Is it bad that it's only been about three weeks into the school year, and I'm already tired? Seriously, though. It's been three weeks, I'm only taking 13 credits, I'm NOT taking a studio course, but regardless of all those factors, I'm just pooped. I've never taken only 4 classes in a semester before, but somehow, I feel like I've been assigned more reading than ever in my last three years at Columbia. It's not even a joke. I spend whatever time I'm not in class either scanning books in the library (because I REFUSE to spend any more money on books or supplies. I'm so over spending absurd amounts of money on books that I'm going to use only a handful of times in a semester), or trying to plow through all the reading I have to do. Sigh. Did I really think taking two seminars at once would be a good idea? Silly me.
All this crazy amount of reading has me staying up late at night, and since I refuse to let homework/lack of sleep interfere with my workout schedule, I've had to get rid of nap-time, so I guess that's also factoring into my chronic state of drowsiness. But whatever, there's no time to complain about lost hours of sleep or the pile of reading on my desk that seems to be growing at an exponential rate as the days go by. I came home for the weekend, so that I could bake up some yummy fall-inspired goodies, and had to pack along a folder stuffed with readings for my architecture criticism seminar (which is actually amazing, so I don't reeaallyyyyy mind the readings too much), and readings for my class on 18th century cities (these are the annoying ones...). Oh well! I might not have time to do very much other than read and follow my baking schedule this weekend, but I do have time to talk about cake. Dulce de leche cake, to be exact. There's ALWAYS time to talk about dulce de leche and cake, especially when they get put together!
I love a good bundt cake. There's just something about bundt cakes that seems so effortless, making them the perfect cake to whip up on a lazy afternoon to have with some coffee or for breakfast the next morning. Bundt cakes are an everyday kinda cake, and these are the best kinds of cake. Don't get me wrong, I loveeee a beautifully decorated chocolate triple-layer cake, or a cake when it's covered in fancy fondant and decorated with tiny sugar decorations, but I will gladly pass on either of those for a slice of a simple bundt cake (ok, so a chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting might be really hard for me to pass up, but given that I'm not a frosting person, I would probably still pick the bundt). Everyday cakes like these are satisfying and comforting, and when they're filled with dulce de leche, another favorite of mine, then that is definitely a winning combination!
This dulce de leche bundt was a perfect representation of what a bundt cake should be. It was simple to put together, came out of the pan in a second (the key is to grease AND flour your pan really well!), and was of course, delicious. The cake batter itself has yummy dulce de leche mixed right in, and has a ribbon of dulce de leche around the center of the cake that makes for a lovely bit of extra caramel-y goodness when you get to the center of your slice. The cake is unbelievably fluffy; I honestly wasn't expecting it to be as fluffy as it was, but it was a great surprise! Not overly-sweet, and perfectly fluffy and full of delicious dulce de leche flavor, this easy bundt is the cake to make when you need an afternoon of lazy baking. Enjoy!
Dulce de Leche Bundt Cake
slightly adapted from Food Librarian
1 1/2 cups dulce de leche, divided
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. With nonstick-cooking spray, lightly spray and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In the bowl of a standard electric mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar, and cream until light and fluffy. Once creamed together, add 1 cup of dulce de leche. Mix well, until all the ingredients are combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla extract.
With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, making sure to begin and end with the flour mixture. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula every now and then, and mix only until just combined!
Add about 3/4 of the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Add the remaining 1/2 cup dulce de leche in a ring around the center of the pan. Evenly distribute the remaining cake batter in the pan, and smooth out the top with a spatula.
Bake the cake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before carefully inverting onto a wire rack, and allow to cool completely. Dust the cooled cake with powdered sugar, and serve. Enjoy!
Makes 1 10-inch Bundt cake