Yield: 1 butterfly pea flower bundt cake // Total Time: 2 hr. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. // Recipe updated 11/19/23.
butterfly pea flower bundt cake
This is one of my favorite cakes to make. I absolutely love butterfly pea powder and thinks it deserves more recognition. It creates such a beautiful blue-hue in your bakes that’s all natural, while also leaving little to no taste behind. This bundt cake here is a super light and fluffy vanilla cake, that’s marbled with butterfly pea powder cake. The glaze on top, as you might guess, is also naturally colored from the butterfly pea powder.
what is butterfly pea flower?!
The butterfly pea flower is a flowering plant that is most often used to make herbal teas. Butterfly pea flower tea is believed to be good for you thanks to the anthocyanins in the plant, which also give it its distinct blue pigment. Butterfly pea powder is simply the flower in powdered form, and is what we’ll be using for this cake. I will warn that the powder itself has a strong smell like matcha that might seem a little off-putting, but don’t worry! We’re only using a little bit of the powder here which will only yield the slightest taste in the cake, the whole cake really just tastes like vanilla. The main thing we’re using the powder for is to create a fun, naturally-dyed blue marbled cake.
achieving your desired blue hue
The amount of butterfly pea powder listed in the recipe will give you the color blue that you see in the photos. If you’d like a lighter, pastel blue, you can use half the amount of butterfly pea powder. If you’d like a rich, deep blue hue, use more butterfly pea powder.
how to prevent the bundt from getting stuck to the pan
I use and absolutely love this pan and have never had a problem with the cake sticking. To make sure your cake doesn’t stick, generously butter it, making sure to get all of the crevices. An easy way to do this is to melt 1-2 tbsp. of butter and use a pastry brush to brush the inside of the bundt. Then, generously pour some sugar into the pan and shake it around so that it completely coats the inside. Tap out any excess sugar and then you’re good to go!
weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient. In a small batch recipe it is especially important to get those correct measurements because there is less room for error. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
room temperature ingredients
It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other and you don’t end up with a curdled, uneven batter. Take out the eggs, butter, sour cream and milk at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. Here’s how to get room temperature ingredients FAST if you’re in a time crunch or forgot to take the ingredients out (like I often do):
- Egg: place the egg in a bowl and run hot water over it for 1 continuous minute, or let it sit in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.
- Butter: slice the butter into 1 tbsp. slices and place them flat on a plate. Microwave in 5-second intervals until the butter is soft to the touch, but not melting.
- Sour cream & milk: microwave in 5-second intervals until it is no longer cold, but is not warm (room temp!)
mix the batter carefully
When adding in the flour, only fold the mixture just until no flour streaks remain. Overmixing the dough leads to more gluten formation, which can make the cake tough and chewy instead of soft and fluffy. When it comes to alternating the dry ingredients with the wet in this bundt, I like to do it by hand. Doing so means I have more control over the mixing, and that the ingredients don’t fly everywhere!
keep a close eye on the cake while it bakes
Baked goods, especially bundt cakes, like to go from under-baked to over-baked super quickly so it is important to keep a close eye on them. Start checking at 40 minutes with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out wet, check again in 5 minutes and so on, until the toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
ingredients and substitutions
For the butterfly pea powder cake:
All purpose flour: gives the cake structure.
Baking powder: for helping the cake rise.
Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the cake.
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the cake and giving it that classic buttery taste. You can substitute in salted butter, just be sure to reduce the added salt from 1 tsp. to 1/2 tsp.
Vegetable oil: for tenderizing the cake. You can substitute in any neutral oil, such as canola, in place of the vegetable oil.
Granulated sugar: for sweetening the cake and keeping it moist. The sugar also helps aerate the butter to give this cake it’s rise.
Eggs: for moisture, structure, and binding the batter together.
Vanilla: I use and love this vanilla extract. We will use some vanilla in the bundt, and some in the glaze.
Sour cream: for moisture, fat, and richness. I recommend using full-fat for the best texture.
Whole milk: for moisture.
Butterfly pea powder: the star of the show and what gives the cake it’s beautiful blue hue. This is the butterfly pea powder that I use.
For the butterfly pea powder glaze:
Powdered sugar: the base of the glaze.
Butterfly pea powder: for color.
Vanilla: for flavor.
Milk: for thinning out the glaze and for dissolving the butterfly pea powder. You can use any milk here.
how to make a butterfly pea powder bundt cake
Here is what the cake looks like at various stages in the recipe. You can find the full recipe at the end of this blog post!
- Beat together the room temperature butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs one at a time, adding in the vanilla with the egg whites.
- Alternate mixing the dry ingredients with the sour cream and milk.
- Remove half of the vanilla cake batter and place it into another mixing bowl. Mix the butterfly pea powder with milk to thin it out, then carefully fold it into half of the cake batter.
- Alternate layering the vanilla and butterfly pea powder cake, for a total of 6 layers. Bake, top with glaze, then serve and enjoy!
butterfly pea flower bundt cake q&a
how to store this butterfly pea powder marbled bundt
The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature after being glazed.
can I make this in a different sized pan?
Yes of course! This batter makes enough to fit in a 12-cup capacity bundt. This means it can also fit dispersed between two 8″ round pans, or a 13 x 9″ pan. Just be sure to keep an eye on it as it bakes, because it may take more or less time depending on the thickness! If you want to make it in a smaller bundt pan, just be sure to only fill it up ~3/4 of the way and then you can use the rest of the batter to make cupcakes!
why isn’t the butter/oil/sugar mixture isn’t coming together?
These ingredients should come together to be a smooth, fluffy & white mixture. If they aren’t coming together, that means that your butter wasn’t soft enough before starting the cake. I would recommend letting the mixture sit until the butter gets warmer, or you can try microwaving the mixture in 5-second intervals until it is room temperature (but not melted or warm!)
why did my cake turn out dry?
Typically, the #1 culprit for this is not measuring the flour properly. If you use cup measurements, you run the risk of adding too much flour to the dough which can make it super dry. I include cup measurements because I often get asked for them – but I highly recommend using a kitchen scale if you love to bake! There is one linked in my Amazon Storefront below that is cheap and works super well! Your cake may have also turned out dry if you overmixed the batter – make sure you are only folding in the flour/milk just until the point that it has completely mixed in.
why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale.
a note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature and aren’t always at the temperature they claim to be. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
tools and ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
did you make this pumpkin spice latte bundt cake?
If you made this pumpkin spice latte bundt cake I would love to see it and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Butterfly Pea Flower Bundt Cake
Butterfly Pea Flower Bundt Cake
- 420 g all purpose flour (3 ½ c.)
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 198 g unsalted butter room temperature (14 tbsp.)
- 110 g vegetable oil (½ c.)
- 400 g granulated sugar (2 c.)
- 3 eggs + 2 egg whites room temperature
- 4 tsp. vanilla
- 255 g sour cream (1 c. + 2 tbsp.)
- 150 g whole milk (⅔ c.)
- 1 tbsp. butterfly pea powder
- 2 tbsp. milk
Butterfly Pea Flower Icing
- 210 g powdered sugar (1 ¾ c.)
- 1 tsp. butterfly pea powder
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 3-4 tbsp. milk
Butterfly Pea Flower Bundt Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Butter and generously coat a 12 cup capacity bundt pan with sugar.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat together the butter, oil, and sugar for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add in one whole egg at a time, beating for 20 seconds between each addition until well combined. Add in both egg whites and the vanilla and beat until well combined.
- Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the sour cream and milk. Fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the sour cream and milk, Fold in half of the remaining flour mixture, all of the remaining sour cream and milk, and then the remaining flour mixture.
- Remove half of the batter and place it into a medium sized mixing bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the butterfly pea powder and 2 tbsp. milk.
- To ½ of the batter, gently fold in the butterfly pea powder mixture just until combined.
- Evenly spread ~⅓ of the vanilla batter into the bundt. Use ~⅓ of the blue batter to place big dollops over the vanilla, then carefully spread it over the vanilla. Repeat for a total of 6 layers.
- Use a knife to gently swirl the batters together.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a knife inserted in the bundt comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Then, place a wire rack on top of the bundt pan and flip it over to get the cake out. Allow the cake to fully cool to room temperature before putting on the icing.
Butterfly Pea Flower Icing
- In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients starting with 3 tbsp. of milk. Add more milk as needed to get to your desired consistency.
- Pour the glaze evenly over the cake, then serve and enjoy!