White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses has plenty of swell recipes in his repertoire, but he says that one in particular is ideal for celebrating America's birthday on July 4th: Blackberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze. The recipe is from Yosses' second cookbook, "The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts For Everyday Occasions." The recipes in the cookbook are gleaned from Yosses' long career as one of the top pastry chefs in the US, and include treats he makes at the White House for President Obama and First Lady Obama. (Above: The cake; inset is Yosses)
The book was released in June by W.W. Norton; Yosses is the only White House chef to publish a non-White House cookbook while still "in office." It's a glorious celebration of artisan American pastry making, and contains recipes that are easy for beginning bakers as well as recipes that are challenging enough for those who have a strong relationship with their rolling pins.
Yosses' cake recipe is easy and straightforward, but a bundt pan is required. An electric mixer will make things go much faster, but the stalwart can mix by hand. Blueberries can be substituted for the Blackberries in equivalent quantity.
Blackberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake
with Orange Glaze
with Orange Glaze
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 Tbsp for greasing
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 Tsp baking soda
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 Tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 pints Blackberries
For the glaze:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Use 2 tablespoons of the butter to coat a 2-quart nonstick Bundt pan, then spray lightly with cooking spray.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
4. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the remaining 2 sticks of butter and the granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
5. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.
6. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in half of the flour mixture. Mix in the buttermilk, then the remaining flour mixture.
7. Using a wooden spoon, gently fold in the blackberries.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
9. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
10. While the cake cools, in a small saucepan over low, combine the orange juice and powdered sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until the sugar is dissolved.
11. Invert the cake onto a plate.
12. With a skewer or small knife, poke deep holes in the surface of the cake. Pour half of the orange glaze over the cake, letting it seep into the holes. Let the cake cool for another 20 minutes. Pour the remaining glaze over the cake and allow to set for 10 minutes.
*Recipe from Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark's "The Perfect Finish," W.W. Norton 2010. Yosses photo by Obama Foodorama; bundt cake photo by Larry Crowe/AP.