Did you know that ‘Bundt’ is a trademark? Aluminum ‘Bundt’ pans were originally created and trademarked in 1950 by the American cookware manufacturer, Nordic Ware. Trademark aside, Bundt cakes, or ‘Bundkuchens’ as they’re were traditionally called, have been around for centuries and likely originated in Germany or Austria.
Despite legal ownership, the term ‘Bundt’ is used in a generic way and is often used when referring to traditional ‘Kugelhopf’ molds. Commercially, you may also see these cake molds labelled as ‘fluted tube pans’ to avoid trademark infringement! Whatever you want to call them, they all imply to the same thing- a molded pan with a center tube which creates a patterned ring of cake.
Anyway, enough history talk for one post.
These gorgeous pans aren’t as intimidating as they may seem. And making the perfect Bundt cake is not as hard as it looks. Using our 8 essential tips, you can impress your family and friends with a beautiful Bundt cake…that won’t stick to the pan or fall apart before they arrive!
8 Essential Tips for Baking with Bundt Pans
1. Check the Recipe – Ensure the recipe you’re making is suitable for a Bundt pan. Angel food cake, for example, will not work and result in the cake sticking to the mold. Bundt pans are best suited for heavier or more dense cakes (e.g. Pound cakes).
2. Greasing – Even If your pan is non-stick, we still recommend giving it a thorough greasing just before adding the batter. Don’t forget to grease the middle tube! A pastry or silicone brush will work wonders for getting into small crevices. Vegetable oil seems to work best as butter may actually cause your cake to stick due to the presence of milk solids. If you’re pan is particularly prone to sticking, use a light dusting of finely ground almonds after greasing to create the desired barrier between the cake and the pan.
3. Think Upside-down – Bundt pans are inversion molds, meaning anything you want on the top of the cake should be added to the pan first (e.g. coffee cake crumble, nuts, fruit, etc.). However, this doesn’t include frostings or glazes… save those for when your cake is inverted and fully cooled.
4. Spooning – You want to spoon or ladle the batter into the pan as opposed to pouring it. This technique will help prevent air pockets from forming. Trapped air may create a cratered appearance on your cake and make removing it from the pan a challenge.
5. Filling – fill your pan only 2/3 full to prevent batter from spilling over the sides during baking. Standard Bundt pans are approximately 10” in diameter and can hold about 12 cups of batter, although, you don’t want to fill them to capacity! Most importantly, check your recipe in advance to ensure you have the right size pan (this ties in with tip #1).
6. Cooling- Once your cake is baked per your recipe’s directions, remove it from the oven and cool it in the pan before inverting. Inverting a hot Bundt cake can result in the crumb sticking and or breaking. If your recipe is silent on this, start with 15-20 minutes to err on the side of caution. Then, proceed with tip number 7!
7. Inverting– A long thin butter knife or flexible silicone spatula inserted gently around the edge and centre tube will help release the cake from the pan. If the batter bakes over the centre tube, carefully cut off that portion of the crumb to reveal the tube again. Then, using the inversion method, place the cooling rack on top of the pan and firmly hold them together while you flip the pan over. Make sure to use oven mitts if your pan isn’t cool enough to handle! If you don’t feel the cake drop, give the pan a few taps to encourage it along. Once you feel the cake drop onto the rack, gently lift off the pan, et voila!
8. Caring for your Pan– Proper care will allow your pan to bundt-on for years. Thoroughly wash it by hand unless it’s dishwasher safe (check with your manufacturer if you’re unsure). Store it inverted so it won’t scratch or collect dust. If your pan is particularly beautiful or an antique, you may want to safely hang it on the wall. If your pan is damaged or has a peeling/cracked coating, sadly, it may be time to replace it. Even with proper greasing, a damaged pan won’t provide the results you’re after.
9. Substituting– If you’re planning to alter a recipe destined for a Bundt pan, be mindful that ingredient substitutions could potentially cause the cake to stick to the pan or even break. Exchanging or reducing ingredients like eggs or sugar may result in less structure to your cake. Moreover, some flours (Spelt for example) contain less gluten and will make for a ‘softer’ crumb more prone to breaking. My personal experience when using Spelt (and omitting eggs) is to use a fairly spacious Bundt mold without intricate patterns or small crevices.
So, are you ready to get your Bundt on? Try these great recipes from yours truly and some of our awesome BAKED alumni: