It’s as easy as this: Whisk the dry, whisk the wet, whisk the dry into the wet and bake. Nigella Lawson perfects baking a cake that is practical and insanely delicious with a rich flavor and light crumb. This cake will get you out of bed in the morning for a lazy breakfast, but it is also something you’d be happy to serve at the end of a fancy dinner party. The caramel sauce drizzled over top is an added bonus.
Grease the pan well, especially around the center where the cake tends to stick. A crater cake will taste great, but it doesn’t hold the same striking presence.
To learn more, read "The Bundt Stops Here."
For the Five-Spice Cider Bundt Cake:
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons Chinese five-spice
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dry hard cider, opened so it loses its fizz
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 cup molasses
3 large eggs
1¼-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (2 teaspoons)
For the Smoked Salted Caramel Sauce:
½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons, unsalted butter
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup golden or light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
4 teaspoons smoked sea salt
1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease a Bundt cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, five-spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cider, oil, brown sugar, molasses, eggs and fresh ginger, stirring until smooth. In 2 additions, whisk the flour mix into the cider mix, stirring after each addition just until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake until the sides of the cake start to come away from the sides of the pan and a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
4. While the cake is baking, make the caramel sauce: In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugars and syrup, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook for 3 minutes, swirling the pan every now and then. Add the cream and smoked sea salt, and swirl again, then give it a stir with a wooden spoon and cook 1 minute more. Make ahead: The sauce makes 2 cups and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, let the sauce come to room temperature before gently warming in a saucepan.
5. When the cake is done, transfer to a wire rack and let cool 30 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cake and invert onto the rack. Let it cool completely, then pour the caramel sauce over just before serving. Make ahead: Wrap the cake in parchment paper and then in aluminum foil for up to 2 days.