Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

I can’t tell you how much joy it brings me when my children are fighting over who got a bigger piece of cake.  Ok, it only brings me joy when it is a cake that I made – but when that happens, I know I have done something right – at least in the kitchen.  This is exactly what happened when I made this cake. 

It was just a standard vanilla bundt cake, but boy was it delicious.  The funny part was that my older daughter had been asking me to make a vanilla cake with strawberry sauce.  Fruit sauces are not my favorite – I would much rather make a caramel or chocolate sauce, than a sauce made with fruit any day of the week.  I finally told her that I would make a vanilla cake, but that I would see about the sauce. 

I looked through my pile of recipes in the pantry, and this one emerged from Bon Appetit.  I thought – perfect – a vanilla cake.  I then read the entire recipe, and realized that this was supposed to be served with strawberries – how could things get any better!  It was not really a sauce, but after you add some sugar to the strawberries, it releases some of the juices making the strawberries sit in a light syrup.  This I could deal with.  I love fresh strawberries – but the idea of cooking them and turning them into a sauce is completely not appealing to me at all.  Adding a little sugar to make a syrup, that is a very different story.

My strawberries didn’t get very syrupy, which was fine with me – although my daughter was not as pleased – but still, the cake was so delicious, it made her forget all about that strawberry sauce she had envisioned.



  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (13/4 sticks), room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk


  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons (or more) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Special equipment

  • Standard Bundt pan (10-inch-diameter Bundt pan with 33/4-inch-high sides)



Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Butter and flour standard Bundt pan, then spray pan with nonstick spray. Pour bourbon into small bowl. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into bourbon; stir to blend well (reserve scraped vanilla bean for another use).

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolk 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in bourbon-vanilla mixture. Add flour mixture in 2 additions alternately with buttermilk in 1 addition, beating just until blended after each addition. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top evenly (batter will come only halfway up sides of pan).

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and cool completely.


Whisk powdered sugar, 4 teaspoons milk, and vanilla in small bowl to blend, adding more milk by 1/4 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to drizzle.

Place sheet of foil on work surface. Place cake (still on rack) atop foil. Using spoon, drizzle glaze over cake in zigzag pattern. Let cake stand at room temperature until glaze sets, about 15 minutes. DO AHEAD Cake can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.


Toss strawberries and sugar in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature until juices form, tossing occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Cut cake into wedges and divide among plates. Spoon strawberries with juices alongside and serve.

For a printer friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

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