This Independence Day, America will be turning 240 years young. While she is still a spring chicken compared to most countries, she is starting to show her age a bit. This past year has definitely added a few wrinkles to her brow. America the beautiful may need the world’s largest tub of Oil of Olay to tackle the next 4 years.
Girl has been through a lot over the past 240 years. She’s had her highs and some pretty dark lows. But through it all she’s remained a true blue beauty and deserves to be celebrated. See her at her best in my Roadtrippin’ Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Beyond blog post.
America has birthed countless prodigies, and Minneapolis based Nordic Ware is no exception. A true American-made success story, Nordic Ware has been providing households around the world with high quality kitchenware since their humble beginnings in 1946. The husband and wife power couple began hustlin’ the bakeware game from the their basement in Midwest America. Most famously known for their bundt pans, Nordic Ware is celebrating their success with this beautiful line of heritage bundt pans, proudly made in America for 70 years.
The moment I saw this elegant Crown Bundt Pan, I knew she had to be mine. What I didn’t yet realize was that she was going to be the base for the best cake I’ve made to date. This 4th of July, I am honoring the land of the free with a special birthday cake straight from my home of the brave. This Brown Butter Bourbon Bundt Cake with Grilled Cherries and Blueberry Sparkler Skewers is inspired by and adapted from Julie Richardson’s Kentucky Bourbon Cake in her cookbook “Vintage Cakes“, a recipe she acquired from a prize-winning recipe by Nell Lewis at the 1963 Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in Platte City, Missouri.
My Brown Butter Bourbon Bundt Cake with Grilled Cherries and Blueberry Sparkler Skewers recipe is baked to golden perfection in a house of gold. Browning the butter adds a rich depth to the cake batter and compliments the bourbon like stars to stripes. The sweet and smoky bourbon glaze explodes with a salty surprise, compliments of a sprinkle of flaky Jacobsen sea salt. The silky smooth bourbon glaze coats the cake sealing in the caramel moisture and glistens like a summer sunset. The true backyard BBQ spirit of the 4th of July glitters like a sparkler when the cake gets topped with sugar-laced, smoky grilled cherries that taste like cherry pie filling (*if you’re looking for a pretty and patriotic Cherry Pie recipe, I got you). Finally, blueberry sparkler skewers shoot out of the cake like Roman Candles towards the spacious skies. Served with a dollop of fluffy, fresh whipped cream and you’ll swear you hear the screech of a bald eagle soaring above as you taste the freedom of this patriotic cake.
This 4th of July, I suggest you crank the Willie and Waylon, grab some buds, raise a tall boy of America and bake this Brown Butter Bourbon Bundt Cake with Grilled Cherries while you light things on fire and decimate melons with M-80s. That’s what I’ll be doing.
Happy 240th, America the beautiful. You deserve to have your bundt cake, and eat it too.
- sifted cake flour - 3 cups
- baking soda - 1 teaspoon
- baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- fine sea salt - 1 teaspoon
- unsalted butter - 1 cup (2 sticks)
- granulated sugar - 1 1/2 cup
- firmly packed brown sugar - 1/2 cup
- eggs at room temperature - 4
- bourbon - 1/4 cup
- buttermilk at room temperature - 1 cup
- pure vanilla extract - 2 teaspoons
- unsalted butter - 6 tablespoons
- granulated sugar - 3/4 cup
- bourbon - 1/4 cup
- sea salt flakes - 1 teaspoon
- fresh cherries, whole - 2 1/2 cups
- fresh blueberries - 1 cup
- raw cane or sparkling sugar - 1/4 cup
- heavy whipping cream - 1 cup
- granulated sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Prepare a 10 cup bundt pan by brushing the inside (into all of the nooks and crannies) with a melted butter and a pastry brush, then lightly dust the buttered pan with an even layer of cake flour.
- Prepare 5-7 wooden skewers by soaking them in water, this prevents the skewers from burning while grilling.
- Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Place 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt completely. Just before it starts to brown it will begin to foam up. Slowly whisk or swirl the butter until it begins to turn a warm chestnut color, tiny brown flecks start to form on the bottom of the pan. This is a delicate process, so stay vigilant. You want the butter browned but not burnt. Once you’ve browned the butter pour it into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool, I generally stick it in the fridge to hurry this process along.
- Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl then whisk by hand to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the remaining butter, (cooled) brown butter and sugars together on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5-7 minutes, stopping to frequently scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a spatula. With the mixer on a low speed, blend in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
- Combine the bourbon and buttermilk in a small bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk-bourbon mixture in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape down the bowl. Stop the mixture before the last flour addition and blend by hand with a spatula until the mix is just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread it out evenly. Place the bundt pan on a baking sheet in the oven. Bake until the cake is golden and springs back when touched, 40 to 45 minutes, carefully rotating the cake halfway through the bake time.
- While the cake bakes; combine the butter, sugar and bourbon in a small saucepan over low heat, warm until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, whisking to combine. Sprinkle in sea salt flakes and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Remove the cake from the oven and leave it in the pan. With a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the top of the cake, creating small channels down into the cake. Slowly, pour 3/4 of the glaze over the cake, reserving the remaining glaze.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then gently plop it out onto a serving plate so the glazed part is on the bottom. Brush the top and sides with the remaining bourbon glaze. If the glaze has thickened, re-warm it over low heat.
- While the cake cools, prepare the cherries and blueberries. Start by preheating the grill on medium heat. Skewer a handful of blueberries on each of the soaked wooden skewers.
- Place the cherries directly on grill and cook over medium - medium/high heat for about 5-6 minutes, turning over halfway through. Grill until the cherries soften and barely brown.
- Grill blueberry skewers directly on grill for 1-2 minutes on each side, just until they plump but before they burst.
- Toss grilled cherries in a bowl with raw cane or sparkling sugar until they are coated in glitzy sparkles. Sprinkle the blueberry skewers with raw cane sugar.
- Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer and chill for 15 minutes.
- Pour the whipping cream and sugar into the chilled mixing bowl. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks,around 5 minutes. When you take the whisk out of the cream, the peaks should hold firmly but have soft tips. Stop whisking before the cream turns grainy.
- Fill the bundt hole with grilled cherries and pile the cherries in a mound on top of the cake. Slide in the sparkly blueberry skewers, shooting out from the cake at all angles. Take a photo for IG, this cake is too pretty not to share. Slice and serve immediately with whipped cream and good buds.
- *Inspired by and adapted from the original Kentucky Bourbon Recipe in Vintage Cakes: Timeless Recipes for Cupcakes, Flips, Rolls, Layer, Angel, Bundt, Chiffon, and Icebox Cakes for Today’s Sweet Tooth by Julie Richardson, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.