Summer in the City and a Nutty, Chocolaty, Swirly, Sour Cream Bundt Cake

With the beautiful summer weather upon us our vibrant city has come alive. People are out and about enjoying leisurely dinners in sidewalk cafes. They are spending time enjoying the weather at local venues like the Beach, Harbourfront, Toronto Island and the many local parks. Biking trails are packed with die-hard cyclists and family groups winding their way from one end of the city to another. Parks are strewn with picnickers and groups of friends playing Frisbee or baseball, all enjoying the day.

The beaches are filled with sun bathers and children building sand castles that will be washed away with the rushing tide. Beach volleyball has begun as well as the Major League Baseball and Soccer.  Rowers and dragon boat teams can be seen in the early hours of the morning scuttling across the lake with the grace of a schooner. Sailors have launched their vessels for another season and are out tacking across the lake until the sun goes down.

Life in Toronto takes on a whole new look once we experience the warm summer weather and the long sunny days. We become a city of people.

When preparing for a picnic or a BBQ with friends it is nice to find a bake ahead recipe that can be pulled out for the event while still holding its rich flavour. It is also fun to try recipes that would have been very popular in the 1980s only to find that they are still really delicious. This bundt cake recipe from Dorie Greenspan is one of those remarkable classics. It can be eaten the first day or kept for a few days in an airtight container or frozen for up to 3 months.


Nutty, Chocolaty, Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake


For the Swirl:

½ cup sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup plump, moist raisins
2 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 ¾ cups sugar
Zest of 1 orange
2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 9-10 inch Bundt pan.

To make the swirl place all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and stir. Set aside.

For the cake:

In another medium bowl whisk together flour baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer rub the sugar and zest together with your fingers until sugar is moist and aromatic. Add the butter and beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the sour cream. Still working on low, add the dry ingredients and mix only until they disappear into the batter. Give the batter a last stir with a rubber spatula, then scoop 1/3 of the batter into the Bundt pan. Evenly sprinkle ½ of the swirl filling, then spoon on the rest of the batter.

Make a shallow indentation with the back of a spoon in the centre of the ring of batter and fill with the remaining swirl mixture. Cover the mixture lightly with the batter. It is fine if the batter does not cover the mixture completely.

Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 10 minutes before unmolding. Unmold cake onto the rack and cool completely.

Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

Recipe from Baking by Dorie Greenspan



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