This Rosemary Bourbon Orange Bundt Cake is refreshing and seductive at the same time, with herbal rosemary, warming bourbon, and sweet and tangy orange. The combination works brilliantly, which makes it the perfect entry for this month’s Bundt Bakers, where we have been charged with creating “strange but good-weird flavor combinations” (I love that description). Keep reading to see what other flavor combinations were dreamt up by our bloggers!
When I was contemplating this cake tonight, trying to decide what I was going to write about it, and wondering if you would find it weird that I used my heart pan, ostensibly for things like Valentine’s Day, for this cake with its rosemary, bourbon and orange flavors, I had a revelation. You see the assignment for this month’s Bundt Bakers was “strange but good-weird flavor combinations.” In other words, flavors that complement one another even if you might not have expected them to. And doesn’t that describe an awful lot of relationships? The more I thought on it, the more I thought it was the perfect theme for this month (I realize Valentine’s Day is in February, but as bloggers we need to always be thinking ahead, providing you with ideas for upcoming holidays).
In keeping with that theme, I knew I wanted something herbal. I adore unexpected herbs in baking. And I was thinking about those Rosemary Bourbon Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Smoked Sea Salt (another unexpected flavor combination that worked brilliantly–every single time I repin or otherwise come across that post I crave those cookies all over again), when orange just kind of came to me in place of the chocolate. Probably because during citrus season I cannot stop thinking about citrus!
My family adored this Rosemary Bourbon Orange Bundt Cake. It tasted a little like creamsicle, only more sophisticated and more complex from the bourbon and rosemary. The cake is on the sweeter side–which my family adored. I actually chose to sprinkle the barest whisper of rosemary salt over my slices, which also kept things a little more interesting. If I were to do it over again, I might sprinkle the entire cake. Just barely though–this is not the kind of dessert where a larger crystal of salt exploding on your tongue works very well. The rosemary salt I was using was finely ground and I just sprinkled a tiny bit. I leave that option up to the baker!
- 3 cups (378 g) AP flour
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 3/4 t salt
- 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- zest of 2 oranges
- 1-2 t minced fresh rosemary
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 2 T bourbon
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- juice from remaining zested oranges
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar to desired glaze thickness (read directions through first)
- a pinch or 2 of a fine sea salt preferably with rosemary, optional
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a nonstick bundt pan thoroughly with flour/grease mixture (this recipe makes 12 cups--if you are working with a 10 cup bundt pan, also bake some mini loaf cakes). Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
- Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on moderate speed for 2 mins. Add the orange zest (reserve the oranges) and rosemary. Beat another 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the sugar in 4 additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added. Continue scraping the sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 secs after each addition and scraping down the sides of bowl. Add the vanilla and bourbon and blend it in.
- Whisk together the orange juice and sour cream (this took a little more than 1/2 of an orange--reserve the remaining orange juice from the 2 zested oranges for the glaze).
- Switching to the lowest speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Remember to keep scraping sides and bottom of bowl.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s) and smooth top with rubber spatula.
- How long you bake the cake will depend on the size(s). A 12 cup cake will take 60-70 minutes. A 10 cup bundt will take approximately 55-60 minutes. 1 cup size bundlettes take around 25 minutes. You will just need to watch for whatever sizes you choose to make.
- Bake the cake(s) for the recommended time, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The baked cake will pull also slightly away from the sides of the pan.
- Cool the cake in the pan(s) on a rack for 10-15 mins, then invert onto another cooling rack.
- While the cake is cooling, squeeze the remaining orange juice as well as the juice of 1 lemon into a small saucepan. Add 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and bring to a boil, stirring and dissolving the sugar completely. Taste--it should be sweet but still quite tangy. If it needs more sugar add it now.
- Brush the glaze onto the warm cake. Brush several layers worth.
- While the cake continues to cool, pour the remaining glaze into a smaller bowl. Whisk in some powdered sugar--to make a proper "white" glaze takes a lot of powdered sugar, but I do not care for how sweet it becomes. So I prefer to add a smaller amount and make the glaze much thicker, but not truly opaque. Also because of this, I am rarely certain of how much I add, as I tend to add it by the tablespoonful, until it is as thick as I want it.
- When the cake has cooled completely, pour the remaining thicker glaze over the cake. Dust with rosemary salt if desired. Let the glaze set completely before slicing.
#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Extra thanks are due to June from How to Philosophize with Cake, for hosting this month and for choosing such a fun theme! Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.
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Looking to pin a longer collage? Try this one already on Pinterest!