Hibiscus Meyer Lemon Sour Cream Bundt Cake. Also known as fifth time is the charm cake.
I have a love hate relationship with intricate bundt cake pans. I love them, they hate me. Nordic Ware knows what a sucker I am for these amazing cake pans, but these pans rarely want to work for me when it comes to baking cakes.
The cakes either stick or they erupt over the top. The only pan I have ever been consistent with is the traditional bundt cake pan shape. But all the fancy ones? They give me trouble. This time I fought back and won.
This pan shape is called "Jubilee" and its is so pretty. I love the geometrical shape of it that allows for glaze to get in all kinds of nooks and crannies. But. It took me a few tries and some advice from a few food blogging friends to get this cake to come out of the pan in one piece and look good!
In the past I have never had issues getting bundt cakes out of the pan. I grease with butter and dust with flour. With these more intricate pans I needed more than just butter and flour. Blogging friends told me about DIY cake release.
Cake release is a homemade mix of equal parts flour, oil and shortening. Whisked together until smooth and then it gets generously brushed into the pan. It can be used for all kinds of cake pans, not just bundt pans. It worked like a charm for this bundt cake.
I like to use butter, parchment paper and flour for regular cake pans, that has always worked great for me, but for bundt cakes I am using cake release from now on.
This hibiscus Meyer lemon sour cream bundt cake has been in the works for a while. I was going to originally post it at the end of my Meyer lemon recipe series in January/beginning of Feb, but I was having the cake sticking to the pan issue. I decided to revisit it before moving on to my next ingredient theme - passion fruit.
One thing I almost always add to a bundt cake is icing or a glaze. I love to highlight one of the ingredients in the glaze, this time being hibiscus, and love how it accentuates the bundt detail.
For this glaze I use powdered sugar and hibiscus simple syrup.
I probably added too much glaze, but hey, life is short, over-indulge once in a while.
A few tips for bundt cake baking success:
- Bundt pans come in a few different sizes, the traditional size holds 12 cups of batter. The one seen here, the Jubilee, holds 10 cups. One of my recipe trials ended up in the cake erupting in my oven for a solid 40 minutes. It was way too full. I always place a piece of foil on the lowest rack to catch any batter in case this happens. Never place it directly below the pan or place the pan on a baking sheet. You need the center hole to be able to have air move through it to bake the middle of the cake. Foil a few inches below is just fine.
- If you have a bundt cake recipe but the wrong size pan, you can use the excess to make cupcakes. Fill the bundt pan ¾ of the way full. Never fill to the top edge with batter.
- Grease your bundt cake pans really well with cake release. This really is a life changer. A tip I came across is to freeze the bundt pan after greasing for a few minutes, this will show you if you missed any spots. Even one little area not greased can cause the cake to stick when inverted.
- Let the cake cool for no longer than 10 minutes before inverting. You want to remove the cake while it is still warm. I invert either onto a plate or a wire cooling rack let it sit for a few minutes for the cake to release from the pan then I remove the pan carefully. Never shake the pan to get the cake out, this will guarantee that the cake will not come out in one piece.
A few notes about this Hibiscus Meyer Lemon Sour Cream Bundt cake recipe first:
- For the hibiscus flowers, I blended dried flowers until the became a powder, doesn't have to be a fine powder or dust, you can have some bigger pieces if you like. You can find hibiscus flowers at any well stocked Mexican or Latin grocery store or international market as well as online. You could also use the contents of hibiscus tea bags just make sure it is 100% hibiscus flowers and not other ingredients.
- I used caster sugar for this recipe, but you can use either regular granulated or caster. I like using caster ( also known as baker's sugar) in cakes because it has a much finer texture and mixes in well with the butter faster.
- I tested this recipe with both sour cream and full fat Green style yogurt. Both work just fine. I haven't tested it with non-dairy sour cream or yogurt.
- I highly suggest weighing out ingredients with a digital food scale, especially flour and sugar, rather than scoop and level. You can end up with too much flour and end with a dry cake. I use my food scale all the time and they are relatively cheap to more expensive online. I have used an OXO one for years and years.
- I love a good sour cream bundt cake as well as one using yogurt, oil or buttermilk. The sour cream works so well with the lemon and hibiscus, keeping the cake moist and enhances the tanginess of the lemon.
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour ( 292 g)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon dried hibiscus flower powder
- 1 cup butter ( 226 g), room temperature
- 2 cup caster sugar ( 450 g)
- 3 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ⅓ cup Meyer lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream (240 g), room temperature (full fat Greek style yogurt also works)
For the glaze:
- 2 cups confectioners sugar, well sifted
- 2-3 tablespoon hibiscus simple syrup
For the cake:
- Pre-heat oven to 350 Deg F. Grease a 10 cup bundt pan well. Use a spray with flour in it or brush well with DIY bundt pan release ( see blog post for details).
- In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda 2 times. Whisk in the salt and hibiscus powder. Set aside
- In a large mixing bowl cream the butter until light and fluffy 3-4 minutes. While this is mixing, measure the sugar into a bowl, then add the lemon zest, Rub between your fingers until the zest is well mixed with the sugar. Add this to the butter and mix again another 3-4 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
- Using the bowl the sugar was in, whisk together the lemon juice, vanilla extract and sour cream. Alternate adding this mixture with the flour mixture until just combined and no flour streaks remain. Stir a few times with a spatula to get everything from the bottom of the bowl mixed in.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt cake pan and smooth the top. The bundt pan should be about a little over ¾ of the way full. You don’t want it all the way filled.
- Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes then invert onto a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before transferring to a plate or cake stand, before adding the icing.
For the icing:
- Sift the powdered sugar and whisk in the hibiscus simple syrup a table spoon at time until you reach the consistency and color you like. Drizzle over the cake. Cake is best served within a few days of baking. Keep covered with plastic wrap ( cling film) or in an airtight c