If you're into cakes and cocktails, this bundt recipe is spot-on: a tribute to the wonderful old-fashioned drink, it's dense and moist with a wonderful orange flavor and a has bourbon caramel sauce that you will want to eat with a spoon! Serve it in a bowl and call it dessert.
I started out to make a caramel bundt cake.
Now, I find caramel to be one of the best discoveries ever. EVER.
But at the same time, I wanted to share something different, try to enhance the caramel while not making it too sweet.
This orange caramel bourbon bundt cake turned out much better than I expected.
It's the bourbon with the caramel, an inspiring idea from a drink called old fashioned, which involves whiskey, sugar, bitters, and orange. Prepare me one and I'll sit right next to you and spill all my secrets.
Oh, I love the stuff. It has a slight caramel undertone, a mellow sweet and sour flavor, and all the tough exterior of what appears to be a manly glass of bourbon blurred by the addition of sugar.
I started with one of my favorite recipes ever, the Orange Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake, a cake that works for all the right reasons and is absolutely delicious.
Bourbon in cakes
Sometimes I think that I can pretty much add bourbon to every cake. Probably my favorite cake ever is the Bourbon Hot Chocolate Bundt Cake, and I'm known for adding a bourbon chocolate glaze to the Buttermilk Banana Cake. So yes, I can say I'm a fan.
What bourbon does is add a subtle caramel undertone with a kick. Together with some vanilla extract, which I pretty much use in every recipe, it created a much deeper and very unique flavor.
So yes, I can say I'm a huge fan. When used sparingly, it can have the same effect as an extract or citrus zest. Too much and you get what we here call a tipsy cake. Not a bad idea at all, but we're focusing on caramel today.
Preparing the bundt pan
- Butter: I use soft butter (NOT melted) to patiently cover the whole pan, every nook, and cranny, every sharp angle, and every single bit of space available. I use a brush or my fingers. I then flour the pan and REFRIGERATE IT while putting together the batter. I take it out at the last moment when I need to fill it (image above) and it goes like that into the oven. It will unmold like a dream!
- Baking spray: I use a spray that is labeled as having flour in it, or being specifically made for baking. It has to have flour in it, otherwise, you have a high chance of the cake sticking when removing it. That is my experience at least.
- Rye flour: it gives the cake an earthier tone and a more rustic texture. Use semi-fine or fine flour for smoother results.
- Bourbon: I like to use the best whiskey or bourbon I can afford, even for baking, so I use Jack Daniel's regular or honey.
- Milk: you can also use orange juice if you want.
This cake is like a deconstructed old-fashioned that focuses more on the golden caramel than the booze, with an orange cake as a base, a hint of bourbon both inside and out, and a caramel sauce made with orange juice instead of water.
A sensational mix of flavors, very balanced, with the pooling sauce around the warm piece of cake if you choose to serve it on a deep plate or bowl. Almost a dessert.
I highly suggest you eat it warm with the caramel sauce.
It's up to you if you want it even more decadent and add a dollop of whipped cream on top. Or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
And go ahead, make extra sauce and use it over vanilla ice cream.
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For the orange cake:
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 ½ cups cake or all-purpose flour
- ½ cup rye flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
For the caramel bourbon sauce:
- ¾ cups (150g) sugar
- ¼ cup of corn syrup
- ½ cup of orange juice
- ⅓ cup cream
- 2 Tbs bourbon
For the orange cake:
- Preheat oven to 350º F /180ºC.
- Butter or spray a large bundt cake pan. Coat the entire surface with coarse rye flour (the way I did here) or dry breadcrumbs, shaking off excess.
- In a large bowl beat butter until creamy and slowly add sugar, beating for 2 or 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add orange zest and vanilla.
- Sift flours and baking soda together in a bowl (I do this directly over the butter mixture when adding it).
- Add dry ingredients in three additions alternating with milk and bourbon in two additions. Don't overbeat.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a tester inserted comes clean.
- Transfer to wire rack and let cool for about 20 minutes.
- Unmold onto a serving platter and glaze with the warm caramel sauce.
- Serve with extra sauce.
For the caramel bourbon sauce:
- In a saucepan mix sugar, syrup, and orange juice.
- Cook over medium heat, and let boil 10 minutes. It will bubble up a lot, so use a pan with high sides.
- Remove from heat and add cream and bourbon.
- Store in the fridge.
Preparing the bundt pan 1) Butter: I use soft butter (NOT melted) to patiently cover the whole pan, every nook, and cranny, every sharp angle, every single bit of space available. I use a brush or my fingers. I then flour the pan and REFRIGERATE IT while putting together the batter. I take it out at the last moment when I need to fill it (image above) and it goes like that into the oven. It will unmold like a dream! 2) Baking spray: I use a spray that is labeled as having flour in it, or being specifically made for baking. It has to have flour in it, otherwise, you have high chances of the cake sticking when removing it. That is my experience at least.
Liquid: you can use orange juice instead of the milk stated in the recipe, same amount.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 75 minutes
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
Keywords: orange caramel bundt cake