A good bundt cake should be moist with a tender crumb that’s the star of the show. This delicious Louisiana crunch cake more than qualifies.
Because of the shape and exposure to heat, overbaking can be easy to do. But this recipe uses both sour cream and buttermilk for an ultra-moist crumb.
Unlike most cakes that are filled and enrobed with sweet frosting, Louisiana crunch cake can really shine as a bundt cake.
Still, the vanilla glaze is literally the icing on the cake for this flavorful and classic southern favorite.
Louisiana Crunch Cake
If too much frosting isn’t your thing, this Louisiana crunch cake is for you.
It has icing but not a lot, and it’s definitely not the best part of the cake.
The butter in this golden yellow cake provides a richness you just don’t get from using oil. But don’t worry, it’s still light and moist.
Adding acidic ingredients like sour cream and buttermilk not only gives a wonderful tang to your cake, but it also ensures a softer texture that will still hold its shape.
The best part has to be baking the sugar and coconut onto the top of the cake.
Before adding your batter into the tin, you’ll sprinkle in the sugar and sweetened flaked coconut.
Once baked and caramelized, you’re left with a crunch top to die for.
You’ll find most Louisiana crunch cake recipes look pretty similar.
Unless you’re strapped for time and want to use a boxed cake mix for convenience, you won’t find too many variations.
A few differences you might see are the inclusion of coconut extract or the use of plain yogurt over sour cream.
I like to stick with what’s proven, and this recipe is definitely a winner:
- Cake flour. The lower protein content results in a softer cake.
- Salt. Always a must when baking!
- Baking powder. Be careful when measuring.
- Baking soda. I like to sift my baking soda, as it can sometimes form lumps.
- Granulated sugar. Be sure to thoroughly cream your sugar and butter for a lighter crumb.
- Soft butter. Use full-fat butter for that super-rich flavor.
- Eggs. Always start with room-temperature eggs.
- Sour cream. You can substitute for plain yogurt.
- Buttermilk. Make your own! Place 1 tablespoon white vinegar in your measuring cup, then top it with milk. That will replace 1 cup of buttermilk.
- Pure vanilla extract. Stay away from the cheaper vanilla essence! The deeper, more natural flavor is so worth the cost.
For that lovely crunch on top:
- Granulated sugar. You can use brown sugar, but it won’t leave the same crack.
- Sweetened flaked coconut. The flakes are a better option here to avoid burning. They also provide a nice texture.
Vanilla Almond Glaze:
- Powdered sugar. I always sift mine to ensure the glaze is totally smooth.
- Melted butter. Butter adds a smooth feel that you just don’t get otherwise.
- Evaporated milk. Feel free to use regular or coconut milk here.
- Pure vanilla extract. I like to use vanilla paste for those beautiful dark flecks.
- Almond extract. Be careful, as this can sometimes be overwhelming.
How to Make Louisiana Crunch Cake
Here are the steps for making this yummy cake:
1. Prepare. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a Bundt pan and dust it with flour.
2. Make the batter. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Beat the butter in a separate bowl for about 5 minutes until it’s thick and fluffy.
Next, add the sugar and cream. Beat on medium speed for another 2 minutes. Then, add the eggs one at a time, mixing the first in before adding the next.
Finally, add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix gently to avoid overmixing.
Once everything is well mixed, add the sifted dry ingredients and buttermilk a little at a time. (First, add a little of the dry ingredients. Then, add a little buttermilk. Return to the dry ingredients, then the buttermilk, etc.)
3. Prepare the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar over the Bundt pan’s base. Then, add the coconut flakes and pour in the cake batter. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to get all the batter.
4. Bake. Bake for 50 minutes. Check for doneness with a wooden skewer. If necessary, cook for another 10 minutes until the skewer comes out clean.
5. Cool and prepare the glaze. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the powdered sugar, melted butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla and almond extracts. Mix well until smooth.
6. Add the glaze. Remove the cake from the Bundt pan and drizzle the glaze over it. Let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Then, serve and enjoy!
Tips for Making the Best Cake
Since this cake isn’t going to be smothered in frosting, you want to do everything you can to make sure that the crumb is tender and moist.
Here are a few tips:
- Use cake flour. All-purpose flour will work, but cake flour will make a huge difference in the cake’s moistness and texture.
- Use all-purpose flour properly. You can use all-purpose flour if that’s all you can find. Just be sure to sift it and don’t overmix the batter. As you mix, you are developing the gluten in the flour, and too much can cause a dry cake.
- Use full-fat ingredients. They don’t just provide a richer flavor; they also contribute to the texture and density of your cake. Low-fat spreads can leave a greasy texture, and sugar substitutes actually absorb moisture from a cake.
- Prepare the Bundt pan properly. Due to the shape of the cake tin and the sticky topping, it’s essential to thoroughly grease every nook and cranny. When you’re sure you have it all covered, dust the whole thing with flour to be extra safe.
- Cream together the butter and sugar. Although you want to be sure your sugar and butter are properly creamed to a lovely light and fluffy consistency, that’s where your heavy hand needs to take a back seat. It’s something I struggle with for sure!
- Don’t overmix. When mixing the rest of this batter, be gentle. Fold your dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk until it is only just incorporated. I would suggest doing this by hand rather than with a mixer.
- Let the cake cool. Don’t try to remove the cake from the pan for at least 10 minutes. That gives the sugar top time to set. A cooled cake is also easier to remove from the pan.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing. If you add it too soon, it will melt and become a sticky mess.
What Can You Add to Louisiana Crunch Cake?
I think the cake is simple and perfect as is. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative.
- Add more coconut. If you want more coconut in your crunch cake, try making your own buttermilk with coconut milk. The measurements are the same as with regular buttermilk. But this way, you should get a lovely subtle coconut flavor throughout the entire cake.
- Add more coconut x2. Another option would be to use a coconut milk glaze to really boost that flavor.
- Make it tangy. Or better yet, how about a lime glaze to really compliment the coconut?
- Add berries. One more great option could be some fresh raspberries dropped into the batter. Fold some into the mix and sprinkle on top before baking. As the cake bakes and rises, they’ll sink into the middle for colorful pops of fresh flavor.
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