That first day after getting home from the beach, I was craving cake. It sounds absurd, since this is hardly health food, but after a decadent week of Oreos (thanks, Dad), ice cream, peanut M&Ms (thanks, Dad again), and more ice cream, I wanted something simpler and less rich. And homey-er.
In the meantime, the basil plant above my kitchen sink had exploded. I told our house sitter she should use the basil, but I suspect she did not. So when I saw this recipe for a basil lime cake, I knew I was going to make it. You might be wondering how this cake compares to the Lemon Basil Bundt Cake I made. They are both delicious cakes–this was simpler and quicker but the previous cake was more striking. They both have a time and place.
My friend Donna, who took pictures of the Sweet and Sour Chana Saag for me, was with me while I was glazing this cake, so for the first time ever I actually have pictures of myself working. Donna is a fabulous photographer who specializes in photographing kids and families in natural settings, and having her around while I cook has been great fun, both because she can photograph me working and also because we can talk shop, with her giving me pointers on how to more completely utilize my camera. (Yes I am like everyone else in that I only understand a tiny percentage of what my camera can do.)
- For the cake:
- ⅓ cup basil leaves, minced
- 1¼ cup whole milk (I used 2% by necessity)
- 2½ cups (315 g) AP flour
- 2½ t baking powder
- ½ t salt
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1¾ cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 T lime juice
- zest of 4 limes
- For the glaze:
- juice from 4 limes
- sugar to taste, about 1-2 cups
- Mince the basil finely and then add it to the milk. Set it aside and let it steep for 10 minutes at a minimum, to let the basil oil mix with the milk.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 9 inch, 10 cup bundt pan. Set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and lime zest in an electric mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar with the mixer on medium speed, and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in the vanilla and lime juice.
- Alternating ingredients, with the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour mixture and basil milk in 4 and 3 additions, respectively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, you will know the cake is ready to come out when a cake tester comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attacher, and the sides of the cake have begun to pull away from the pan. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. I like a tart glaze, so I used the remaining lime juice from the 4 limes. Mix this with a cup of sugar and bring to a boil in a small saucepan. Taste, and if you want it sweeter, add more sugar. Let boil for 5 minutes and then remove from the he
- After inverting the cake onto a cooling rack, brush the warm cake with the warm glaze. I brushed on about 3 layers; the tart-sweet lime glaze is my favorite part so I like a good layer of it! Cool before slicing.