Though she be but little, she is fierce

I have long been a fan of the kumquat.  A childhood friend had a kumquat tree in her backyard and we’d dare each other to eat the tart little fruit, relishing in the novelty of eating the skin.  Last fall I posted a super tasty citrus loaf cake by Zoe Nathan. Her original recipe called for kumquats…not exactly in-season in November. So I made due and waited.

And then I started thinking.

In its directions, the recipe asks the baker to zest several citrus fruits including the kumquats. After I stopped laughing at the idea of zesting something the size of a large olive I thought, there’s got to be another way. So, I took to the internets and found a couple of recipes that use a kumquat puree. Not sure about anyone else, but in my book cutting and seeding a couple of cups of kumquats is much easier than attempting to zest them.

I used my Vitamix to puree the kumquats. Because I could. A regular blender or food processor will work as well. While the puree smelled amazing (I was tempted to dab some behind my ears), it did have just a hint of bitterness in flavor.   Luckily it baked right out.

I also saw the addition of cardamom in a couple of recipes. Cardamom!  That’s fun to say.

I love cardamom’s exotic floral scent and think it makes elevates this recipe just enough  This is a gorgeous loaf—both in looks and flavor.

You all know, I openly admit to my citrus fruit biases, but really, make this cake.

Like now before kumquats disappear until next spring.

By the way, I’m not sure what is going on with the tumbnail photo that is supposed to sit in the upper left of my posts.  I’m on the case!

Kumquat Loaf

adapted from Huckleberry stories, secrets and recipes from our kitchen


  • 1 C+ 2 TBS/ 255 g unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 C/ 200 g sugar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 C kumquats quartered and seeded
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 C/ 160 g all purpose flour
  • 1/4 C/ 35 g pastry flour
  •  1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 TBS buttermilk
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp cardamom


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and line with parchment a 9X5 loaf pan.
  2. Quarter and seed kumquats.  Puree until smooth.  This should yield about 3/4 C puree (though you’ll only use 2/3 C).
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter,  sugar and salt  on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Incorporate the eggs and egg yolks one-at-a-time, blend well after each addition.  Scrape down sides of bowl a couple of times.  Add-in vanilla.
  5. Fold-in 2/3 C puree (save or discard remainder)
  6. Add-in the flours, baking powder and cardamom.  Mix-on low until ingredients are just combined.
  7. Scoop batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 60 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched and cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Once out of the oven, let rest for 5 minutes then remove loaf from pan.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.

I like big bundts and I cannot lie

I know, I know, I know.  I really have nothing to say for myself.

Actually, I do.

I haven’t had some sort of blogging mid-life crisis.  But, a girl only has so much free time. And most of my free time since the new year has been taken up by a little project we’re calling “Playa Remodel 15…15…15.”  As I type there are men demolishing my kitchen:

It’s very exciting.  But, as you remodel veterans know (and this rookie had NO idea), to get from idea to actual work is pretty much its own part-time job.  We started gathering bids in January and work has just begun this week.  We aren’t doing anything drastic. But because we’re living in the house at the same time, we’ve had to  break it up into nine phases.  And, I’ll let you in on a little secret: this is really just a test run for some bigger trouble we’re thinking of getting ourselves into later this year.

And then there was the matter of that hostile but totally legal URL takeover.  You may have noticed the new address.  If not, please update your feeds:   Let’s just say that if you ever need to be saved from your own idiocy (speaking strictly for myself), Jennette Fulda at Make Worthy Media is your gal.

I do have a couple of months worth of baking adventures to share with you all.  And of course, I took before pictures of the house so that I can share our misadventures

But, back to the bundts.

I mean really, who doesn’t like a big bundt?

This one was supposed to be a zebra cake.  A beautiful marriage of vanilla and chocolate cakes.

I thought i had the technique down while I was constructing the batter.

It looked pretty goof going into the oven.

Alas, it came out more tabby cat than zebra.

Nevertheless, this is a fantastic cake recipe.  It’s rich and moist and while I’ve included the original recipe for the ganache icing, I think it would be just a great with a dusting of powdered sugar.  It’s everything a big bundt should be.

 Zebra Bundt Cake

borrowed and not even slightly adapted from Bakers Royale

  • 3 C cake flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 ½ C granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ C natural (not Dutch-processed) cocoa powder
  • 6 TBS water
  • 1 ½ C unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ C whole milk


  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 C heavy cream


  1. Sift flour baking powder and salt into a bowl (yes, this is a second sifting of the flour); set aside.
  2. In a separate medium size bowl add in ½ cup of sugar, the cocoa powder, and water then whisk until mixture is smooth; set aside.
  3. Place melted butter and sugar in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium high until mixture is blended, about 1 minute. Add in vanilla and beat until combined. Add and beat eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition. Once all eggs are added, beat mixture until it becomes light and fluffy (it will resemble pancake batter, but slightly thinner).
  4. Turn mixer speed down to low and add the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions and mixing just until blended.
  5. Add 2 cups of the batter to the cocoa mixture and stir until blended.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop, pour two scoops of vanilla mixture into pan. Now alternate and pour one scoop of chocolate mixture on top of vanilla mixture. Continue to alternate between vanilla and chocolate layers until bundt pan is filled.
  7. Bake zebra pound cake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and cool completely.

To make glaze

  1. Place chocolate and cream in a pan over low heat and stir until chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes before using.