You know how when you’re a kid, you have all the time in the world, but just don’t know it?
When I was a kid, I loved to bake cakes. Layer cakes. With homemade frosting, all done up with elaborate swirls, sprinkles, and flowers.
Heck, I had the time then.
Now? Forget about it.
Nowadays, if I do bake a cake, it’s apt to be a no-nonsense springform-pan variety or the reliable bundt-style.
So when Nothing Bundt Cakes came calling, offering to send a sample for me to try, my first thought was: “Really? A bakery that makes nothing but bundt cakes? Why on earth?”
After all, bundts are one of the quickest and easiest of cakes to make. Would people really opt to buy these, rather than fancy layer cakes enrobed in pastel fondant or airy meringue buttercream if they were going to the trouble and expense of buying a cake?
When the doorbell rang and the cakes arrived, I understood why they would.
Why, of course, if they got a bundt cake that looked like this: Dressed up with a big, bright yellow sunflower bursting from its center, and thick ripples of ivory cream cheese frosting cascading down it. A precious card and butterfly magnet perched atop it all upped the cute factor even more.
Sure, it looked amazing. But was it merely a bimbo cake — all looks and no substance underneath? One taste would determine that.
Nothing Bundt Cakes offers nine flavors of bundts. This was “chocolate chocolate chip,” a chocolate cake with chocolate chips hidden in the batter. It was nicely moist. It also was surprisingly airy for a bundt, which are usually much denser in texture. It was more like a sponge cake or even a light Asian-style bakery cake. I could press on it gently with my fingers and it would collapse, then spring back. I’m not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I’m just saying it didn’t fit the norm for a bundt.
There was good chocolate flavor, enough to satisfy and linger, but not as deep and intense as a molten chocolate cake would be. The frosting? Quite sweet, with a bit of tang, and just outrageously good.
I also tried the single-serving bundtlet sizes. The red velvet had a subtle cocoa flavor and was studded with chocolate chips. The lemon had a vibrant citrus tang. The marble maybe could have used a little more chocolate, but this is coming from a chocolate fiend. All the cakes were again quite airy and light in texture, and all were capped with that wonderful cream cheese frosting.
The flower-decked, 10-inch bundt is $39.50; the little bundtlets are $3.99 each. Nothing But Bundts has locations nationwide, including two in the Bay Area (Los Gatos and Dublin). The cakes can be picked up from the bakery, delivered locally, or shipped across country.
I think I’ll still end up baking most of my bundt cakes. After all, it’s one of the few types of cakes I still actually have time to make from scratch. But if I wanted to mark a special occasion by making a friend or relative break into a smile of sheer amazement as they opened their door, this would be a great way to do it.