Louisiana crunch cake

Not too light, not too dense, this bundt cake has just the right fluffy texture. Top it with your favorite glaze or frosting and sprinkle with sweetened coconut.

By , The Pastry Chef's Baking

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    Be sure to butter and flour your bundt pan. Then sprinkle sugar in the bottom of the pan too.
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I was having a bake-fest one Saturday, partly because it was a rare day that I wasn't running around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off (did you ever wonder exactly how headless chickens are able to run?) or having to meet people somewhere or having to be in two places at once.

Also, it was partly because I had an audio book I borrowed from the digital library, and I can't just sit still and listen to a book. Usually, I'm on the treadmill while I'm listening to an audio book, but I'd already worked out 6 days in a row so Saturday was my rest day. But I had to do something. Baking it was.

The great thing about this cake is that it was delicious. The not so great thing is it didn't come cleanly out of my Bundt pan, so it looked like something Frankenstein put together as a self-portrait. I patched it together as best as I could, covered it with leftover frosting from the White Texas Sheet Cake and sprinkled it with toasted coconut in the hopes that no one would notice Frankenstein isn't a very good artist.

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All I can say is, it's the taste that matters the most - like when you're not supposed to comment on someone's appearance if it's not aesthetically pleasing, so you say "he (or she) has a great personality." Well, this is a delicious cake, let me tell you. Fluffy texture but not too light or too dense (aka perfect pound cake texture), good buttery vanilla flavor, and the sweetness of the frosting and the crunch from the toasted coconut were fantastic additions.

I misread the directions and thought you were supposed to grease and then sugar the pan. They really say to grease and flour the pan then sprinkle sugar in it. Oops, that was probably my problem with not getting the cake out intact. Live and learn, and make again properly.

Louisiana crunch cake

3 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup butter, softened

4 large eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup sour cream

1 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Sift together cake flour, salt, baking powder and soda. Set aside.

3. In a large separate bowl, beat butter until very fluffy (about 5 minutes) then add 2 cups of sugar. Continue to beat until light and fluffy (about 2 more minutes).

4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure that each egg is thoroughly blended before adding the next egg.

5. Mix sour cream and vanilla extract together.

6. Add flour mixture and sour cream mixture alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat until batter is well blended and uniform but do not over-mix.

7. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan. Add in 1/4 cup of sugar to the bottom of pan and about 3 inches up the sides, tapping the pan to ensure even distribution. Leave excess sugar in pan. Sprinkle coconut flakes to the bottom of the pan. Scrape batter into the bundt pan and spread evenly.

8. Bake for about 50 minutes to an hour or until a wooden skewer or cake tester inserted comes out clean.

9. Let cake cool for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove from pan, making sure that the sugary coconut side is faced upward. Use a knife to scrape the sides if cake becomes stuck. (This step is very important otherwise your cake will continue to bake and will become very dry and completely stuck in the pan).

10. Drizzle glaze over the crunchy top portion of cake. Top with toasted coconut if desired.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

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