Monday, March 30, 2015

Welcome Spring with Vanilla Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

If you've been around the cafe for a while, you might remember this equipment fail from November:

I was trying to make this Caramel Apple Cake. And while the cake was delicious, it didn't look so pretty.

So yes, I did put a new Bundt pan on my Christmas list, and my favorite middle son gave me this beauty on the big day:

Sometimes better equipment is all you need!

Daughter Carrie gave the new pan its first test with this delicious cake. The light vanilla flavor with a bit of tang from the cream cheese makes this the perfect dessert for spring. It would make a great base for strawberry shortcake, too, if you weren't already addicted to Grandma's recipe :)

This recipe is from a website called They have tons of good looking recipes over there, and once I get a minute to breathe, I'll have to browse a bit longer than I did the other day.

Here it is:

Vanilla Cream Cheese Bundt Cake


for the cake batter:

1 1/2 cups sugar
8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup butter
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

for the Vanilla Cream Cheese glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar (aka icing sugar)
4 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 teaspoons milk


Preheat your oven to 325°.

Cream the sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla together well.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Stir together the flours and baking powder, and then gently fold the dry ingredients into the batter until everything is smooth and creamy.

Bake in a well greased and floured Bundt pan (or two parchment lined loaf pans) at 325° for about 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Or use the touch test: press down lightly in the center of the cake. If the cake springs back, it's done. If an indentation remains, bake a few minutes longer.

Cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Beat all the ingredients for the glaze together very well until very smooth. Add more of less milk to get the glaze to the proper consistency which should be relatively thick but not quite pourable.

Spoon and swirl the glaze on top of the cake and let it drip down naturally.

And try to restrain yourself to one piece!

In other news, spring has officially arrived in South Dakota!

In addition, I recently purchased a new camera. I'm taking a research trip to western Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana in a few weeks, and I hope this new toy takes fabulous pictures. I played with it a bit last weekend when we went to Custer State Park. 

One thing you'll notice from these pictures is that even though the crocus, daffodils and Pasque flowers are beginning to bloom, we don't have greengrass yet.

No, that's not a typo. Greengrass. All one word. The Hills and prairies are still brown.

Okay, Thatcher was not at the park. I was fiddling with the camera settings :) Besides, I had to include him in this post. Today is his birthday!

Which means it's also Jeter's birthday! Happy birthday, you handsome dogs!

One reason for the new camera was to make it easier to get distance shots like this...

...and this one, looking east at sunset.

And close up shots, like this one...

...and this one. Yes, he is standing near what you think he's standing near. That's where the insects are!

I'm very happy with the way this one turned out - with no danger from trying to get too close:

But this last one surprised me. This would have been a big white splotch with my old camera:

It's amazing to see what you can do with the right tools!

What new tool or equipment has made your life easier lately?


  1. Delicious cake!

    And I ordered a nice camera for myself a few months ago and it has been a lot of fun but definitely a learning curve. I spent a few weeks just learning all the settings, and even now, don't take it out very often. It will be a great vacation camera but not for every day use here.

    1. That's what I've been thinking about mine, too. My little "point and shoot" is so easy to use, and my new one takes a bit more thought.

      But I do like the photos the new one takes.

      So when I have time, or I'm feeling a bit artsy, the new one will get center stage :)

  2. Beautiful photos! A good camera makes such a huge difference. I use my phone all the time. Then I look at the gorgeous shots my son takes on his nice camera and get jealous.

    My good friends who are professional photographers have said in the past that people are probably going to end up regretting using their phones in place of cameras. I just like the ease of Photostream automatically sending everything to my computer through iCloud.

    The cake looks delicious!! I've been having a craving for cake all weekend. I Pinned a whole bunch of cupcakes this weekend hoping to make some. But now I think I changed my mind. :) This looks simpler and yummy!

    1. This cake was very easy! And so delicious :)

      The camera on my phone is convenient, but I don't think it will ever take the place of my regular camera. For one thing, I don't usually think of using it!

      Yes, I'm showing my age!

      But whether we use our cameras or our phones, it's so important to upload the photos off the devices so we can file and save them. And even print out the best ones. Because the danger is losing all those memories if our device fails (or gets dropped off a cliff!), or even just losing them in the forest of photos we take.

      Just like in the old days - but the danger then was forgetting to get the roll of film developed :)

    2. One of my friends moved to Germany where her doctor husband is stationed on the Air Force base. Every few weeks they take a weekend and hit some beautiful place.
      Well, they went to Jerusalem and she took hundreds of pictures to share with her family. THEN she updated her iphone somehow.... and everything was lost. The only thing they still had (even after hours on the phone with the igeniuses) were the phones they'd posted to facebook.

      So, that was a really hard lesson to learn but they're in Rome right now and she's using a real camera for everything!

    3. Oh, her camera, like mine, has wifi so it hooks up to facebook at the click of a button. My husband jokes that the only thing it doesn't do is make calls, so I should really carry my camera instead of my phone since I never talk on my phone!

    4. I looked at the cameras with wi-fi ability. Impressive. And I had the same thought - would I need my phone if I had one of those?

      The one I bought doesn't do wi-fi, which is why it was on sale. And yes, I'm a sucker for a sale!

  3. I love that you remembered Jeter's birthday, too!!! Happy birthday, cute pups!!! That was the only Good Friday service I ever missed, the day Libby started having eleven puppies at about 3:15. I prayed thanksgiving prayers for Christ's sacrifice right at home... and weighed puppies!

    This cake looks so nice, moist and tender, Jan. And do you know I'm not all that far from Western PA and Ohio.... And I'm not opposed to road trips!

    I love the pics, and the thought of spring. We've got aspirations of spring here, but cake will make me less concerned!

    1. I hope Jeter is enjoying his birthday! Today is the same-old, same-old for Thatcher. But really, dogs like it that way, don't they?

      I'm looking forward to this research trip. I'm taking my Dad along because I know he'll enjoy the genealogy and history stuff as much as I do!

      I'll only be in western PA for one day, in Somerset County. Is that worth a road trip?

      And spring will come eventually, Ruthy. I heard my first tentative spring croaker this weekend. But we were actually the warmest city in the 48 states this weekend - 82° on Saturday! That's mid-summer weather!

  4. We are both phone and "real" camera people at our house. I was really interested in the Pasque flowers you have displayed elsewhere. Are those related to crocus?

    1. The Pasque flower is South Dakota's state flower. I'm still learning about it!

      Here's a link that tells about it:

      The article says it's a tundra flower, but it's found through out the tall grass prairies here in South Dakota.

      They look a little like a crocus, but they aren't related.

  5. Well, whoohoo, happy birthday, Thatcher (and Jeeter). Hopefully your mums will have something special for you today. A new chew toy? A bacon cake? Time will tell! I'm still waiting on my forever pup. So many angles to consider. Especially if I have to move into an apartment.

    And woohoo to a cake with four eggs. I'm drowning in eggs up here and I need to use them up. I have an elderly friend who keeps stopping by with eggs for me. Two dozen at a time and I'm only one person here.! Sweet of her but if see one omelette....

    What tool is making my days easier? A fuse!!!! Landlord finally came over on the weekend and replaced the fuse for the stove. I can bake again. Blissful sigh. I celebrated with brownies. And he even replaced my not working smoke detectors and now I have running water in the bathroom sink. I'm all twitterpated and afluttered!

    1. A fuse!!! AND running water? Kav, you're doubly blessed :)

      Your friend with the eggs can head out this way!

  6. Enjoyed your post, Jan. Awesome pics with the new camera. Congrats on the new toy!

    You're killing me with the cake recipe!!!