featured-food-and-winefood and wineIssue 25

Holiday Cups & Cakes

By Noel Daniel

Whether you’re hosting a soiree or  just enjoying a night in to put your feet up, these  bundt cakes and holiday cocktails will warm you up on a chilly winter’s night. Write up the perfect crowd-pleasing menu with these wintery drinks and delights.


Pomegranate Sangria

Sangria is a crowd-pleaser. Normally made with lemonade, fruit, and spices, this Pomegranate Sangria is a sweet, strong drink that you might be tempted to finish off yourself!


  • 1 bottle fruit-forward red wine
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ½ cup Triple Sec
  • ¼ cup simple syrup (sugar and water, heated until sugar dissolves, then cooled)
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 large orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 green apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red grapes, sliced in ½

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or up to 48 hours before serving. Then, just serve over ice and it’s ready to enjoy.


Cranberry Swirl Cake

After your pomegranate sangria, you might be left with a hankering for some fruit in your cake that isn’t fruitcake. Thankfully, Thanksgiving is the cranberry’s time to shine—and it does it best in this scrumptious bundt cake that’s drizzled with an almond topping. Almost makes you want to eat dessert first, doesn’t it?


  • ¾ lb. margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, unbeaten
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. almond flavoring
  • 7 oz. whole cranberry sauce
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped


  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. almond flavoring
  • 1 tbsp. warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then cream the margarine and add the sugar gradually. Add in unbeaten eggs and mix before sifting the baking powder, soda, flour, and salt together and adding to the mixture. While mixing, make sure to alternate with sour cream and end with dry ingredients. Then, stir in the almond flavoring.

Grease an 8-inch bundt pan before pouring a layer of batter inside, then swirl in cranberry sauce. Add the rest of your batter and cranberry sauce, then sprinkle with chopped pecans and bake for 55 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack.

For the topping, mix ¾ of a cup of powdered sugar, ½ a tsp. almond flavoring, and a tablespoon of warm water together and drizzle over your delicious creation.



Hot Buttered Rum

This warm, spicy delicacy dates back all the way to America’s colonial days, and it’s no surprise why it’s stuck around so long. Hot buttered rum mixes rum, butter, sweetener, and spices for a warm drink that’s perfect for decorating the tree and listening to carols.


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ²/³ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¹/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup spiced rum
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 sticks cinnamon, for garnish

Beat the brown sugar, butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt
in a medium bowl, using an electric mixer. Ingredients should be blended until smooth. Transfer this to a 4-cup measuring cup, then add the rum and two cups of boiling water. Stir mixture until the butter dissolves, then divide the buttered rum across four mugs, then garnish with cinnamon sticks and serve.


Spiced Pumpkin Bundt Cake

What’s more perfect to pair with a spicy drink than the best spice of fall—pumpkin spice. This pumpkin bundt cake has a citrus glaze that complements so perfectly that it’ll be gone before you can even take a picture for the holiday album.


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 box moist spice cake mix
  • 1 box moist yellow cake mix
  • ²/³ cup oil
  • ²/³ cup water

For the Glaze

  • Yellow and red food coloring
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • ¹/³ cup orange juice, no pulp
  • 3 tsp. orange liqueur

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, then butter and flour a 12-cup bundt cake pan. Combine the eggs, oil, pie mix, water, and pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl and beat until blended.

Add cake mixes, stirring to combine before transferring the mixture to the pan and baking for 50 minutes. After the traditional 10 minutes of cooling time, turn the cake onto a wire rack.

For the glaze, combine two parts yellow food coloring with 4 parts red in order to make orange, then whisk the powdered sugar, orange juice, orange liqueur, and food coloring in a saucepan for five minutes. Add more water or orange juice to meet the right consistency. When finished, drizzle over your bundt cake!



Candy Cane Cocktail

This cocktail was made specially for the holiday candy canes that seem to mysteriously show up in winter. Before you know it, you have at least four differently-sized candy canes and you’re not completely sure where two of them came from. Put them to good use in this delightful drink.


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ²/³ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¹/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup spiced rum
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 sticks cinnamon, for garnish

Add all liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, then shake well and strain into martini glass. Garnish with candy cane and enjoy.


Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake

If you like the sound of a candy cane cocktail, then you should definitely try a slice of chocolate stout bundt cake—a unique but chocolatey flavor that is sure to lift your spirits. Topped with mint, this bundt cake understands how perfect mint and chocolate go together.


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup stout beer
  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup Mexican crema
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan and dust the inside with just enough cocoa powder to coat it. Tap pan to remove extra cocoa. In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients and set aside.

Add butter to a saucepan and pour in the beer. Cook together over medium heat until the butter melts completely, and then remove saucepan from heat and add 8 ounces of chocolate. Whisk the chocolate into butter and beer mixture. Continue to whisk until chocolate is entirely melted and forms a smooth mixture. Cream egg with sugars using an electric mixer set to medium-high until egg and sugar become fluffy. Then, incorporate the chocolate-stout mixture and the sour cream.

With mixer on low, add flour mixture gradually to the chocolate-stout batter, incorporating it in portions. Mix until combined. Pour the batter into greased, cocoa-dusted bundt pan and bake for 50 minutes. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes in the pan, then invert to remove cake.

Add cream and Mexican crema to a saucepan and heat over medium. Once boiling, remove it from the heat and add remaining chocolate. Whisk until smooth and drizzle over cake. Dust cake with powdered sugar using a sieve. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve.


Love the idea of a bundt cake more than making one? Try stopping by Modesto’s new Nothing Bundt Cakes on Standiford Avenue. You won’t be disappointed.

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