longer shelf life, keep refrigerated.
- Combine cream, sugar, and vanilla bean in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a bowl using a handheld electric mixer). Beat on medium-high speed until cream holds peaks.
*To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, place in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before using.
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