Cake of the Week: Vanilla Nutella Swirl
The idea for this week’s cake came from two giant jars of Nutella that have been sitting in my pantry for a little while. We love Nutella. Well, maybe not all of us. The same person who doesn’t love icing on cake also is fairly ambivalent about Nutella. The rest of us love it. I have to say, though, that we have trouble eating through an entire jar, especially the super sized ones from Costco. This is partly because of my conscience. Unless I am spreading it on some whole grain or multigrain bread, I have a hard time serving it for breakfast or lunch. However, it is perfect for dessert, which is what I am talking about today.
My goal for this cake was threefold. First, I wanted the Nutella to be a star, but I didn’t want to be overwhelmed by it, so I thought that pairing it with a classic vanilla pound cake would be just right.
Secondly, I wanted it to be pretty. Since I was pairing it with vanilla, a swirly look would be nice. Your results may vary, but I was pretty happy with the results.
And lastly, but really most importantly, I wanted it to be easy. This one is made easy by the fact that everything is just stirred together. There is no creaming of butter and sugar and adding things in little increments. Just, dump and stir, or more accurately, whisk.
Some things will need to be melted (butter and Nutella) and it does kind of make a mess in the kitchen. I am usually a pretty tidy person in the kitchen because I hate to clean any more than I have to, but for some reason, throw Nutella into the mix and chaos comes with it.
There was Nutella on my clothes, in my hair, all over the counter, and my hands. It’a all worth it in the end, but just be aware and keep a lookout!
These three requirements aside, this recipe would be not be here if it also did not pass another test: the taste test.
The boys approved and all the adults who helped me test it also approved. This is not a light and fluffy cake. It is dense, like a pound cake should be, but full of vanilla buttery flavor. The Nutella portions are a little moister and melt ever so slightly in your mouth. To help intensify the Nutella flavor, I glazed the cake with a simple Nutella glaze made with melted Nutella and milk.
If you don’t want to make a whole bundt cake, the recipe can be halved and baked in a standard 8.5 by 4.5 inch loaf pan or make the whole recipe and split it between two loaf pans. That way, you can have one now and freeze one for later.
Vanilla Nutella Swirl Cake
makes 1 large bundt cake or two loaf cakes
2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup heavy cream at room temperature
6 large eggs at room temperature
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 cup (11 ounces) Nutella
1/4 cup (2.75 ounces) Nutella
2 Tablespoons whole milk
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a large bundt pan with a capacity of at least 12 cups. A flour spray such as Baker’s Joy will work here as well.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and vanilla until a foamy. Add the cream and whisk until combined.
- Whisk the flour into the egg mixture. Then, carefully, so that the butter does not splash everywhere, whisk in the melted butter.
- In another medium, microwavable bowl, heat the Nutella in the microwave for about 30 seconds. You don’t want it to be super hot, just warm enough to loosen it up a bit. This will help you incorporate the cake better more easily.
- Add 2 cups of the vanilla batter to the Nutella and whisk until smooth and combined.
- Now, you are going to layer your cake batter in the pan. Spoon half of the vanilla batter into the cake pan, followed by half of the Nutella batter. Then, spoon over the remainder of vanilla batter followed by the rest of the Nutella batter. Swirl gently by passing a butter knife through the batter once or twice.
- Bake 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Then, unmold over a rack to cool completely.
- When the cake is cool, make the glaze. Heat the Nutella and milk together in a microwave for about 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth and loose. If it is stiff, keep heating it in the microwave for 15 second intervals until you get a pourable glaze. Pour the glaze evenly over the top of the cake and use a knife to spread it so that it gently runs over the sides of the cake. As it cools, the glaze will set into a matte finish.
- Slice and enjoy! Serves anywhere between 12-20 people, depending on the size of your slices.