There are two things in this world that never fail to make me happy: a good cake and a good cocktail. When writing new recipes, I often find inspiration in combining my favorite things into show stopping desserts. This year I am focusing on visually appealing desserts that also taste amazing. Since my favorite cocktail is a Cosmopolitan, the vivid pink color of it inspired me to make a beautiful Bundt cake that not only looked like the drink but tasted like it too! It took me a few tries to get the cake just right, but once I got the recipe right, I was so excited about it. It tastes like cranberry and citrus, with a gorgeous pink color and citrus glaze on top, soaked with cranberry juice to really bring the flavors home.
It’s a lot of fun turning one of your favorite things into something else, which is one of the many reasons I am so passionate about baking. Often times I have a form of writer’s block, only with recipes, and when I think of my favorite things that aren’t necessarily desserts, I find ways to turn them into desserts. This never fails to get the creative juices flowing, and in this case, it got the Cosmopolitans flowing. While this recipe calls for soaking the cake in just cranberry juice, you can make the adult version and mix the cranberry juice with vodka and soak the cake in that for a literal cocktail cake!
This recipe serves 6-8 people
For the Cake:
3 Sticks Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
4 Large Room Temperature Eggs
1 Tbs Freshly Grated Lime Zest
2 Tsp Freshly Grated Orange Zest
3 Cups Cake Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
¾ Tsp Baking Soda
1 ½ Tsp Salt
1 Cup Cranberry Juice
1 ½ tsp Red Food Color
½ Cup Cranberry Juice
For the Glaze:
3 ½ Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
5 Tbs Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1 Tbs Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1 Tsp Orange Zest
½ Tsp Lime Zest
¼ Tsp Salt
Optional: lime zest for the top of the cake
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F (176 C) and liberally grease a 12 cup Bundt cake pan with cooking spray (spray works best with this cake, and if you’re using a pan with a more intricate design, make sure you liberally grease all the corners and creases.
- In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next one, then add the lime zest and orange zest.
- Combine the cranberry juice and food color in a liquid measuring cup, then with the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture with the juice mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Do it in about 3 parts. Stop mixing once the last bit of flour is barely absorbed, and finish mixing with a silicone spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly mixed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then tap the pan on your counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly touched, or a cake tester comes out clean when inserted all the way into the center of the cake.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Once the cake is on the cooling rack and is still a little warm, slowly and gently pour the additional ½ cup of cranberry juice all over the cake. The cake will absorb the juice while it is still warm.
- For the glaze, combine the confectioner’s sugar, salt, orange juice, lime juice, orange zest and lime zest in a bowl with a whisk until thick and nicely combined. Once the cake is completely cooled, pour the glaze all over the cake, then top with lime zest if desired.
-Store in an airtight container or tightly wrap with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can also freeze this cake for up to 2 months, just make sure its tightly wrapped in plastic and then put in an airtight container.