Ciambella

First of all, if you tell me there is a cake that is acceptable to eat for breakfast, I will be all about it. Normally I'm not a big cake person. I think it's because I don't love frosting. But Italians just do cakes right. 

Ciambella is an Italian bundt cake that is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, midnight and any other time you can think of. It also happens to be light, melt in your mouth, and lemony which is great for summer. 

Baking for me will always be a love affair. It reminds me of my Nonna and it's my "go to" therapy when I'm feeling blue or stressed or pregnant. *shoulder shrug* The problem with my love for baking is I really need other people to eat the results because I also have major dessert guilt. So, come on over friends, these treats won't eat themselves. 

INGREDIENTS

Cake:

  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fine sea or table salt
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Finely grated zest of half an orange
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (325 ml) grapeseed oil 
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (about 185 grams) plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (20 ml) vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • About 3 tablespoons (45 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

Make cake: Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and coat with granulated sugar. Knock out any excess sugar from pan.

Place sugar and salt in a large bowl and use your fingertips to rub the zest into it to release the most flavor. Whisk in oil, mascarpone, yogurt, and then eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add baking powder and whisk thoroughly into the batter. Add flour and use a rubber spatula to stir just until batter is smooth.

Drop batter equally around your cake mold, then smooth, and drop on the counter a few times to ensure there are no trapped air bubbles. Bake for about 40 minutes checking in at the 30-minute mark to rotate the pan for even coloring. The cake is done when a toothpick or tester comes out batter-free. 

While the cake bakes, make the glaze: Whisk sugar and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice together until smooth, adding the last tablespoon of juice just if needed. This glaze should be thicker than normal. 

When cake is done, let it rest on a cooling rack for 3 to 5 minutes, then remove it from the pan while it's still hot. Brush or drizzle glaze evenly over the top of the cake, and sides if you wish and it will set as it cools.

Enjoy enjoy enjoy.