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This beautiful dessert was inspired by desperation: a glass of heavy cream that was about to go bad!
When I come back from a typical busy Sunday afternoon of working out (sometimes), running errands, and meeting friends for brunch, I usually jump into relaxation mode for a little while before I start working from home: I kick off my shoes and take a long nap, with huge blankets piled high, and the windows open with the fresh breeze flowing in.
But instead, for several weeks in a row now, I’ve done no such thing. Instead (go figure), I’ve been baking.
It all started with a caramel cake recipe I tried, to spruce up my classic vanilla recipe. Then, there was the homemade yogurt I wanted to try to use in a marmalade yogurt cake. And then, it was the crazy weekend of making cake pops and royal icing cookies for two of my friends’ back-to-back baby showers.
Most recently, it was because I had a cup of heavy cream in the fridge that was dangling over the precipice of turning rancid, and I didn’t want to waste it!
This was certainly a simple excuse to make yet another dessert – but what can I say? Cakes are simple and satisfying, just like cookies.
They don’t take much work to make, and I am notoriously bad at turning them down, even when those fluffy blankets and my comfy couch that’s caved-in the middle are calling my name.
You mix all of these ingredients together in just a few short steps. Easy.
It’s the cream that gives the batter its irresistible consistency, which will make you want to lick the spoon and bowl clean: thick and velvety, the kind that holds its shape when you lift it from the bowl.
But after you spread it in the pan like frosting and bake it for half an hour, it will emerge as something entirely different: a modest white cake with a light, airy texture and subtle vanilla fragrance.
I like to bake this batter in a beautiful bundt pan. The stunning designs gift this simple sweet with an understated elegance.
The bundt pan will be your saving grace if you aren’t too confident with your decorating skills (although we can certainly help with that) – it does all the hard work for you!
Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Heritage Bundt Pan, available on Amazon
Serve this effortlessly gorgeous creation dusted with a fine coating of powdered sugar, and savor every light, sweet bite.Print
Have some extra heavy cream in the fridge that you’re desperate to use up? Make a simple and elegant cream cake dusted with powdered sugar.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and granulated sugar until a thick, light yellow, lightly whipped mixture forms.
- In a separate medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In another separate small bowl, mix together the heavy cream and vanilla.
- On low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and wet ingredients to the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the dry mix. Beat just until a thick batter forms, without overmixing.
- Spread batter evenly in the prepared bundt pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is puffy and light golden brown, and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let cool in the pan for 45 minutes before inverting and removing from the pan. Let the cake cool completely on the wire rack.
- Once cooled, dust a light coating of powdered sugar on the top of the cake and serve.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: heavy cream, cake, vanilla, bundt cake
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Make sure the oven rack is positioned in the center, for the most even baking.
Generously grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan. Make sure that you are coating all of the nooks and crannies of any intricate designs in the pan – you don’t want the cake to stick to any secret spots!
You can also choose to use round pans, as well – this recipe turns out beautifully for a layered cake. Prep two 8-inch round pans instead of the bundt option.
Step 2 – Mix Egg and Sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and granulated sugar until a thick, smooth, light yellow mixture forms.
Because there is no butter to cream in this recipe, mixing the eggs to the right consistency in this step is ultra-important, in order to aerate the batter.
Make sure you mix the eggs and sugar enough until you achieve a lightly whipped texture.
Step 3 – Alternate Adding Dry and Wet Ingredients
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. In another separate small bowl, mix together the heavy cream and vanilla.
On low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and wet ingredients to the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the dry mix. Beat just until a thick batter forms, without overmixing.
Step 4 – Transfer to Pan
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared bundt pan. It will be thick, so you could use either a spatula or a cookie scooper to distribute the batter.
If using two 8-inch pans, divide the batter evenly between the two.
Step 5 – Bake
Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes (about 20-25 minutes for the 8-inch pans), until the top is puffy and a light golden brown, and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Step 6 – Cool
Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 45 minutes in the pan. Don’t get hasty and remove the cake from the pan prematurely – it needs this time to set and cool before you remove it.
After cooling in the pan for the appropriate amount of time, invert the cake out of the pan and onto the cooling rack. Let it cool completely on the cooling rack.
If it still feels like it is sticking, run a paring knife around the edge of the pan before trying to invert again.
Step 7 – Decorate and Serve
Once cooled, dust a light coating of powdered on the the top and sides before carefully transferring to a platter and serving.
Cut into thick slices, and enjoy!
OMG, My Cake Broke Coming Out of the Pan?!?
Yeah. That happens sometimes with bundt cakes.
And you know what? It’s 100% your fault. Let me explain.
From personal experience, there is usually one main reason why you may have difficulties with removing it from the bundt pan:
Other than not greasing the pan well enough (which you know you should do for the standard cake prep!), you were just too darn impatient to wait for the cake to cool properly before making the silly, premature attempt to remove it.
I get it. It’s irresistible, that feeling, that insatiable craving of wanting to see how pretty the designs are, to see all of your glorious work displayed right before your eyes. You want to touch the cake. You want to release the cake from its metal confines and let it be free.
My advice? Don’t.
Resist that urge, resist! The cake has to cool for a significant amount of time in the pan before you remove it. A long cooling time will help the cake to set, and will make it easier to release from the pan without it falling apart if it’s still warm and vulnerable to breaking.
Whatever you do, don’t let it go to waste. And if you follow my instructions to be as patient as you can, you’ll turn out a gorgeous dessert next time.
Once you flawlessly remove the cake from the pan, how will you decorate it? Dusted with powdered sugar? Or served with homemade whipped cream, maybe with fresh berries on the side?
Do whatever you like, whenever you’d like – Sunday afternoons or otherwise, and let me know what you decide in the comment section below!
For more cake recipes that will bake perfectly in bundt pans, try these:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on May 28, 2009. Last updated: December 28, 2019 at 7:56 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a full-time cheesemonger and specialty foods buyer living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.