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And the Winner Is… The Great New England Bundt Cake Baking Competition

And the Winner Is… The Great New England Bundt Cake Baking Competition



 Thanks to everyone who entered!

We got lots of inventive and delicious recipes, our judges had a difficult time narrowing the field to a handful of finalists, and judges and the public alike enjoyed tasting the bundt cakes in the River Garden! And in the end, one bundt came out on top! All the winning recipes are below, so you can try them yourself!

1st Place Winner: Katie O’Neill, from Northfield, MA
“Kate’s Boozy Irish Soda Bundt with Apricot Glaze”

Inspired by a backpacking trip through Ireland and her mother’s soda bread recipe, Katie’s boozy bundt was judged best of the bunch! Congratulations Katie!

Katie won a $150 King Arthur Flour gift certificate, plus a King Arthur Flour gift basket,  Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan, Nordic Ware Bundt Storage Bag, Nordic Ware Ultimate Bundt Cleaning Tool


2nd Place Winner: Ellen Davis, from Jamaica Plain, MA
“Ginger Lingonberry Bundt Cake”

3rd Place Winner: Virgil Wetmore, from Keene, NH
“Rosemary and Blood Orange Polenta Cake with Lavender Blood Orange Syrup

The Peoples’ Choice Award: Ellen Davis
“Ginger Lingonberry Bundt Cake”

The Winning Recipes:

Kate’s Boozy Irish Soda Bunt with Apricot Glaze


3 Cups King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Salt
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Egg, lightly beaten
2 Cups Buttermilk
1/4 Cup Salted Butter, melted
2 Tbs. Salted Butter, melted (for top of cake)
3/4 Cup Dried Apricots, chopped
3/4 Cup Golden Raisins
1/2 Cup Irish Whiskey

2 Tbs. Grand Marnier Liqueur
1/2 Cup Apricot Jam
Dried Apricots (for decoration)

Preparation steps

• Preheat oven to 325
• Grease a 10-12 cup Bundt pan
• Place chopped apricots, raisins and whiskey in a small sauce pan on med-low heat. Lightly simmer, stirring occasionally, until fruit becomes plump, 7-10 minutes.
• In a large bowl, whisk together: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar.
• In a separate medium bowl, whisk together: egg and buttermilk.
• When cooled slightly, drain whiskey from fruit into buttermilk mixture. Fold fruit into the flour.
• Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and stir until just blended.
• Stir 1/4 Cup melted butter into cake mixture.
• Pour batter evenly into prepared Bundt pan.
• Bake at 325 for 65-70 min; toothpick should come out clean and top should be golden brown.
• Place Bundt pan on cooling rack and immediately pour reserved 2 Tbs. melted butter evenly over cake while still in pan.
• Remove from pan once cooled slightly and butter has soaked in, 20 minutes.

• Begin glaze when cake has completely cooled.
• Place jam and liqueur in a small sauce pan on med-low heat. Stir continuously until the mixture becomes thin and syrup like in consistency, being careful not to burn, 8-10 minutes.
Decorate cake with extra apricots then spoon warm glaze over cake for desired design.

This recipe was inspired, firstly, by my mother and the beloved Saint Patrick’s Day feasts she hosted every year, which of course were always accompanied by fresh, hot Irish soda bread. Secondly, this recipe was inspired by immersing myself in my own heritage. A few summers ago, I had the opportunity to spend two weeks backpacking through Southern and Northern Ireland. While in Ireland, I completed formulating the idea for this recipe while sampling many different teatime treats that are both a staple of Irish culture and cuisine. The many different flavors and techniques I experienced during my travels inspired this adaptation of my mother’s original recipe.

Ginger Lingonberry Bundt Cake


8 oz unsalted butter room temperature (Cabot preferred)
Ginger sugar (directions below)
4 7/8 oz crystallized ginger (3/4 cup)
5 1/4 oz sugar (3/4 cup)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
4 room temperature eggs (or take eggs from fridge and place in bowl and cover with very warm water for at least ten minutes prior to use -if you put them in the water before you make the ginger sugar they should be room temperature by the time you are ready to use them)
8 oz buttermilk (1 cup)
14-14.5 oz lingonberry jam (most jars of jam contain 14-14.5 oz, so just use the whole jar)
12 3/4 oz King Arthur Flour
6 1/2 oz chopped crystallized ginger (1 cup)

2 oz butter (1/4 cup)
4 oz plain Greek yoghurt (or sour cream, it’s just that I’m more likely to have yoghurt than sour cream) (1/2 cup)
7 oz sugar (1 cup)
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325 (convection) or 350 (conventional.)

Grease and flour your 10-12 cup bundt pan. I use melted shortening that I “paint” on the pan with a small pastry brush. Place at least 3-5 Tbsp flour in the pan and cover the top with plastic wrap. Then, over the sink, shake the flour around in the pan to cover all surfaces. The plastic wrap allows you to turn the pan sideways and upside down without making a huge mess. Once pan is floured remove plastic wrap and shake out any excess flour into the sink for easy cleanup.

In a spice grinder, grind approximately approximately 1/3 of the ginger. When it is fine, add approximately 1/3 of the sugar to blend the two. It should look like a rough cornmeal.

Put this mixture into a medium sized bowl. Scrape out any ginger/sugar that is stuck in the crevices or on the side of the bowl. Repeat until all sugar and ginger has been blended. Use your fingers or dough whisk to fully blend the sugar and break up and mix in any lumps. (Ginger sugar can also be made in a food processor, I find the spice grinder does a great job of grinding the ginger, and is easier to clean up and put away.)

Cream the butter at medium speed (hand or stand mixer) for 10 to 20 seconds. Add the ginger sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Cream at medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and then cream for another minute until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.

In a medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk and lingonberry jam.

Add the flour to the batter in three parts, alternating with the butter milk/jam mixture. (Flour, milk/jam, flour, milk/jam, flour) mixing completely (but as little as possible) after all but the last addition. After the addition of the last of the flour, mix until it is almost all incorporated. Add the the crystallized ginger. Mixing in the ginger will complete the incorporation of the flour.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Drop the pan on the countertop a few times to remove bubbles in the batter and smooth the batter with a spatula or scraper.

Bake for 60-70 minutes until a digital thermometer inserted into the center reads 200-210 degrees and comes out clean. (Or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.)

Remove from the oven and let it rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. If you have spatula or scraper that is narrow enough to slide between the cake and the pan, you can also do this.

While the cake is resting start the icing. Put the butter and yoghurt in a small saucepan and stir over low to medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the sugar and bring to a boil. Whisking the mixture with a small whisk helps to remove lumps of yoghurt and dissolve the sugar. If you don’t finish this before it’s time to invert the cake, remove the saucepan from the heat, invert the cake on the cooling rack, and then return the pan to the heat and finish making the icing.

After the initial 5 minute rest, invert the cake onto a wire rack and let it cool for another 5 minutes. After this (approximately 10 minutes after the cake comes out of the oven,) carefully lift the pan off the cake.

Poke holes in the cake and using a pastry brush, put the icing on the cake. It will drip off the cake, but the pastry brush allows you to cover the entire outside of the cake. Since both the cake and icing are hot, the icing should be partially absorbed by the cake. When the icing is no longer being absorbed you can a) wait until the cake is ready to serve and then, warm the remaining icing and drizzle it on the cake; b) wait until the cake is ready to be served and warm the remaining icing and serve it with the cake for people to drizzle on their individual slice (if you choose to do this you may want to double the recipe); or c) say to yourself, “it looks like I have more icing than needed” and dispose of the remaining icing.

Rosemary and Blood Orange Polenta Cake with Lavender Blood Orange Syrup


For the Cake:
1 lb Cabot unsalted butter
1 lb confectioners’ sugar
8 large eggs
½ lb polenta
1 lb King Arthur all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
zest of 6 blood oranges *
juice of 4 blood oranges *
1 large sprig rosemary very finely chopped

For the syrup and candied blood orange slices:
1 Blood Orange sliced into thin slices *
Juice of 2 blood oranges *
2 Tbsp lavender flowers
2 c water
2 c sugar

* Regular oranges can be substituted if blood oranges are unavailable

Preparation steps

For the Cake:
1.Cream together the butter and sugar.
2. Mix in eggs.
3. Mix in flour, polenta, baking powder.
4.Lastly mix in rosemary, zest and orange juice.
5.Pour into oiled 12 cup cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 ¼ hours or until a knife/tester comes out clean.
6. Remove from pan and allow to cool

For Candied Orange Slices and Syrup:
1. Bring water and sugar to a light boil.
2. Add orange slices and allow to boil lightly for 5 minutes.
3. Remove orange slices and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes until syrup has dried.
4. Remove the syrup from heat, add lavender and let steep for 10 minutes.
5. Strain out the lavender flowers and dd syrup back to heat.
6. Add the Orange juice and bring to a boil. Reduce syrup by 1/3.
7. Remove from heat. Allow to cool, but don’t refrigerate.

To Finish:
1. Once cake has cooled prick the surface of the cake with fork and or longer cake testers all over.
2. Place cake on parchment lined baking sheet.
3. Place orange slices on sides of cake.
4. Pour Cooled syrup slowly over the cooled cake. Pay special attention to get syrup over orange slices to try and glue them to the cake surface. Using spatula clean up and reapply any syrup that drips off the cake to the top of the cake
Slice serve and enjoy.

Thanks to the competition’s key sponsors!

King Arthur Baking Company
King Arthur Baking Company
Red Star Yeast
Red Star Yeast

With additional support from:

Amy’s Bakery Arts Cafe
Amy’s Bakery Arts Cafe
Brattleboro Food Co-op
Brattleboro Food Co-op
Drew’s Organics
Drew’s Organics
Orchard Hill Breadworks
Orchard Hill Breadworks
Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs
Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs
Sidehill Farm
Sidehill Farm
Teddie Natural Peanut Butter
Teddie Natural Peanut Butter
The Marina
The Marina
Vermont Creamery
Vermont Creamery