Bundt cakes are one of my favorite baked goods to make, as you all may well know. The possibilities of flavor and ingredient combining are endless, and the results are always fun to anticipate. Several weeks ago, I was shipped a review copy of 125 Best Chocolate Chip Recipes cookbook by Julie Hasson (who happens to be a fellow Portlander and owner of Native Bowl) and I immediate dog-eared a billion recipes, because who doesn’t love chocolate chips in everything? Chocolate is one of the most versatile baking ingredients on the universe, so much that you could bathe in them. So it’s no surprise this book is a total hit. Snickerdoodle Chip Biscotti, Mississippi Mud Pie, Apricot Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Muffins… it was difficult choosing the first recipe to bake. I settled on this Coconut Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake to start off with, for now.
Bundt cakes are so simple to make. I have a few rules of thumb that I have discovered through trial and error through the years baking them.
1) Always substitute at least half of the butter a recipe calls for for canola or vegetable oil. Why? Because this adds moistness and smoother texture to the flour, preventing it from drying out too quickly. Standard recipes call for 2 sticks of butter (1 cup) so I usually do 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup oil. Easy.
2) Use buttermilk (or apple cider/vinegar in any substitute milk to make your own) for the liquid. Why? It adds tang/flavor and minimal fat, giving baked cake-like goods a rich but soft texture. Since I usually never use an entire carton of buttermilk and it goes bad quickly, I like to make my own with whatever milk I have on hand. Almond or soy milk works great with 1 tablespoon apple cider or white vinegar.
3) Reduce the sugar, but only by a little if it calls for a lot. Obviously, this is subjective and varies on what you’re comfortable with. Why? This particular recipe (and many bundt cake recipes out there) called for 2 cups of white sugar, which seemed like a lot to me. I skimmed off 1/3 cup, and more than likely no one could tell a difference. Alternatively, swapping out some brown sugar for the white sugar can add a nice caramel-molasses moistness to a cake. I didn’t do that for this recipe, but I know it works really well for dark chocolate cakes, especially because the dark brown color would go unnoticeable.
This cake turned out super delicious. I’d never added cream cheese to cake batter before, but of course it would only add to the texture, moisture and flavor. Paired with the coconut milk, coconut flakes and chocolate chips, the balance of the coconut and chocolate was just right. Since my guy isn’t a big coconut fan, I brought this into work and it was a big hit aka. it completely disappeared by the end of the day.
An additional added perk to bundt cakes? They are (usually) fairly simple to transport. Since they typically don’t call for buttercream frostings (although there is nothing wrong with using one) and use glazed icings that set fairly quickly, you don’t have to worry as much about a potential disaster in your car (hello been there done that!). Coconut flakes are another story entirely, but let’s just say I got to work in one piece/peace.
Enough said. Bundt cakes are the bomb!
COCONUT CHOCOLATE CHIP BUNDT CAKE
Makes one 10″ bundt cake, serves 12
Adapted from 125 Best Chocolate Chip Recipes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), at room temp
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 package neufchâtel cream cheese (8oz), softened
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 3/4 cup almond/coconut milk + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, mixed to make “buttermilk”
- 1 cup lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut
- 3/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
For the Icing:
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond/coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon rum
- 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and coconut extracts (if using), beating well. Combine coconut milk and the “buttermilk” mixture. Mix in the flour mixture alternately with the coconut milk-buttermilk mixture, making three additions of flour mixture and two of milk mixture, just until smooth. Stir in sweetened coconut flakes and chocolate chips.
- Spread batter into prepared pan, smoothing top, Bake in preheated oven for 65-80 minutes, or until a test toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean and cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cake cool in pan on a rack for at least 15 minutes. Carefully invert cake onto a large plate. Let cool completely.
- To make the icing: Meanwhile, while cake is baking and/or cooling, whisk together confectioner’s sugar, milk and rum until smooth. Set aside until cake is cool. Whisk again before drizzling or spooning over top of cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and extra mini chocolate chips, if desired.