In our health- and weight-obsessed culture, I find it amusing how often people feel the need to tell me about the desserts that don’t tempt them. Either they’ll mention that they have no desire for sweets—in which case I know immediately that we can never be friends—or they’ll say, “I like ice cream, but I couldn’t care less about cookies.” Or, “I love fruit desserts, but I can walk away from chocolate.” (Also not a candidate for friendship.) The one I hear most often is, “I have no interest in cake,” to which I respond, “Hello? Frosting.”
Notwithstanding the whipped cream version (a betrayal!)*, I swoon over frosting. Vanilla buttercream on lemon cake, cream cheese frosting on carrot cake, chocolate ganache on anything—yes, please! Judging by the mountains I’ve seen atop bakery cupcakes and the increasing availability of frosting shots, I’m not alone. I have a friend who’s a talented cake decorator. She considered pursuing it as a career when her children were young, but decided to abandon it altogether when her daughter began to demonstrate an unhealthy obsession with frosting. The struggle is real.
A few years ago, a franchise of Nothing Bundt Cakes opened near my house and I began to receive coupons in the mail for a free Bundtlet. While I enjoy a good play on words, I might have chosen a different name for the chain, like Mind if I Bundt In?, A Bundt in the Oven, or the title of this post. I also have a touch of arachnophobia, and the ropes of frosting cascading down the sides of their Bundtlets remind me of nothing so much as the legs of a spider gripping its prey. Eek! Still, I’m not one to turn down a free offer of generously frosted cake, so I set out to redeem my coupon.
There are some gift items for sale in the shop, but when it comes to the baked goods, it’s like the sign says. Kirsti’s guiding principle is: “Do one thing, do it well.” The shop carries only Bundt cakes in various sizes: 8″ and 10″ cakes, Bundtlets (single serving), and Bundtinis (bite-sized). All have the same cream cheese frosting. They come in a handful of flavors, including Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet, and Cinnamon Swirl, with a special flavor every couple of months, but that’s as complicated as things get. I handed over my coupon and departed with my Bundtlet, feeling slightly guilty about getting “Nothing” for nothing.
In retrospect, I shouldn’t have felt remorse, because it was clearly a well-thought-out plot to take my money. One bite of their signature frosting and I knew I was in trouble. The cake itself was quite good, baked to perfection and super m-word (I am forbidden from actually using that word on this blog, due to my co-swooner’s extreme aversion), but let’s be honest: cake is just a delivery system for frosting, and this frosting is superbly balanced in every way—soft and creamy, rich and buttery, sweet and tangy. I am gainfully employed and this shop is one mile from my house. You do the math (i.e. addition of pounds, subtraction of dollars).
I regularly enjoy half a Bundtlet with my afternoon tea. The frosting-to-cake ratio is extremely satisfying, particularly if you let the cake reach room temperature so that the frosting becomes smooth and spreadable. Kirsti likes to offer a tray of Bundtinis on the dessert table when she’s having a party. Convenient and portable in their sturdy paper cups, they are just the right sweet bite to carry around as you mix and mingle. For my birthday a couple of years ago, I decided to invite people over for dessert, at which I served a 10″ Bundt cake. It was the best turnout I’ve had in years.
Visit the Nothing Bundt Cakes website to find a location near you and pop in for a sample. You can also follow them on Facebook or sign up on their website to receive updates about special promotions and coupons. Over time, this can save you a Bundtle—and that’s the icing on the cake.
*There are few things I can get more whipped up about than whipped cream frosting. If I don’t feel the grease on my lips, it isn’t frosting!