Maple Pecan Bundt Cake with Bourbon Glaze

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Lately, I’ve had a major case of the bundt cake brain. All day long I dream about baking bundt cakes. Maybe it’s the holiday season baking craze or the novelty of a specialty pan, or maybe I’m just weird but whatever it is… I have been on a mental bundt cake binge.

And then this past weekend I had my long awaited window of opportunity. My brother was having a Christmas party and asked me to bring a dessert… and nothing says Christmas like a bundt cake! (right?) You’d think I would let the fact that I was heading straight to the party from the airport stop me; that I would make something easy to transport like cookies or brownies. But no… I actually baked this bundt in Atlanta, built a special carrying case from cardboard boxes, and brought it as my carry-on on my flight back to Philadelphia. What can I say? I was a girl on a mission.

I am usually an almond girl, but being that I was in Georgia pecans were calling my name and proved to be the perfect compliment to the maple base. The cake itself was really moist and flavorful; it actually reminded me of a sour cream coffee cake.  The maple was subtler than say a molasses –laden cake, but added a nice background sweetness. But what really sets this bundt apart is the bourbon sauce that is brushed all over the cake while it’s still warm, and reheated and drizzled over each slice before the cake is served.

Oh.em.gee. The Bourbon Sauce.

Basically a boozy butterscotch, the bourbon glaze adds a sweet richness and depth to the maple cake that is to die for.

It was so good that I bottled it up in 3 oz. size pill-containers so I could get it through TSA security. I am currently hoarding it in my apartment and getting a little tipsy one spoonful at a time.

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Perfect as a holiday dessert, and even better for breakfast the next day, an overall great choice the next time your bundt bug bites.

Maple Pecan Bundt Cake

Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 c. all-purpose flour (part wheat / part white would also work well in this cake)

2 t. baking powder

½ t. baking soda

½ t. salt

¼ t. cloves

½ t .cinnamon

1 ½  sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

½ c. packaged dark-brown sugar

2 large eggs

½ c. pure maple syrup

2 t. vanilla extract

1 c. sour cream

½ c. chopped pecans, plus more for decorating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan and dust with flour, tapping out excess.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cloves and cinnamon

Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on until creamy, and add the eggs1 at time, beating well after each addition. Add the maple syrup and vanilla.

Alternatively add the flour mixture and the sour cream (1/3 flour, 1/3 sour cream, 1/3 flour … ect) until everything is well combine. Fold in the pecans and pour the mixture into the prepared bundt pan.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and turn onto a wire rack.

While the cake is baking…

Bourbon Glaze

(Do not shy away from the idea of doubling this recipe for later use)

1 t. water

½ t. baking soda

1 c sugar

½ c buttermilk

1 stick unsalted butter

1 t. dark corn syrup

¼ c bourbon (I used Makers Mark)

1 t. vanilla extract

Stir the water and baking soda together in small bowl and set aside.

Bring sugar, buttermilk, butter, and corn syrup to boil in high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and melt butter.

Reduce the heat to medium-high and stir in baking soda mixture (it will bubble up!)

Boil, stirring often, until sauce is golden and slightly thickened, about 8 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon and vanilla. (Be careful, the fumes from the bourbon are a little intense)

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While the cake is still warm, brush some bourbon glaze all over the cake. Wait a few minutes to allow the glaze to soak in, and then repeat with the glaze. Sprinkle the chopped pecans around the top of the cake, and drizzle with another healthy dose of bourbon glaze.

Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzling each piece with a little more warmed bourbon sauce.