In a step outside the tradition of “rectangular,” I like to bake syrup-soaked cakes in a Bundt pan, basically a fluted tube pan, because the shape of the pan, with
the tube in the center, allows for even cooking all the way through to the middle. In this version, I use raw sugar to prepare the baking pan and as an ingredient in the batter. As the cake cooks, an inner crust forms around the interior tube adding extra crunch to each slice. It’s altogether a delightful party cake, and rich as it is, can easily serve a large group.
Note: Raw sugar, though exotic sounding, can usually be found in the baking section in supermarkets.
Makes one 10-inch Bundt cake, serves 12 to 20
Butter and raw sugar for preparing the Bundt pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup raw sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
Coffee Syrup for soaking the cake (see the sidebar)
1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Lightly butter a 10-inch Bundt pan and sprinkle lightly with raw sugar across the bottom and up the sides.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
3. Combine the 8 tablespoons butter, granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup raw sugar in a large bowl. and beat with an electric mixer until blended. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in the dry ingredients, alternating with the yogurt, adding a third of each at a time. Stir in the walnuts. Spoon the batter into the Bundt pan and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes, up to an hour or two.
4. While the cake bakes and cools, make the coffee syrup and let it cool until no longer hot.
5. When the cake and syrup are cool, loosen the cake around the outside perimeter and the inner tube with a knife, leaving the cake in the pan. Pour one-third of the syrup over the cake and let sit for 10 minutes for the syrup to soak in. Repeat twice more with one-third of the syrup each time. Set aside to soak for 1 to 2 hours.
6. Place a plate large enough to cover the Bundt pan on top of the cake and invert the plate and pan together so the plate is on the bottom and the cake falls onto the plate (use a knife to nudge the cake out if necessary). Set aside for another hour or so while the syrup soaks all the way through.
7. Cut into portions and serve.