Martha Stewart's Boozy Ingredient To Sophisticate Bundt Cake

In baking, the opportunities to innovate are endless, especially when it comes to cake. You can easily stick with classic flavor profiles because there's nothing wrong with chocolate and vanilla. But if you're looking for something different, why not give your next birthday cake an adult twist? The addition of spirits can strengthen otherwise simplistic desserts, adding a new dimension of flavor. Try making a whiskey cake for a more adult version of fruitcake. Or, swap Jamaican rum cake for your next holiday treat. What other after-dinner confections come with a drink already built in?

Yet while many spirits can do the job, brandy works particularly well in baked goods. The ever-popular alcohol manifests in all kinds of ways. BBC Good Food defines brandy as a distilled spirit made from either fermented fruit or starch-heavy vegetables, most commonly grapes. Brandy is more versatile in cooking and baking than gin, vodka, and whisky. It's worth noting, however, that brandy is not the same as Cognac — rather, Cognac is just one type of brandy, contingent on France's Cognac region.

In fact, there are many variations of brandy that can act as a secret weapon in baking. Celebrity chef Martha Stewart uses one variation, in particular, to spruce up her bundt cakes. The result? A dessert best suited for adults and packed with flavor. 

Armagnac gives bundt cakes a flavorful, boozy twist

Move over, Cognac. Armagnac works particularly well in pound cake, according to Stewart's recent Instagram post. In her caption, the domestic icon describes a bundt cake she baked for a recent get-together with friends. She writes about "a dense pound cake scented with lemon, Armagnac and glazed with a butter sugar Armagnac mix." Stewart finishes off the dessert with a scoop of vanilla whipped cream.

For context, Armagnac is a type of French brandy that, while similar to Cognac, comes with its own distilling and aging criteria (via MasterClass). It also has a unique flavor, since Armagnac has hints of chocolate, dried fruit, and caramel. These defining characteristics make it the perfect addition to cakes that need a little something extra. The robust flavor profile is certain to balance out the citrus of Stewart's sweet treat, resulting in a well-rounded and delicious bundt.