This Sri Lankan Breudher Cake is a yeasted cake that’s very popular in Sri Lanka during festive times, and in some cases (like in my grandmother’s for example) every day of the year! My version of the Breudher Cake strikes a great balance between delicious buttery richness and the fruity, citrus flavour of blood oranges, with a hint of boozy sweetness from the brandy soaked raisins. The prefect celebratory bread/cake for Spring and Easter, plus it’s made with exceptional quality ingredients, thanks to this Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour.
I’m going off the beaten path, down memory lane for Easter this year, which basically means two things for me. Spring. And baking. Lots and lots of baking! From cupcakes to regular cakes and from hot cross buns to breads, I love everything to do with Easter baking. This year, I’m dipping into my memory reel and pulling out a picture from my childhood, of growing up in Sri Lanka, standing beside my grandmother and cutting into one of her absolute favourite types of cake. And this year, I was also lucky enough to be able to make my Easter goodies with some exceptional quality ingredients, thanks to this Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour.
This Sri Lankan Breudher Cake, is a special type of delicious and festive yeasted cake, enriched with eggs and buttery goodness, and raisins. The name Breudher isn’t even remotely Sri Lankan though. As it happens, this cake seems to be a result of the Dutch influence on Sri Lanka (the island used to be colonized by the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries), although oddly enough I don’t see any evidence on the Internet of the Dutch making a cake by this name anymore.
Breudher reminds me a lot of my grandmother as she was so very fond of this cake. It’s typically eaten around Christmas and New Year in Sri Lanka, but my grandmother had no patience for that. She ate it no matter what time of year it was, and it was also her cake of choice for all special occasions and celebratory moments.
I remember she always used to store it in a plastic box, right next to the dining table. She’d take it out for tea time (morning and evening) and serve us one slice each with some butter. I would always heat it up gently and then slather it with butter. No better way to eat a deliciously festive, buttery cake. But I guess I never gave this cake the respect it deserved, because I used to be a picky eater and I don’t think I shared the same fondness for this cake that my grandmother did. Time sure does knock sense into people though, because I can’t for the life of me figure out now why I didn’t love it as much as she did back then!
The recipe may seem a little long, but I assure you it’s not that hard. The first step is to make the bread dough for the breudher cake. I made it in a bundt cake pan because that is traditional (and I like it), but you can make it in any shape you like.
The richness of this cake and the ingredients are very similar to Brioche breads. They maybe related, although I’m not exactly sure. But there are plenty of European Easter breads that are quite similar to this breudher cake like Challah, Velykos Pyragas (Lithuanian), Kozunak (Bulgarian) among others, and they all contain eggs and butter, and sometimes other additions like raisins and a hint of booze.
The origin and classification aside, what matters is the taste, and this Sri Lankan Breudher Cake tastes ABSOLUTELY amazing! Whether you eat it plain, with cheese, butter or sprinkled with some powdered sugar, you’ll be coming back to this recipe again and again, I guarantee it. I especially recommend pairing it with some cheese – specifically an Edam cheese or creamy Gouda (a young Gouda with fruity tones). You’ll thank me later.
So let’s talk ingredients. Anyone who bakes will tell you that the ingredients you use, make a BIG difference in terms of the quality of the final product. You want to use good-quality ingredients from brands you trust. Fresh eggs, good butter, pure cane sugar and of course good-quality flour! And that’s why I absolutely loved using Bob’s Red Mill for this fantastic breudher cake. I was lucky to be able to try both the Organic Unbleached White Flour, and the Gluten Free 1:1 flour, and the quality of these products cannot be overstated.
Here’s why Bob’s Red Mill Oraganic Unbleached White Flour should give you the best results, every time.
- Organic Unbleached White Flour is freshly milled from Organic hard red wheat. Both the bran and the germ have been removed leaving the endosperm, that is made into white flour. It is not enriched with any additives.
- This is the same high protein flour used by professional bakers and produces high, well-textured loaves of bread, equally as well as it produces light, airy baked goods.
- This kitchen staple is incredibly versatile and perfect for all of your baking needs.
It gave me such great results that I used it for this delicious Easter cake, as well as some other baked goodies that will appear on the blog soon. 🙂 In the meantime, you can get your own bag of Bob’s Red Mill with a discount using this coupon!
Of course I put my own twist on the traditional Sri Lankan Breudher cake to make this perfect for Spring!
I used egg yolks in addition to whole eggs to make the cake rich and delicious. I soaked the raisins in brandy and added more of that booze to the cake as well. I mean why not? I even added blood orange rind to the cake to give it a subtle citrus aroma as well as some taste. Aaaand, I also made a blood orange glaze to drizzle on top and decorated it with beautiful pastel coloured royal icing flowers as well! 🙂 The glaze and the flowers are optional of course, but I just couldn’t say no once I got the idea. It’s a lovely touch to celebrate Spring, and I will show you guys just how to make those dainty royal icing flowers soon with a video tutorial! So stay tuned for that. 🙂
This is without a doubt the best Breudher Cake I’ve ever had, one my grandmother would’ve approved of. The texture is soft, almost like bread. It’s light, moist, with just a hint of sweetness and richness, which is complemented by the hint of booze and the fruity, citrus flavour of blood oranges. The blood orange glaze is just a thin coating, adding a touch of extra sweetness.
I have to say Mr K was a little skeptical about pairing it with Gouda cheese, but boy did he have to eat his words along with the cheese soon after. The tangy, fruity, creamy flavour of gouda cheese is the perfect match with a slice of this buttery breudher cake!
If you like brioche bread, then I guarantee you’re going to LOVE this Sri Lankan Breudher Cake! It brought back so many memories for me and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Easter this year than with another one of these rich, buttery, festive cakes.
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 450 g / 1 lb AP flour
- ½ cup water (plus 1 tbsp, if needed)
- ½ cup milk
- ½ tsp salt
- Extra flour (just in case)
- 2 tbsp softened butter (unsalted)
- 1 recipe of Standard Bread dough (as above)
- 200 g (1 heaped cup) of raisins
- 5 tbsp brandy
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 150 g /5.3 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 150 g /5.3 oz granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp brandy
- Grated rind of 3 blood oranges
- 5.3 oz / 150 g icing sugar
- 3 - 4 tbsp blood orange juice (1 blood orange)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Place the first measurement of warm water in the mixer bowl and stir in the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over this and leave it aside for about 10 minutes to activate the yeast (it should start to froth, if it doesn’t the yeast may not be active).
- Add the AP flour, salt, water and milk and start mixing the dough till it starts to come together.
- Next, with a kneading hook, start mixing the dough till it comes together to form a ball. Add an extra tablespoon of water if it looks too dry.
- Continue to knead the dough till it comes together and the water is absorbed completely.
- Add the butter while kneading and incorporate it completely into the dough. If the dough is sticking to the sides (because of the butter) and not kneading properly, lightly dust the sides of the bowl with the smallest amount of flour - this should bring the dough together.
- Knead for about 8 minutes until the dough is soft and shiny.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl. If you're using it on the same day, cover and let it rise for about 1 hour. OR leave it in the fridge overnight (covered).
- The dough is ready for the next step - if you kept the dough in the fridge, let it come to room temperature. Cut the dough into pieces and set them aside.
- Generously butter a 10 cup capacity bundt cake pan. Set aside.
- Place the raisin and brandy in a saucepan. Heat gently until the alcohol is warm. Let the raisins soak in the brandy while the dough is proofing (or overnight).
- When you're ready to make the Breudher Cake - cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the brandy, vanilla, and orange zest and beat it for a few minutes until everything has mixed in.
- Add the dough, one piece at a time while mixing the butter and sugar on medium speed (use the paddle beater). Once all the dough has been incorporated, start adding the eggs.
- Add the eggs and yolk one at a time, while mixing in between each addition to make sure the eggs incorporate well.
- Add the raisins and mix it all for a minute or two until the raisins are distributed throughout the dough.
- Scrape the dough into the buttered bundt pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it proof in a warm place for about 30 minutes or up to an hour. It won't rise too much (definitely will not double in size), but the surface will inflate and look smooth.
- Preheat oven to 325°F / 160°C while the bread is proofing.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 50 min - 1 hour, until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly. Turn it out onto a wire rack and let it cool down completely.
- When the cake is ready to be iced - sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add 2 tbsp of blood orange juice and vanilla and whisk till it forms a thick icing. Add the remaining blood orange juice a little at a time, and mix well until you get the consistency you prefer. Pour over the cake and decorate with piped flowers (optional).
- Serve with butter, Gouda cheese and a cup of hot tea!
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