Spiced Bundt Cake Tower with Brandy Caramel Sauce
Seasoned with warming spices and drizzled with a rich brandy caramel sauce, this dramatic Bundt cake tower is the ultimate holiday dessert. This recipe makes enough to feed a large crowd, so if you like you can reduce the quantity of batter and make a smaller tower using only two Bundt cakes. You will also need a large capacity stand mixer (at least 7 quarts) for this recipe. If your mixer is smaller, make the batter in two batches.
- For the cakes:
- 20 Tbs. (2 1/2 sticks) (10 oz./310 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus melted butter for greasing
- 1 1/4 cups (10 oz./310 g) granulated sugar, plus more for dusting
- 7 1/2 cups (38 oz./1.2 kg) all-purpose flour
- 5 tsp. baking powder
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 1/4 cups (9 oz./260 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 10 eggs
- 2 1/2 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 3 3/4 cups (30 fl. oz./950 ml) buttermilk
For the brandy caramel sauce:
- 1 cup (7 oz./210 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) brandy
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick/2 oz.) unsalted butter
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease a 12-cup (3 l), a 10-cup (2.5-l), and a 6-cup (1.5-l) Bundt pan with melted butter, letting any excess drain out. Dust the pans with granulated sugar, turning the pan to coat evenly, then tap out any excess.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated before adding another. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
Reduce the speed to low and the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then increase the speed to high and beat for 30 seconds.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pans, filling each pan about two-thirds full, and, using a rubber spatula, spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 25 to 40 minutes for the smallest pan, 45 to 50 minutes for the medium-size pan, and 55 to 60 minutes for the largest pan. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cakes cool completely. Invert the pans onto the racks and lift off the pans.
Meanwhile, make the brandy caramel sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, cream, brandy, butter, vanilla and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Let stand at room temperature until ready to use, or let cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Gently reheat before serving.
To serve, carefully stack the cakes on top of one another, with the largest cake on the bottom and the smallest cake on the top. Drizzle the brandy caramel sauce over the cakes as desired, and serve the cake with any remaining sauce alongside. Serves 30.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen