Vanilla and Amarula bundt cake

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This is dense and moist vanilla and Amarula bundt cake with a melt-in-the-mouth crumb. Finished off with a milk chocolate ganache, it’s the perfect celebration cake.

A vanilla bundt cake unmoulded from the tin

The success of a bundt cake is its perfectly formed dome shape and for this, a denser sponge is required. You do not want to run the risk of your cake sticking to the tin here. 

September is Heritage month in South Africa, so what better ingredient to use than Amarula? A cream liqueur made from marula fruit only grown on the plains of subequatorial Africa. Marula trees can not be cultivated and they grow where they want to. The fruit is harvested in mid-summer by hand. 

This vanilla bundt cake is made with a generous amount of Kerrygold butter which is so creamy. The butter is made from the milk grass-fed cows Irish dairy cows. It’s a dream to use in baking and has an incredible texture. I have used salted butter here and don’t add any additional salt.

A few tips for making a bundt cake

  1. Make sure you use room temperature butter and eggs in this recipe
  2. Ensure that the eggs are well incorporated into the batter before adding the next egg. You can mix the batter aggressively at this stage, but be careful not to overmix after the flour has been added.
  3. Add the flour and liquid ingredients in three parts. This helps prevent dry clumps from forming.
  4. You can leave the Amarula out of the syrup if you don’t drink alcohol, or substitute it for another liqueur that will pair with vanilla and chocolate. You could also flavour the syrup with lemon if you wanted to make a lemon-glazed bundt cake. This is what I will try next.
  5. Once you have glazed the cake with the syrup, make sure it’s completely cool before adding the chocolate ganache.
  6. Make the ganache in advance of when you want to ice the cake as it takes a bit of time to cool down. In the video below I was under time pressure so I did not allow the cake to cool completely and the ganache was a little too runny. It tasted delicious but it is better to allow it to thicken.
  7. Top this cake with an icing glaze if you prefer this to a ganache.
  8. If your ganache thickens up too quickly, simply microwave it for a few seconds and mix until you get to the right consistency. It should be a bit thicker than in the video. You can ice the cake using an offset spatula.
  9. Should you need to cool the ganache down quickly, pop it into the fridge.
  10. Store this vanilla and Amarula bundt cake in a sealed cake tin and it will last for quite a few days. 
  11. This bundt cake is a thick batter so it’s perfect to use as a base to hold other flavours and ingredients like dried fruit and chocolate chips.
  12. Spray your bundt cake generously with baking spray. I use Cook n Bake in South Africa. If you are in the USA, cake goop works really well to grease your bundt cake tin.
  13. I like to use a metal bundt tin and mine is a kugelhopft tin but works really well. I do not recommend using a silicone bundt cake mold.
  14. As the batter is very thick, drop it into the pan in parts and give it a good tap on the counter after it’s filled to settle and avoid air bubbles.. 

Step by step on how to make a vanilla bundt cake

See my step-by-step pics below of how to make a vanilla bundt cake:

A vanilla and Amarula budt cake recipeA vanilla and Amarula bundt cake and a few slices

vanilla and Amarula bundt cake

A moist and delicious vanilla bundt cake with Amarula cream liqueur.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:55 minutes



  • 285 gm Kerrygold butter room temperature
  • 380 gms sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 450 gms flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 100 ml sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup Amarula

Milk chocolate ganache:

  • 200 gms milk chocolate
  • 250 ml 1 cup cream
  • 30 ml Amarula optional


  • To make the cake preheat the oven to 180C / 350F.
  • Spray a Bundt tin generously with cooking spray (approx. 22cm x 12cm).
  • Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. About 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time to the batter ensuring they are thoroughly mixed in before adding the next one.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder and baking soda. Mix the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract together.
  • With the mixer on low, add the sifted flour and buttermilk & oil in 3 parts. Scrape down the bowl and mix briefly until well incorporated.
  • Scoop the batter into the bundt tin and flatten it out with a spatula.
  • Bake for 50 – 60 minutes until golden brown. The cake is done when a knife is inserted into the middle of the cake, and it comes out clean. Loosely cover the cake with a piece of tin foil from about 20 minutes into the baking time to prevent over-browning.
  • Allow the Bundt cake to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes then invert it onto a plate.
  • Make the syrup while the cake is baking by adding the sugar and water to a small pot and simmering it for 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Add the Amarula.
  • When the cake is tipped out from the tin, brush it all over with the Amarula syrup allowing it to soak in.
  • Allow this to cool completely before topping with the ganache.
  • Make your ganache in advance of icing the cake as it will thicken as it cools. Finely chop the chocolate and add it to a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream and add it to the chocolate. Stir until it's smooth and melted. Allow it to cool and thicken before icing the cake.
Servings: 1 large cake
Author: Sam Linsell

 A few other South African Heritage recipes:

Classic South African unbaked milk tarts

The best buttermilk bran rusks

Earl Grey tea milk tart  -Baked milk tart 

Orange malva pudding

Pear & ginger malva pudding

Malva pudding with cranberries & ginger

My grandmother Betty’s crunchy recipe

Easy peppermint crisp pudding

Traditional South African bobotie with fragrant yellow rice

A few other recipes using Kerrygold butter & cheese

My best peri peri prawns

The best cheese & onion quiche

My best lemon meringue pie

My perfect cheese scones 

Braaied snoek with orange & apricot butter

*This post is sponsored by Kerrygold




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  1. Angela Harris says:

    What type of flour?

  2. Hi Angela, I used cake flour but all purpose will work too.

  3. Thanks. I made the cake and it was delicious. However, if I make it again I would scale it down as my gugelhupf Bundt pan is 10 cups and both the cake recipe and the ganache was too much. It might work for my 12 cup pan.

  4. Thanks, Sam. I made the cake and it was delicious. Recipe needs to be scaled down for my Nordic Ware gugelhupf 10 cup pan for both cake and ganache. Might be ok for 12 cup pan.

  5. Thanks for the tips Angela and yes it needs a big pan

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