You know I don’t like my sweets, well, too sweet. But during the holidays I throw caution to the wind and make this decadent, buttery, and over-the-top Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake with Salted Coffee-Caramel Sauce. Oh, and know that the toasted walnuts and coffee-caramel sauce are definitely not optional because they’re the Laverne to this cake’s Shirley.
room temperature, divided, plus more for coating the pan
such as Life is good® Light Hearted Coffee
For the cake: Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Generously coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with butter and set aside. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl then set aside. Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt into a medium bowl, whisk until well combined and then set aside.
Combine 2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) of the butter and 2 3/4 cups of the granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until thoroughly moistened and well combined, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula. Return the mixer to medium speed and mix until light in color and aerated, about 5 minutes more.
Turn the mixer to low and add the vanilla. Add the eggs 1 at a time, letting each completely incorporate before adding the next. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with the rubber spatula.
Add the reserved flour mixture, turn the mixer to low, and mix just until smooth. Add the sour cream and mix just until incorporated. Add the reserved brown sugar mixture and mix just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60 to 65 minutes. Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce.
Remove cake to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Turn the cake out onto the wire rack and cool completely. (The cake can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store at room temperature in a cake stand or covered in plastic wrap.)
For the caramel sauce: Combine the cream and coffee grounds in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let the mixture simmer for 3 to 5 minutes then remove from heat and let steep until the cream has a distinct but not overpowering coffee flavor, about 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the cream and discard the coffee.
Once the cream has steeped, make the caramel by placing the remaining 1 1/4 cups of the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and stirring until the sugar is thoroughly moistened. Brush down the insides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar then place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Let the mixture cook undisturbed (swirl the caramel but do not stir it if you need to help the mixture cook more evenly) until the caramel is amber in color, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Immediately add 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) of the butter and stir to incorporate (be careful as the mixture will sputter at this point). Remove from heat and whisk in the infused cream and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt until smooth. (Caramel sauce can be made up to 4 days in advance. Store refrigerated in an airtight container and warm up the sauce over low heat until pourable.)
To serve, top the cake with spoonfuls of caramel sauce. Then mix the walnuts into the remaining caramel sauce and spoon them on the top of the cake.
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