Vanilla Bean Malt Bundt Cake

Has it become obvious how obsessed I am with bundt cakes yet? If you haven’t been keeping track this is the third one I’ve posted in just over a month. We started with salted caramel, then moved on to Meyer lemon buttermilk, and now we arrive at vanilla bean malt. And of course there are about 10 others (if not more!) in the archives… What can I say – sometimes I want cake and can’t be bothered to deal with making frosting, even if it is sometimes the best part of the equation :)

I blame it all on my friend Mary, the Food Librarian. Have you guys seen her 30 bundts in 30 days series? She’s the undisputed queen of bundt cakes! Mary opened my eyes to all the variation possible with the simple bundt, and I haven’t looked back.

Vanilla Bean Malt Bundt Cake

When I first decided to make this vanilla bean malt bundt, I worried it might be a little too simple. It’s flavored with the seeds of a whole vanilla bean, a tiny bit of bourbon, malted milk powder, and buttermilk. The glaze is pretty basic, utilizing a combination of confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla extract. I had to throw a few sprinkles on there for fun and to add a little color – everything’s better with sprinkles, right?

My fears were completely unfounded about this bundt, it is truly fantastic! I haven’t baked with malted milk powder in forever, and I’d forgotten what a nice addition it can be. This cake doesn’t have a strong malt flavor, but there’s a subtle nutty sweetness that you wouldn’t otherwise find in a plain vanilla bundt cake. I tried to limit myself to just one bite but I couldn’t help taking a second and third before I finally had to throw the rest of my piece away to limit the calorie damage :)

Vanilla Bean Malt Bundt Cake

Can we talk about pan size for a minute here? The recipe calls for making this cake in a 6-cup mini bundt pan. That’s what I did, and while the pan didn’t overflow in the oven, it was a little more full than I’m typically comfortable with. I’m obsessive enough about watching things bake without also having to worry about batter spilling out all over the oven! The authors noted that you can also make the recipe in a 10-cup pan (the baking time should be similar), and that’s probably what I’ll try next time.

Vanilla Bean Malt Bundt Cake
barely adapted from Baked Elements by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

{Note: Be sure to read my comments above about the pan size here.}

Cake
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon bourbon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon malted milk powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

Glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray a 6-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour.

Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and use the back of a small paring knife to scrape the seeds from the bean. Add the seeds and the bourbon to a small bowl and stir to combine. Whisk the flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. One at a time, add the eggs and then the egg yolk, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the vanilla/bourbon mixture, beating until well combined. With the mixer on low, alternately add the dry ingredients in two additions and the buttermilk in one, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients and beating just until combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 45 minutes, then turn it out onto the rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla together in a medium bowl until smooth. (Adjust the consistency as desired – add milk to thin and confectioners’ sugar to thicken.) Drizzle over the cake letting it run down the sides. Let the glaze set for about 15 minutes.