Sometimes all it takes to inspire a new recipe is a fun new ingredient to experiment with, a special occasion or a cool new tool you are just dying to try out.  The cake I’m going to share with you today was really a combo of all three, as I set out to use a new fun mini bundt pan set to make a vanilla infused pound cake for two very important occasions!

Let’s start with a sneak peek inside my kitchen when I’m baking. Here is what it looked like after a recon trip to Publix to acquire all necessary ingredients:

Using the iPad in the Kitchen
We got an iPad last year and as you can see, it’s quickly become our most used kitchen tool!  Its so handy when you need a quick recipe idea, want to do a conversion and I’ve even starting saving our weekly meal plan to it for quick perusing.

More on using the iPad in the kitchen in a later post, for now lets get back to the vanilla cream cheesy goodness.

The star ingredient in this cake is Vanilla. I used two delicious forms to get the rich robust flavor I wanted: Nielsen Massey Vanilla bean paste and Khoisan Tea Bourbon Vanilla powder. Both of these were gifts from my super awesome momma, and both were picked up in the TJ Maxx food aisle for a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere.

Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste & Khoisan Tea Bourbon Vanilla

The bean paste is a thickened vanilla extract flecked with sweet, flavorful vanilla bean innards!

Vanilla Bean Paste Closeup

Also a gift, but this time from Jason’s mommy, I had been dying to try out this fun Nordicware bundt pan (ps… If you ever don’t know what to get me for Christmas… kitchen toys are always a winner!) With bundt cakes its important to spray your pans very well and I use an icecream scoop to distribute the batter evenly.

Nordicware 4 Shape Bundt Pan

 

You’ll notice a few air bubbles in my final product. I’m so used to trying to keep things light & fluffy that I forgot with bundt cakes you should tap on them to settle out the air prior to baking.  Mini Bundt Cakes

The three round cakes were a surprise for our good friend James’ birthday.  His wife was out of the country and after some prodding she informed me that he loved pound cake with glazey stuff on top. It was the funniest thing when his sister also dropped off a pound cake the same day!

 

The remaining heart shaped cake (not exactly appropriate to share for a dudes bday when his wife is in another country) stayed home and got a special Valentine’s day treatment for me and J-Bird to enjoy.   I sprinkled these sweet Wilton Hearts under the cake like confetti and drizzled the glaze over the contours of the cake for a dramatic effect.

Heart Shaped Bundt Cake

I also cooked down some frozen strawberries in confectioners sugar and water and served that with the sliced cake. Apparently we were too busy savoring it to take a photo! At any rate, here’s the recipe so you can whip this up in your own kitchen.