I have wonderful news to share, I am an adopted Auntie again. One of my very best friends had her beautiful daughter Florrie, a little early, but mum and baby are doing so well. I simply had to make something to celebrate this gorgeous bundle of joy that has been brought into our lives. So I baked Florrie’s Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake.
As the new mum is nursing her wonderful baby daughter, I kept everything in this cake as natural as possible. As whatever mummy eats, Florrie will have too and I want her to learn to love Auntie Sammie’s cakes, right from the start.
New babies bring such joy and pleasure into our lives. Having had three children I absolutely knew my friend would very much appreciate a little food hamper. A freshly baked Farmhouse White Loaf, simple dinners, pre-portioned so that mummy just has to pop them in the oven, like my Best Beef Casserole and of course a little something sweet, Florrie’s Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake.
I remember clearly when I became a new mum for the first time. Although I had a safe delivery and the maternity suite at the hospital was brand new, there was one thing I craved – food! All that seemed to be on offer was salad.
Salad is not what a nursing mother needs!
This mummy needed carbs and lots of them! Had the salad been in a thick, carb rich sandwich I would have been fine. Fortunately I wasn’t in hospital for very long and I remember my husband making me the most unbelievably satisfying, bacon muffin with tomato ketchup. To this day it is one of my favourite treats, now that I am no longer nursing, it has to remain just that, a treat.
I have alway been called ‘practical and sensible’ by my lovely Mother-in-law. This I consider to be a huge compliment and a true reflection of how I see myself. So when a new baby comes along, I’m not the type of person to go baby clothes shopping, or to send flowers. Both of which are wonderful gifts to receive, I may add.
Nope my first thought is – how can I help?
If you have spent time reading this blog, you will be aware that I have various health issues (see Living With Seizures). This means I am limited in how I can help out with an adorable new baby, in a practical way. For me that means food! I can make bread easily, I had been cooking slightly extra, so that a single portion of Sausage and Bean Casserole (made without the addition of any alcohol), could be frozen for when it was needed. This is my way of helping.
When I am making a Chicken Lasagne it is so easy for me to pop a couple of individual portions, in foil containers and place them in the deep freeze. This way I gradually build up enough meals for a food hamper, that can be delivered and make my friend’s life a little easier.
Being a new mum is hard enough, but when you are on your own you need all the support you can get! Plus my lovely friend is a big fan of my cooking and has been an ‘unofficial’ taste tester for many years now. Let’s hope Florrie will grow to love good, homemade meals and delicious cake, like her Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake.
Recipe: Makes 1 Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake
Cake release spray – I use Wilton’s perfect for Bundt cakes
225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature
225g/8oz Caster Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste – I use Nielsen-Massey
5 Large Free Range Eggs
225g/8oz Plain White Flour
2tsp Baking Power
For the glaze:
400g/14oz Icing Sugar
1/2tsp Almond Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey
Pink gel food colouring
Method: Preheat the oven to 165C/150C fan
- Place the butter and caster sugar into a large bowl and whisk, or beat for 5 minutes until pale and creamy.
- Add the Vanilla Bean Paste and whisk/beat to incorporate.
- Sift in 1/3 of the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add 2 eggs.
- Whisk gently until just combined.
- Repeat the last 2 steps twice more, adding only 1 egg on the last time.
- Spray the Bundt tin liberally with cake release spray over the sink.
- Spoon the cake batter into the Bundt tin pressing down on the batter as you fill the tin.
- Ensure the cake batter fills the Bundt tin no more than two thirds full.
- Place the Bundt tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes.
- The cake is baked when it is golden in colour, is coming away from the sides of the Bundt tin and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Once baked remove the cake from the oven.
- Place the tin on a cooling rack and allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the Bundt tin.
- After the cake has cooled for 10 minutes turn out onto a cooling rack. Wear oven gloves as the Bundt tin will still be very hot.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before decorating.
To make the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a large bowl. Add enough water to make a thick paste, that still slightly drips. Add a tiny amount of pink food gel colouring to the icing and mix thoroughly.
Place a tray underneath the cooling rack on which the Bundt cake sits.
Using a dessert spoon thickly drizzle the top of the cake with the icing. Ensure the entire top and the internal hole of the cake of the cake are completely covered in icing. Any leftover icing can be used to add to the drizzle effect on the cake.
Allow the cake to set before serving and eating.
The observant among you may have noticed that this beautiful Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake has been photographed on the lid of a plastic box. Well practical to the last (and in all honesty completely out of cake boxes!) as this cake is not very large or heavy, placing on the inside lid of a large box keeps the cake fresh.
Once transported to my friend, the cake can be moved to an airtight container of her own. I only advise using this technique for very light cakes and definitely do not cut the cake whilst it is sitting on the lid.
Do you like the idea of making someone a food hamper?
Have you ever received one yourself?
If you have enjoyed making this Flower Vanilla Bundt Cake you may like these recipes:
I absolutely love seeing photographs of your bakes. I’m also available throughout the day on Twitter to answer any ‘mid-bake’ questions or worries. I am not an expert but there is a whole group of bakers on Twitter and between us there’s not usually a question that goes unanswered!
Have fun whilst you bake.