Croatian Christmas Bundt Cake (Božićni Kuglof)

This cake is perfect for any Sunday family dinner. Although usually made during the Holiday season no one is going to complain if they have a bite or two in the off season. The addition of the apple makes this bundt cake a bit better than the others. Unless you’re a weirdo who’s into dry bundt cakes.

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The combination of nuts and dried fruits I use in this recipe works very well to create a balanced flavor and texture. It received five star rating across the board with all the testers who got to sample it.

Croatian Christmas Bundt Cake cross cut so inside and outside of the cake is visible
Inspiration to get your mouth watery

Traditional Croatian recipe (the way grandma used to make it) has raisins (but who really likes raisins? Zvonimir raises hand, alone.) and arancini. Arancini denominates two different foods, one is what you easily find when you Google it, the other one is what I actually mean here. A dried orange peel covered in sugar, traditional Croatian dessert from the coastal region. Why can’t they just pick an original name? Sigh…

As fun as it would be to rant about language and baking history, you’re here to get your hands dusted into sweet, sweet…

Tools you need

  • Bundt cake pan because you’re making a bundt cake and, well, that’s what you make bundt cakes in 🙂
  • Mixing bowls. Before you can put the ingredients into the bundt cake pan, you need to mix them somewhere. Mixing bowls to the rescue!
    Make sure bowls you use are adequately sized. There are few things worse than overflowing bowls.
  • Measuring spoons to, you know, measure things with them
  • Kitchen scale because baking is a fine art and perfection is a little bit more reachable when you quantify things
  • Peeler to peel the apple
  • Grater because it’s one letter away from being great, and you also need it to grate the apple
  • Spatula makes mixing things into other things easier
  • Electric mixer. Mixing is great and all, but doing it by hand can get exhausting. Sometimes you can outsource that work to a family member. Other times you need a bit more power.
  • Kitchen mittens. Things get hot in the oven. ‘Nuff said.

Ingredients

Servings: 6 people

  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 50 g dried cranberries
  • 50 g thinly sliced almonds
  • 50 g coarsely cut walnuts
  • 1 peeled, grated apple
  • 150 g brown sugar
  • 1 package (9 g) vanilla sugar
  • 110 g all purpose flour (unbleached)
  • 50 g cornstarch
  • 1 package (14 g) baking powder
  • 90 g melted unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • powdered sugar for coating
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 °C (340 °F)
  2. Soak dried cranberries in rum until soft
  3. Mix flour and cornstarch with baking flour and spices (nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and cloves)
  4. In a separate bowl mix eggs with both sugars until foamy
  5. Into eggs and sugar mixture mix in with spatula
    • Dried cranberries with rum
    • Apple
    • Almonds
    • Walnuts
    • Flower mixture and melted butter at the end
  6. Mix well until compact
  7. Oil or butter bundt pan and dust with flour
  8. Bake for 45 min until golden brown. Pro tip: pick with a toothpick and if nothing sticks, you’re golden.
  9. Leave the cake in the pan until it cools
  10. Take the cake out of the bundt pan and dust it with powdered sugar

Wrapping up

If you’re the adventure type who likes to stray from a beaten path, test it with any other nuts or dried fruit as you desire or have available in your pantry.

Let me know in the comments which combinations worked well for you and share this on social media.

Lemon Yogurt Cake

One of many interesting things I discovered in Canada is a loaf pan. Having a cake sliced like a bread is the best thing since sliced bread 😉

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I love to bake with purpose. Like making a birthday cake for a friend or family member. Or with intention to play with the ingredients I have at home without having to go to the store.

The other day, two lemons were staring at me with their big, yellow, eyes, telling me that they will go to waste if I don’t do something with them soon. And I had some yogurt that felt the same way. About the same time I came across a recipe by Barefoot Contessa on Pinterest and loved the idea so I decided to put a twist on it and make the unexpected trio happy.

The trio reached nirvana, the cake was super moist with sweet and tangy flavor, and it went perfect with a cup of tea 🙂

Tools you need

  • Loaf pan because we’re making a loaf cake 🙂
  • Mixing bowls. Before you can put the ingredients into the loaf pan, you need to mix them somewhere. Mixing bowls to the rescue!
    Make sure bowls you use are adequately sized. There are few things worse than overflowing bowls.
  • Measuring spoons to, you know, measure things with them
  • Kitchen scale because baking is a fine art and perfection is a little bit more reachable when you quantify things; alternatively, you can use cups, in which case…
  • Measuring cups. Sometimes when you buy measuring cups, measuring spoons come with them
  • Spatula makes mixing things into other things easier
  • Whisk to mix things together. You could use an electric mixer too but you don’t really need one for this cake.
  • Zester to zest lemon zest (is there a way to use zest in that sentence again?)
  • Lemon squeezer. You could just use your hands to squeeze lemons if you want to get your hands juicy. Or you could use a lemon squeezer to keep your germs and lemon pits out of the cake. And possibly look fancy while doing it.
  • Kitchen mittens. Things get hot in the oven. ‘Nuff said.
  • Parchment paper. Although not really a tool per se, it’s used in preparation of this zesty loaf, so you should be aware of it when preparing to make it.
  • Small pot for syrup preparation

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1-1/2 (150 g) cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (7.5 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 (2.5 g) teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (245 g) plain yogurt
  • 1 cup (192 g) sugar (granulated)
  • 10 g vanilla sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) vegetable oil

Syrup

  • lemon juice from two lemons minus the 2 tablespoons needed for the glaze
  • 1/3 cups (64 g) sugar (granulated)

Glaze (optional)

  • 1 cup (130 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preparation for the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Grease the loaf pan with oil or butter. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan on the parchment paper and the sides.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into one bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. You don’t need to use the electrical mixer, hand whisk is perfect 🙂
  4. Slowly whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
  5. With a silicon spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour, until a toothpick placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Preparation for the syrup

  1. Cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear.
  2. Set aside until the cake is baked.

Preparation for the glaze

  1. Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice and mix well until combined.

Serving

  1. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  2. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan.
  3. While the cake is still warm, pick it with the toothpick and pour the syrup over.
  4. Allow it to soak in. Cool it down.
  5. After the cake cools, pour the glaze over (I was too anxious to wait, pressured by those big, yellow, eyes, so the glaze was soaked in as well, ah well… :D)

Enjoy!