Did you know that you don’t necessarily need butter to bake a cake? It’s true. The function of the butter (the fat) in the recipe can be substituted with several other ingredients.
Carrot cakes are usually made without butter, using some kind of oil (vegetable, olive, canola) as the fat. Jewish Honey Cake of course goes without butter, using honey or a combination of honey with oil as the substitute. I’ve also seen paleo cake recipes that make up for it with a combination of eggs, almond flour and tapioca.
Today’s recipe was the first time I’d ever seen or heard of heavy whipping cream being the entire substitution for butter in a cake recipe. I was curious to see how it would turn out, both because of the ingredient swap and the changes it would make to the methodology of putting the cake together. Because there’s no butter, there obviously wasn’t going to be a creaming step (where the butter and sugar is beaten together until fluffy).
However, one major plus side of the no-creaming method is that the cake then becomes one of those rare gems that don’t necessarily require a handheld or standing mixer to make. If you’ve got two hands, you can put it together very easily. The dry ingredients are combined first, then five eggs (yes, five) are added into the dry ingredients. This seemed weird to me too, as the cake batter at that stage resembled clumpy breadcrumbs. But it’s fine: keep going.
An important note: if you’re using a 10 cup Bundt pan, I do not recommend pouring in all of the batter–it’s a bit too much batter for the pan. Plus, with five eggs in a batter there’s definitely going to be some rise to the finished cake. I filled my pan up about 3/4 of the way, then divided the rest of the batter into muffin cups and made them into cupcakes. If you have a 16 cup Bundt pan, then you should be able to bake it all into one cake, no problem. But if not–don’t risk it. The last thing you want is a mess of spilled cake in your oven. I know from past personal experience that it is the WORST to try and clean up.
I was very pleased with this cake. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices because it can go both ways; sweet and savory. In this case, it gives the cake a sweet yet zesty kick that pairs well with the vanilla. The cake’s texture was one that I wasn’t used to; the heavy cream gives it a ribbon-y appearance that may make you worry that’s it’s not ‘done’ in certain areas, but don’t worry. So long as you got it up the correct temperature, (195-200F) I promise you that it is. The heavy cream substitution creates a very dense, moist texture. It was different, but I still really liked it and I think that you will too.
Cardamom Cream Bundt Cake
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or preferably vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- A few tablespoons of milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 10 cup Bundt pan and set aside.
In a large bowl using a handheld mixer (or the bowl of a standing mixer with the flat beater head–OR, you can use a large wire whisk and stir with your hand) combine the first five ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom and salt).
Add eggs one at a time and blend until they become incorporated with the dry ingredients (it’ll start to look like clumpy breadcrumbs.)
Pour in the heavy cream into the mixture with a steady stream. Add the vanilla.
Pour batter into the bundt pan, making sure it’s only 3/4 full to prevent overflow and spillage. (You’ll have leftover batter. I made the excess into cupcakes.) Lift and tap it down on the counter a few times (this will prevent air bubbles from forming).
Place the cake pan on a sheet pan, then bake on the middle rack of the oven. Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Cake is done once it reaches an inner temp of 195-200 degrees Fahrenheit).
Cool in pan for 20 minutes before inverting on a cooling rack to cool completely.
For glaze, combine the powdered sugar and cardamom with enough milk to form a smooth, thickish glaze. Use a fork to drizzle it over the cake. Allow to set up until hardened, about 15 minutes before serving.