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. 


GIVEAWAY!

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!

Cake

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

Glaze

1/2 cup late summer berries

1/4 cup water

1 cup confectioner's sugar

Preheat the oven to 325ยบF. 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.

Pretty Little Summer Fruit Cakes

pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co

I took another round of pottery classes this Spring, and finally got most of the pieces I made all of those months ago back from the studio (the plates in this post). Making pottery is a good exercise for me. It is one that requires a lot of patience, which I find myself in short supply of these days. With pottery there is a lot of waiting: waiting for things to dry to trim, waiting for things to dry to fire, waiting for the bisque fire, then glazing, then the glaze fire. Then sometimes, you get to the end of all of it, after hours and hours of work, and your shit breaks at the very last moment (like the cracked green plate below). It is unavoidable and it happens to the most experienced potters. It is a craft that requires a lot of humility.

Baking comes much easier. It feels natural and simple and I can generally bake things really, really fast - very little patience required. These little summer fruit cakes are that kind of easy treat: quickly thrown together, but quite pretty and tasty. Use any small fruit you like for these cakes, my favorites of the ones pictured were the cakes with little slices of apricots and blackberries, but use whatever you have around. It is a great way to use up little bits of things you may have kicking around in the fridge.

Pretty Little Summer Fruit Cakes

makes 8-15 cakes, depending on the size of the molds

I used about 10 small brioche molds and 2 mini loaf pans here and a combination of lots of odds and ends of fruit that were left in my fridge. Any summer fruit, cut into thin slices or berry sized chunks would be great here. I don't mind the flavor of almond extract in almond cakes, but I know it is a divisive ingredient so feel free to leave it out if you aren't a fan.

6 ounces high quality butter, softened but still cool

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups assorted summer fruit (berries, halved and pitted cherries, sliced apricots, peaches or nectarines, and currants are all great options)

Preheat oven to 325 and great and flour your pans. Put the pans on a baking sheet so they will be easy to move in and out of the oven.

Sift the dry ingredients together, press on the almond meal to help it through the sifter if necessary.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth, then slowly stream in the sugar with the mixer on medium speed. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and cream the butter and sugar together until light, fluffy, and smooth. About 3 minutes.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the extracts.

Reduce the speed to low and alternately add the milk and flour mixture. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Pour the batter into the pans and top each cake with a few pieces of fruit. Bake the cakes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-40 minutes depending on the size of the pans.

Cool for 20 minutes, then remove the cakes to a rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar and an additional berry or two just before serving.

pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co