Buttermint Drizzle Cake
for the sugar
- 1 large bunch fresh mint
- 2 cups sugar
for the cake:
- 1 1/4 cup mint sugar
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/4 cup milk at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 1/4 cups flour
for the drizzle:
- 1 cup mint sugar
- 1/2 cup water
At least 24 hours before you want to make the cake:
- Place the mint in a lidded bowl and top with sugar. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 24 hrs. Discard the leaves.
The next day:
- Preheat oven to 350 butter and flour a springform tube pan (or use a regular 8 or 9-inch cake pan)
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour and baking powder and mix until a fairly thick, uniform dough forms.
- Scrape into the prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick or thin knife inserted in the middle comes out clean or with just one or two dry crumbs.
- While the cake is baking, heat the drizzle ingredients over medium heat in a small saucepan. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool closer to room temperature while the cake bakes.
- Move the cake to a wire rack and poke holes in it with a thin skewer. Pour the syrup over the hot cake in the pan. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan then carefully remove the cake to a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.
- I used this pan I bought from Ikea which is not technically a springform but does have a removable bottom.
- My mint was very fragrant and made for a very minty cake. If your mint isn't quite as strong, use one or two drops (literal drops!) of peppermint extract.
- If you are worried about your pan leaking, place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet for the 15 minute soaking period then remove to a wire rack to fully cool.
I blame the Great British Bake Off for my sudden interest in drizzle cakes. Once you fall down the British baking rabbit hole I think you have to make at least one. The British seem to have kept up the tradition of making fairly simple everyday cakes in a way that we haven’t in the US. Maybe it’s because we don’t drink as much tea but cake here normally means lots of frosting and a special occasion. Lemon drizzle cakes (the most common of the drizzles) don’t really need an occasion. They are quick to make, basically self icing and hold up well in a closed container for a few days at room temperature thanks to the sugar syrup. This picture of the cake doesn’t quite have the obvious sugar crust others do but I assure you if you are making it not in the summer in an unairconditioned house, you will get more a sugary look. The light crunch is there, oppressive heat or not. I will say the mint flavor is the strongest the first day so keep that in mind when choosing when to bake. It was still there 3 days later but much more subtly.
As I said, lemon drizzle cakes are by far the most popular with other citrus trailing behind. But I wanted to make a cake with what is in season now. While refreshing and brisk, citrus most certainly isn’t. I debated about using other fruit and how I could do that. But when I got a huge bunch of mint in my CSA I knew what I had to do; infuse some sugar and make a peppermint cake. I had become obsessed with buttermints over the pandemic and even made them last July, dying my hands bright pink in the process, so I thought a nice fresh but buttery cake would be perfect. It really was! It was exactly the quick baking, light, summery cake I wanted. Moist without being dense and just the lightest, freshest mint taste you can imagine. The tube pan let me cut it into small snack-sized slices which were the perfect amount for a little afternoon treat.