Thursday, July 16, 2009

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Crown


I have often resorted to the bundt cake on feast days because it makes such a lovely crown. On St. Elizabeth of Hungary's feast day, we made a Hungarian jeweled crown and for today's feast day, the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, I made a caramel-glazed buttermilk pound cake into a lovely crown for Our Lady. Not perfect by any stretch, but it will be memorable for the children. After glazing the warm cake, I let it cool, whipped up a bit of decorator frosting and made some large rosettes with a bag and a tip. In the center of each rosette I placed a chocolate-covered caramel (what else?) and then another small rosette.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Crown Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
3 cups white sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a bundt pan or 10 inch tube pan

In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar. One at time, crack the eggs into a small bowl and add to butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon and the vanilla extracts. Add one cup flour along with baking soda and salt. Add one third of the buttermilk, beating well. Add one cup of flour and 1/3 cup buttermilk and then repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk. Scrape sides of bowl and beat again until completely smooth. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 80 to 90 minutes (do not open oven door until you are ready to check for doneness). Check for doneness with a toothpick. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.


1 c. sugar
1⁄2 c. buttermilk
1⁄2 t. baking soda
1 T. white corn syrup
1⁄4 c. butter
1⁄2 t. vanilla
¼ c. powdered sugar

Combine white sugar, buttermilk, soda, syrup, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Boil without stirring for 5 to 7 minutes, or until icing starts to turn dark. Do NOT allow icing to reach soft ball stage; icing should be caramel in color, but not sticky like caramel. Icing should be easily pourable. Cool for several minutes. Whisk in vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth. Pour through a sieve into a measuring cup with a spout. Slowly drizzle the icing onto the cake, allowing it to drip slowly down the sides. If you want a perfectly smooth finish (which I did not achieve) start at the peak of the cake and drizzle all the way around moving out a tiny bit each time you complete a circle. Do the same inside the peak but do not go back over the same area twice.

To decorate, using stiff decorator's frosting in a bag with a rosette tip (see note below), make a 1-inch wide by 1/2-inch high rosette in six or seven places on the top of the cake (six was about perfect for a bundt cake, but if you used a tube pan you may be able to fit more). Place a chocolate covered caramel on each rosette and then top each caramel with a small rosette. Place in a cool place until serving.

Note: You can using canned frosting or make a small recipe of decorator frosting using 2 T. butter whipped with 1-1/2 cup powdered sugar and several teaspoons milk. Whip until fluffy.


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  1. Oh WOW Barbara!! It is BEAUTIFUL and looks SO delicious! Happy feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel!!

  2. Yum, now where do I buy a mold for the cake?

  3. Thanks, Jessica -- happy feast to you!

    I'm pretty sure you can pick up a bundt cake pan at Target or Wal-Mart, maybe even Jo-Ann. Mine is eons old, and I've no idea where I got it, but I'm guessing you could even find one at You can also use a simple ring pan which you can pick up at the same places. It doesn't need to be expensive.

  4. Fantastic Barbara, I'd like to give this a go next year..or maybe on the 20th of this month (a few days away) It is the feast of Elijah and I was talking with a priest who resides at Mt Carmel Monastery in the Holy Land and he says that is a very big feast in another carmelite feast worth celebrating! (and to explain to the children the connection of Carmel to Elijah)

  5. Happy feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel!! God bless you Barbara for all the effort, the cake looks fantastic!

    Liturgy of the Hours