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Bundt cakes are underrated. When prepared correctly, they have nearly everything a great cake should have: they’re dense with flavor, they’re easy to cook without burning, they’re nice and moist, there are more crunchy edge pieces than with most cakes, and they look fantastic.
So understanding what makes bundt cakes special, how to prepare them properly, and what to do with them once they are prepared is important.
In this post, I’ll address some of the most common bundt cake questions I’ve gotten from my readers or seen asked online.
About Bundt Cakes
What is a bundt cake?
A bundt cake is a cake made in a bundt pan. Because of how the pan is designed, the cakes usually come out very thick and moist, without much expansion going on during the baking process to make them light and airy like other cakes. Bundt pans also have a large tube in the center, which means the cakes come out in a donut shape. This prevents undercooked centers and creates more “edge pieces” for the cake.
Where did the bundt cake come from?
In 1949, an American engineer named H. David Dalquist Sr. was approached with a job. His customer had fallen in love with a traditional German baking pan that had been passed down from generation to generation in his family for eons and made thick, moist cakes that are now known as bundt cakes.
The ceramic pan was on its last legs, though, and the customer asked Dalquist if he could replicate it in a metal casting. Dalquist agreed, and he grew fond of the pan himself. He patented it and began selling it under the brand name “Nordic Ware.”
How did the bundt cake get its name?
The traditional name for the thick cakes that used to be made in Germany and which led to the design for the bundt pan was a Bundkuchen, with “bund” being an old German prefix meaning “to have a gathering.” Dalquist wanted to preserve this prefix in the patented name for his pan, but he was unable to patent the common verb “bund.” So he added a “t,” and the bundt cake was born.
What is special about a bundt cake?
Bundt cakes have several characteristics that set them apart from other cakes:
- Bundt cake pans have fluted edges, making the cakes look elegant even before decoration.
- The pans have a hole down the middle, which means the cakes come out with a donut shape. The hole helps the cakes cook more evenly.
- The cakes are generally very dense and therefore often use special varieties of cake mix with more flavorful dry ingredients and less yeast or flour.
Preparing Bundt Cakes
Considering how delicious bundt cakes are, you might expect them to be difficult to prepare. Not so! That being said, you should definitely get some basics down if you want to prepare this delicious delicacy.
Do bundt cakes cook faster?
No. On the contrary, bundt cakes usually take longer to cook than most cakes because they are so dense. They usually take about an hour, although you should definitely follow a recipe for optimal results.
What is the most popular flavor of bundt cake?
Red velvet bundt cake is extremely popular. Red velvet’s rich, decadent flavor makes it ideal for a thick cake-like one made in a bundt pan. Bundt cakes are also very good for adding lots of frosting, thanks to the grooves caused by the fluted edges of the pan, and the frosting is a key aspect of red velvet cake. Other rich flavors that make very good bundt cakes include:
- Chocolate: just add cocoa powder for a rich treat that’s almost the consistency of fudge.
- Lemon: Lemon extract and frosting are a heavenly combination, and a thick, moist lemon cake is a prime example.
- Cinnamon apple: A cinnamon apple spice cake is perfect for the holidays.
How to make a Bundt Cake?
It’s not much different than baking any other cake, except for the fact that you can fill the pan almost to the top (unlike most cake recipes where you have to leave a lot of room for the cake to rise). Other than that, just follow one of the great bundt cake recipe recommendations later in this post.
How do you make sure bundt cake doesn’t stick?
Greasing the pan thoroughly before baking is especially important with bundt cakes, since they can be hard to get out of the pan due to how dense they are. I often rub butter and sprinkle a handful of a powdered ingredient like cinnamon or cocoa powder that matches the flavor of the cake I’m making on the pan before pouring in the batter.
Serving & Storing Bundt Cakes
How to get the cake out of a bundt pan
If you’ve already baked your bundt cake and it’s sticking to the pan, try turning the pan over and draping a towel that is slightly damp with very hot water over the pan. The heat and steam from the hot towel will help the cake come unstuck. Once the towel is cool enough, gently shake the pan back and forth until the cake plops out.
How to store bundt cake
Seal the bundt cake in an airtight container like high-quality tupperware. You can then store it in the fridge for up to 5 days, or at room temperature if it doesn’t contain any perishable ingredients. If you do store it in the fridge, make sure to bring it to room temperature again before serving. Bundt cake keeps very well in comparison to most cakes because of how dense they are.
How to cool a bundt cake
After cooking, let the bundt cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. At that point, slide a wire baking tray over the top of the pan and flip the pan and the tray together. The cake should pop onto the wire tray, and you can continue to let it cool there if needed.
How to freeze bundt cake
If you want to keep your bundt cake for more than 5 days before serving, you’ll want to freeze it. To do so, wrap the cake (or the pan, if you have not taken the cake out of the pan yet) in plastic wrap. Make sure to wrap tightly!
After the plastic wrap, wrap a little more loosely using a layer of aluminum foil (if the cake is in the pan, just cover the open part of the pan with foil). Stick the whole thing in the freezer and allow to air thaw to room temperature before serving.
How to ice a bundt cake
A bundt cake with icing properly applied to it is one of the prettiest types of cake you can make. To ice it properly, put the cake on a round plate. As you drizzle icing on the cake, turn the plate so that every side of the cake is iced equally. After doing a full turn, gently shake the cake so as to send icing trickling down the sides. Let the icing cool and enjoy your masterpiece!
Bundt Cake FAQ
A bundt pan can be used to make lots of non-cake foods that don’t expand during baking. And when you make these foods in a bundt cake pan as opposed to a “normal” baking pan, you get way more of those crunchy edge pieces that many of us love so much! Some examples of non-cake recipes you can make in a bundt pan include:
• Mac n’ cheese
• Thanksgiving stuffing
Bundt cake pans are complex compared to most cake pans, and finding a good one is especially important. Here is an article with 11 of my top bundt pan recommendations.
6 Bundt Cake Recipes To Try Next
Now that you’re a bit of an expert on bundt pans, the next step is finding some killer recipes that will make for delicious and beautiful bundt cakes! Whip one or more of these recipes up for your next family gathering or dinner party and I am confident it will be a huge hit:
Bundt cakes are my personal go-to baked goods when I’m looking to impress. So I think it’s an abomination that many bakers have unused bundt cake pans sitting in the back of the cupboard! Don’t let that be you.
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about how to get the most out of a bundt cake, it’s time to get cookin’!