Skip to main content

Retro Eating - 1960s bundt cake

This is part of my Retro Eating series. Family Feedbag is looking back at iconic recipes from past decades to celebrate their beauty and the fond connection they give us to days gone by.

When I think of a bundt, I can't help but envision retro ovens in sunlit 1960s kitchens and smiling ladies delicately serving a slice of rich, dense cake to their chatty neighbours. I mean, if you're going to wear a frilly apron when serving anything, it really ought to be a curvy, feminine bundt cake.

Although the bundt cake's roots are in Germany, they didn't become part of the North American baking scene until the mid twentieth century. By the late 1960s bundts were everywhere, thanks in part to a Pillsbury baking contest that honoured a bundt cake with second prize.

I decided last weekend I needed to make a bundt cake. I had a pretty bundt pan that I had never used. The poor, sad little thing was stuffed in the back of my pots and pans cupboard, wondering if I was ever going to fill it with sweet cakey goodness. So out she finally came yesterday and into her went a beautiful cake batter. I chose a recipe for Orange Sour Cream Bundt Cake on page 110 of The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book and opted for some dramatic ruby-coloured blood oranges.

Blood oranges are a new ingredient for me. I had never even bought some until a recent family visit to a farmer's market up island. When I put them in my shopping basket I knew I'd have to do something really special with them. Just the process of cutting and juicing these gems was pure delight!

The cake came out of the oven after the kids went to bed, and rested on a wire rack until my own bed time. The glazing would have to wait until the next day, between a play date and a hockey game. I could hear this round beauty calling me from kindergym, begging me to come home right now and glaze her!

I didn't expect the blood orange juice to turn the glaze pink. I figured it would be bright orange, but stirring the juice into the icing sugar made for a pleasant surprise! What could be more girly than pink! I decided to dust the whole thing with a little more icing sugar, just to guarantee a dainty finish.

There's a definite berry quality to blood oranges, so strawberries make perfect sense as a serving companion with this cake. Oh, how I wish you could come over to enjoy a piece with me! For now, my bundt is under an overturned Pyrex bowl, waiting to be enjoyed again after the kids go to bed!

Have you ever made a bundt cake? What dishes remind you of the 1960s? Got any ideas for my Retro Eating series? Leave a comment and let's chat over a slice of bundt cake!