In defense of smaller Bundts: Dark Chocolate Bundt with Peanut Butter Glaze
Let me be blunt. I like big Bundts. A lot. I make (and eat) them frequently. And, as mentioned many times before, I have a pretty vast collection of 10 and 12-cup Bundt pans representing many eras and many forms (yes, “collection” is a nice way of saying “I have a hoarding problem”). Chances are – if you come to my house for a dinner party, dessert will be in Bundt form. No one has ever complained.
But sometimes you just want your own personal Bundt. Something shareable (over a few days of course) between two people. Something to nibble on in the morning (say, Reverse Marble Bundt) for breakfast and something you can go back to again at midnight for a “snack”. In other words: sometimes you don’t want a traditional 12-cup Bundt cake hanging around because bathing suit season is just around the bend and you know if you make a big Bundt, you will eat too much of the big Bundt and bathing suit season will be misery.
Good news. I offer salvation. It is the genius of the 6-cup Bundt. It is Bundt love in miniature. You CAN have your cake and eat it too.
Here is how to turn your favorite (or any) 10 or 12-cup Bundt cake recipe into a 6-cup Bundt cake recipe:
1. Divide the ingredients in half. If your original recipe calls for 3 large eggs, do not try to chop an egg yolk/white in half, just default and use 2 large eggs (better yet, use 2 regular – not large – eggs).
2. Watch the timing. Naturally, a 6-cup Bundt will cook more quickly than a full-size Bundt. There is no hard and fast rule, but generally speaking if a full size Bundt requires 60 minutes in the oven, a 6-cup Bundt only requires 40 minutes. HOWEVER, start checking for doneness (the toothpick test) at 25 to 30 minutes or so.
3. If you really want to get scientific about things, you could adjust the leavening (baking soda/baking powder) with a little more care (i.e. I don’t always reduce the leavening by half when halving a recipe…sometimes I adjust it by 75% and sometimes by 33%). The reasoning is overly complicated. But suffice it to say, in about ten random full-size to 6-cup Bundt tests, it is a completely fine and safe bet to just reduce everything by half.
4. All 6-cup Bundt recipes begin with a really great 10 or 12-cup Bundt recipe. Might we suggest you give our Root Beer Bundt Cake (from our first cookbook) a whirl?
5. Lastly: if you have two 6-cup Bundt pans, you could make a regular sized Bundt recipe, and make two 6-cup Bundt cakes. Keep one for yourself. Give one away to a great friend.
And now for a recipe: Thankfully, someone gave me a copy of Christie Matheson’s Cake Simple (basically a book of Bundts) a year or two ago and I fell instantly in love (how could I not?). Though I have not had a chance to bake extensively from the book, I did make her Dark Chocolate Bundt cake a half-dozen times and it works really well as a 6-cup Bundt (I halved the original book recipe for you below). Oh, and for some reason, I drizzled (messily, I might add) this cake with another recipe from the book, Peanut Butter Glaze (again, halved for you). I am not sure it was super successful (couldn’t quite figure out the consistency)…I almost felt like it was unnecessary (i.e. it tastes great plain with a little dusting of confectioners sugar) but it was addictive nonetheless..
Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake (for a 6 cup Bundt pan) slightly adapted from Cake Simple by Christie Matheson
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1½ ounces very dark chocolate, chopped
90 ml boiling water (about ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons)
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (with some melted butter or non-stick spray) the heck out of a 6-cup Bundt pan. Dust with cocoa powder and use a pastry brush to help distribute cocoa evenly).
Place dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is uniform. Set aside to cool.
Whisk both sugars, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the buttermilk, egg, vanilla, vegeteable oil, and melted and cooled chocolate mixture on low speed until combined.
With mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until dry ingredients are incorporated. Increase speed to medium-low and mix for 3 minutes.
Pour batter into pan, smooth top, and bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean (er slightly toward under-baking on this cake…do not overbake).
Let the cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely.
Cake can be dusted with a little confectioners sugar before serving OR top with Peanut Butter Glaze below. The cake will keep well in an airtight container for up to three days.
Peanut Butter Glaze
⅓ cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
⅔ cup confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of salt
Whisk together the peanut butter and confectioners sugar. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until completely smooth. If glaze is too thin, add a little more confectioners sugar (a tablespoon at a time). If glaze is too thick, add a little more milk (a tablespoon at a time). Drizzle away.