Lemon Berry Bundt Cake from Modern Potluck + a Giveaway

lemon berry bundt cake | apt 2b baking co
lemon berry bundt cake | apt 2b baking co
lemon berry bundt cake | apt 2b baking co
lemon berry bundt cake | apt 2b baking co
lemon berry bundt cake | apt 2b baking co

Before we talk about this killer bundt, can we talk about the Olympics for a second? I freakin' LOVE the Olympics SO MUCH! One of the best perks of working from home is that I can just stream that business all day long in the background. I will watch any sport that's on - rowing, diving, synchronized diving (which is insane, btw), golf, tennis, dressage (did you know that horse dancing was a sport?!), water polo, weight lifting - seriously whatever is, on I will watch, and I will cry at every medal ceremony.

I will also cry especially hard when someone is the only person from their country to ever qualify for an event, like Indian vaulter Dipa Karmakar who barely missed a medal a few days ago. I will cry at every mention of the Refugee Olympic Team. I will cry every time someone makes history like Simone Manuel (first African American woman to win an individual gold in swimming!), Simone Biles (3 golds and 1 bronze so far in her first Olympic games, and one of the best athletes in the world!) Usain Bolt (so relaxed, so magnetic!), Wayde van Neikerk (ran a WR time from lane 8!) and Oksana Chusovitina (her 7th Olympics!) Michael Phelps (one million medals!), and there are so many more to tears come - track and field and synchronized swimming just started. I even get emotional thinking about how excited Leslie Jones is about the Olympics, and how NBC was so impressed they had to get her in on the action.

I know our world is exceptionally messy, violent, and imperfect right now and in the US we are living through a presidential election season (year?) that we cannot wait to be over, but the Olympics are giving me so much HOPE. To see people from all over the world and all walks of life (the Mexican beach volleyball player who is a PE teacher just killed me) who have worked so hard, for so long and often have sacrificed so much to achieve their dreams and manifest their destiny just fills me right up. I LOVE THE OLYMPICS.

One of the things I made while watching the Olympics last week was this super-yum lemony berry bundt  with cornmeal and ricotta from Kristin Donnelly's new book, Modern Potluck. You all know I love a bundt and this cake was a winner, bright from the berries and fruit and the combination of cornmeal and ricotta gave the cake a wonderful texture and crumb that was great the next day too.

 I am admittedly biased when I say that I love this new cookbook by Kristin, and it's because I shot the photos for it! As I was finishing up my own book project last year, Kristin called me up and asked if I would be interested in photographing her book and I jumped at the chance, and last April (and May) we assembled a crack team and shot lots of photos and ate lots of good food.

I had the great pleasure of sampling a ton of the recipes from this book on shoot days and I can truly give it a hearty two thumbs up. Hello, Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs, Aquabeet Cured Salmon, the tastiest Chinese Chicken Salad, lots of veggie dishes, desserts, and more. Modern Potluck is filled with recipes fit for any crowd, with a handy key that identifies vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free recipes, and handy tips for transporting and assembling when necessary. It is the perfect thing to have in your back pocket as we wrap up summer entertaining season and get ready for fall. Damn, I can't wait for fall. This summer has been brutally hot. 


The lovely folks at SnapWare are giving one lucky winner a Cake Keeper, perfect for carting your cake to your next potluck (or storing it for later) and a copy of Kristin's wonderful book. To enter please leave a comment below with your favorite potluck dish. Giveaway open to US residents only and entries will be open for one week. The winner will be chosen at random, announced here and alerted by email. Winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize. Good Luck!

Winner has been notified by email. Congrats to Lana!

Lemon Berry Bundt Cake with Ricotta and Cornmeal

From Modern Potluck by Kristin Donnelly

makes one bundt

Use deep colored berries like blueberries and blackberries for a purple hued glaze like the one shown, raspberries will make a pretty pink glaze. Also, I am a glaze lover, so I doubled the recipe below for some extra impact. The gorgeous pattern on top of my cake is thanks to the Nordicware 10-cup Heritage Bundt pan I used (and was asked about many times on Instagram :))  and the cake batter fit perfectly, just make sure to generously butter and flour the interior for easy release. There's nothing more frustrating than a half-stuck bundt!


2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

zest of 2 lemons

1 1/2 cups ricotta

3 large eggs

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 cups late summer berries - blackberries, blueberries, raspberries


1/2 cup late summer berries

1/4 cup water

1 cup confectioner's sugar

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Generously butter and flour every crevice of a Bundt pan or spray with a baking spray that contains flour. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set a rack on top to use for cooling.

Make the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest with the sugar until the sugar is slightly moistened. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar with the 3/4 cup butter at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the ricotta and beat until incorporated. Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add the lemon juice. Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, beating well between each addition. Very gently fold in the berries. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, springs back when you touch it, and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to the prepared rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine the berries with the water and cook over medium heat, using a spoon to press on the berries, until they' re broken down and have released lots of juice, about 5 minutes. Strain into a small bowl, pressing on the solids to release as much of the color as possible (it's okay if a few seeds make it through).

Sift the confectioners' sugar unto a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the berry juice and mix until a smooth glaze forms (you may need a little more juice to make a smooth glaze). When the cake is cool, drizzle the glaze on top and let it drip down the sides.

Potluck Prep: The unglazed cake can be covered and kept at room temperature overnight. Glaze within a few hours of serving.

The Easiest Pie Crust, Ever

the easiest pie crust ever | apt 2b baking co

I know. I know. The hyperbole is out of control in the title of this post, but you all are going to forgive me when you give this crust a try. It is truly, truly easy, and not in a "I make my own mayonnaise and homemade pasta because it is SO easy" kind of way. It is the kind of easy that only takes three ingredients and a food processor. I might even say it's genius, better call Kristen at Food52!  

the easiest pie crust ever-21850026.jpg
the easiest pie crust ever | apt 2b baking co
the easiest pie crust ever | apt 2b baking co

Making pie crust is one of those kitchen tasks that freaks otherwise totally rational and capable people out, and I get it. It can be messy and sensitive, it can rip and tear and get stuck to your countertop - and the fact that the best fruit pies are made during the hottest part of the year is downright mean when every pie crust recipe tells you the key is keeping all of the ingredients cold.

the easiest pie crust ever | apt 2b baking co
the easiest pie crust ever | apt 2b baking co
the easiest pie crust ever | apt 2b baking co

I have evangelized for an all-butter, hand-mixed crust on this blog for many years and I won't ever stop, but it takes some time and a little skill to put together and sometimes even I want something just a little bit easier and less sensitive. Enter, the Easiest Pie Crust, Ever!

This crust is made from flour, butter, and cream cheese. That's it! AND it is mixed in a food processor. There is no guessing how much water you need, no worries about warming the butter by touching it with your hands. I have made this crust in many kitchens this summer, and I've used it for everything from galettes to hand pies. I even made it GLUTEN-FREE and it was crisp and tasty, and delicious. Sounds like a miracle, right? 

the easiest pie crust ever | apt 2b baking co
the easiest pie crust ever | apt 2b baking co

I wish I  could take credit for it's genius simplicity, but the truth is it comes from the October 1988 issue of Gourmet, RIP. I was chatting with a friend over 4th of July weekend about how cream cheese is an ingredient that has fallen out of fashion a bit, but friends, let's bring it back. We are going to start with this perfect, 3-ingredient pie crust.


From Gourmet, via Epicurious

Makes 1 crust for a single crust pie, galette, or about 6 small handpies

This dough is super forgiving, sturdy, crisp and flaky. The cream cheese gives it a bit of tangy flavor that is PERFECT with summer fruit. I have made this dough gluten-free with both Cup4Cup and King Arthur's Measure for Measure flour (that they sent me) too and they both work fabulously. My guests couldn't tell the difference between the traditional crust and gluten-free crust! I have a 12-cup food processor and have squeezed in a 4x recipe, but a 3x would have been a bit more reasonable.

1 cup (125g) all purpose flour  or gluten-free flour blend

4 ounces (115g) cream cheese, cold and cut into bits

3 ounces (86g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

pinch salt

pinch sugar, optional

Add the flour, salt and sugar if using to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Scatter the butter and cream cheese over the top. Pulse the mixture until is starts to hold together, then dump the contents of the food processor onto a clean work surface and gather it into a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic, press it into a disc, and refrigerate at least 2 hours before using.

All Butter Pie Crust

All pie crust is made from the same basic ingredients: flour, fat, water, and salt. I am partial to an all-butter crust because I think it tastes the best. The key to flaky pie crust is to keep the ingredients nice and cold— especially the butter and water—and to work quickly and intentionally. I like to mix pie crust with my hands rather than a food processor or pastry blender because I can control the exact size and shape of the butter pieces for the flakiest results. Add a few teaspoons of sugar if you prefer a sweetened crust.


2 2⁄3 cups (340g) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (255g) very cold unsalted butter

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

8-10 tablespoons (120ml) ice water

Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl, cut the butter into 1⁄2-inch cubes, and add the apple cider vinegar to the ice water.

Working quickly, add the butter to the flour and toss to coat. Then use your fingers or the palms of your hands to press each cube of butter into a flat sheet. Keep tossing the butter in the flour as you go to ensure that each butter piece is coated with flour. The idea is to create flat, thin shards of butter that range from about the size of a dime to about the size of a quarter. If at any time the butter seems warm or soft, briefly refrigerate the bowl.

Sprinkle about 6 tablespoons of the icy cold vinegar-water mixture over the flour mixture. Use a gentle hand or wooden spoon to stir the water into the flour until just combined. If the dough seems dry, add more cold water a couple of teaspoons at a time. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and easily squeeze it together without it falling apart.

Press the dough together, then split it in half. Form each half into a disk, and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours before using, but preferably overnight. Keeps for up to three months in the freezer wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.

VARIATIONS: For a rye variation, substitute 11⁄3 cups (175g) rye flour for an equal amount of the all purpose flour. For a spelt variation, substitute 11⁄3 cups (175g) spelt flour for an equal amount of the all purpose flour. You also may need a bit more water to bind the dough for these variations.


I have been making easy, breezy galettes a lot this summer. I haven't really been measuring, but more using this general recipe, adjusting a bit based on the sweetness of the fruit. I always err on the light side with sugar, you can always add a bit of vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream if your tarts are too tart :) Check the hashtag #summerofgalettes for more! And please tag your galettes on Instagram, I'd love to see them!

1 Easiest Pie Crust Ever

 about 1 pound (450g) fruit

1/4 cup apricot jam

4-6T sugar or less, to taste!

2 tablespoons flour

seeds of one vanilla bean

squeeze of lemon juice

pinch salt

1 egg, for egg wash

crunchy sugar

Arrange a rack in the oven in the lower third and preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the sugar vanilla bean seeds, lemon zest, flour and salt in a bowl. Add the fruit to a large bowl and sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top, but don’t stir quite yet.

On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a rough circle between 1/8-1/4-inch thick and transfer it to the parchment lined baking sheet. Gently stir the fruit mixture until well combined.

Spread the jam onto the center of the dough, then pour the fruit into the center of the galette. Fold the edges of the dough up and over the fruit and press the folds gently to seal. Refrigerate the formed galettes until the dough is very firm.

Brush the galette with egg wash, sprinkle with turbinado sugar and flaky salt if desired and bake until deep golden brown and bubbling, 45-55 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.


I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe for the hand pies, using the Easiest Pie Crust Ever - minus the bourbon, plus a little flaky salt sprinkled on top.

the easiest pie crust ever | apt 2b baking co