Here is a recipe I created for a Bundt contest many years ago. I won a trip to San Francisco and competed in a fabulous baking school there. All the competitor's cakes looked delicious but the one I knew would win and did win was a Lemoncello cake. This contest and trip were one of the highlights of my life. Here is what I wrote about this recipe:
Easter means springtime fresh as the taste of this unique cake achieves so well . A family favorite, this Easter dessert is shaped into a beautiful Chrysanthemum flower with the NordicWare Bundt Pan. I have created an Italian-inspired dessert with the crunch of cornmeal and toasted almonds. The cappuccino swirl hints of cappuccino, brown sugar and cinnamon. To top if all off, a glaze with Espresso & Kahlua accents. Serve on the plate topped with whipped cream and sliced strawberries drizzled with Kahlua. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
Cooks Notes: For ground almonds; toast and cool sliced almonds; finely grind in a food processor. Measure required amount for recipe. Butter should not be too soft; bring to 60-65 degrees for the best results as creaming heats the butter further.
You can also use sold shortening brushed into the groves of the pan and then coated with Wondra flour. —Lorraine Fina Stevenski
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Set the rack to the lower third of the oven. Lightly coat a Nordic Ware Chrysanthemum Bundt Pan with Pam (or any 10 cup Bundt pan you like). Brush the oil into the groves. Dust lightly with Wondra flour; tap lightly over the sink to remove any excess flour. Set the pan on a rimmed 1/4 sheet pan.
MAKE THE SWIRL: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, ground almonds, Kahlua, cappuccino powder and cinnamon. Set aside.
MAKE THE CAKE: In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
With an electric mixer on medium (5) speed, beat the mascarpone cheese, butter and sugar until very light and fluffy; about 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl once or twice.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and almond extract.
On medium-low (3) speed, add the flour and egg mixture in 5 increments; begin and end with the flour. Scrape the bowl a few times during this process.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. With a large rubber spatula give a final mix to the batter.
Scrape 1/3 of the batter into the pan. Evenly sprinkle, without touching the sides of the pan, 1/2 the swirl filling; then evenly top with 1/3 batter and remaining swirl filling. Evenly top with the remaining batter. Scrape the batter towards the edge of the pan. Tap the pan lightly on the counter to remove any excess air. Bake 60-75 (60) minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan; remove and then cool completely on a serving platter.
MAKE THE GLAZE: In a small saucepan over low heat, add the butter and Kahlua. Whisk in the remaining glaze ingredients just until smooth and gently simmering. Add more half and half if too thick. Immediately drizzle over the cooled cake starting from the top. Use a small whisk to drizzle. Work quickly as the glaze hardens almost immediately. Serve the cake at room temperature.