Use a pastry brush to grease the Bundt® pan thoroughly with solid shortening. Sprinkle some flour in the pan, hold it over a sink, and turn and tilt the pan to distribute the flour evenly. Then invert the pan and tap out the excess flour to prevent a buildup of grease and flour on the finished cake. When greasing and flouring, be sure to coat all the crevices in the pan so the cake will release easily and the design will be sharply defined.
This recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.
- For the cake: 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups chopped dried cherries
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- For the glaze: 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon amaretto
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting
- 1 Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
- 2 Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350F. Grease and flour an American star Bundt® pan; tap out excess flour.
- 3 To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Transfer 1 1/2 tablespoons of the flour mixture to a small bowl, add the cherries and toss to coat; set aside.
- 4 In another small bowl, combine the milk and the almond and vanilla extracts; set aside.
- 5 In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- 6 Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold two-thirds of the cherries into the batter.
- 7 Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining cherries over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter on top, spreading the batter so the sides are higher than the center.
- 8 Bake until the center of the cake springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes.
- 9 Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the granulated sugar and water and cook until the sugar dissolves, then boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the amaretto and let cool for 1 minute.
- 10 Tap the Bundt® pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake. Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.