Rain sluiced down in heavy sheets all day yesterday. “It’s like standing in the shower,” the woman next to me in the coffee shop this morning said to her friend as they debated whether to wait it out or make a run for it. We were crowded against the door, huddled together as people entered and exited, peeling off damp raincoats and stowing dripping umbrellas in the corner.
The coffee shop is the latest location of Bluestone Lane, a group of Australian cafes which are now dotted around the city. I love them for their white-washed beachy interiors, the dreamy Australian accents of all the servers, the excellent menu, and of course, the turmeric lattes. I routinely travel down to the West Village to pick up a breakfast bowl (kale, quinoa, cherry tomatoes, feta, avocado, and poached egg) or the warm coconut quinoa and oat porridge topped with a drizzle of honey, crunchy granola, and berries.
So news of one opening a mere few blocks from my apartment was thrilling. (Guys, spoiler alert for life, it’s the little things.)
Today I stopped in after lunch for a beetroot latte (yes this sounds weird and yes I was skeptical and yes I’m addicted). I sipped it slowly watching the rain come down, then decided it wasn’t going to stop anytime soon, and braved the weather.
I was soaked by the time I got home, fumbling with my keys outside my door. Everything was wet or damp: my canvas bag, my Patagonia pullover, my socks inside my rain boots. I changed into clean, dry clothes. It was chilly inside and I turned the oven on, happy to be near its warmth as I mixed my cake batter.
Flour, sugar, salt whisked together lightly. Three eggs, cracked into a bowl, thickened with milk and a stream of vegetable oil. A heaping spoonful of nutmeg, so fragrant I had to stand and breathe it in and think about Christmas for a little while.
I folded all the ingredients together. Poured the batter into a Bundt pan (this gorgeous one was gifted to me as a lovely birthday surprise by an even lovelier friend). Slid the cake into the oven while I sat down to a work call, a to-do list to organize, and a stack of recipes to edit.
The scent of nutmeg filled the kitchen over the next hour, as I kept working. I pulled out what I needed for dinner (steak fajita lettuce wraps), checking the cake as it passed the 45 minute mark. When it was golden on top, springing back lightly to the touch, I took it out and let it sit for 10 minutes. I flipped it over, inhaling sharply as I always do when the moment of truth — will it stick?! — arises, and breathed a sigh of relief as the cake pan released cleanly.
This cake is a beauty because of the pan, but even more of a beauty in flavor. So you can bake it in any old pan you like (in fact, splitting the batter between two loaf pans would be ideal for it) and it’ll be fantastic. I got the original recipe from a blog—the View From Great Island—where she calls it an old-fashioned buttermilk doughnut bundt cake. The recipe uses lots of nutmeg to smartly replicate the flavor of an old-fashioned doughnut. In fact, my first taste tester said “doughnuts!” upon their first bite. You can add a glaze certainly, but I decided not to for this version because I liked it so much as is, but next time I think I’ll add a light glaze—the sort that turns into a delicate sugared crust as it sits.
Nutmeg Bundt Cake
Adapted from The View from Great Island
2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (141 grams) oat flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and thoroughly grease a 10-cup Bundt pan.
Whisk together the flour, oat flour, sugar, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, and eggs. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until just combined.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then flip it over onto a wire rack to finish cooling.