SomethingSwanky is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.
Bundt pans are, in my opinion, the ultimate cake pans; the “final evolutionary form” of baking tools, if you will.
They have lots of features that almost ensure the cakes baked inside will come out right every time because of the conductive coating and donut shape, and they make it easy to infuse a ridiculous amount of flavor into every one. They’re pretty too, since they produce equally beautiful cakes thanks to their patterned edges.
In this article, I’ll go over how to make the most of a bundt cake pan, and I’ll even talk about what I think are the 11 best bundt pans to buy.
All About Bundt Pans
What is a bundt pan?
A bundt pan is a certain kind of cake pan characterized by the tube in the middle that makes the cake come out in a donut shape. The tube makes sure you don’t get a cake with an unevenly baked center. The donut shape of the bundt cake pan also makes it so more of the cake batter touches the sides of the pan, creating more of those crunchy edges that many people think are the best part of the cake.
What kind of cake goes in a bundt pan?
Bundt cake pans are most effective at baking dense cakes. The reason is, since so much of the pan’s surface area will touch the cake, bundt cake batters need to be very moist. If they are too light and airy (i.e. a high percentage of flour and yeast), they will expand too much for the pan. Because bundt cake batter “stays in place” more than most cake batter while baking, bundt cakes often contain chunky ingredients like nuts or whole berries.
What Should I Look for When Shopping for a Bundt Pan?
Consider factors such as:
- Size – Do you want a mini bundt cake pan to bake individual treats or a full-size bundt pan to cook for entire parties at once?
- Material – You could go with the classic aluminum pan or spring for ceramic (my preference), silicone, or even glass. Make sure to pay attention to the nonstick coating too.
- Fluting – Remember, the pattern of the pan’s edges will make the difference between a beautiful cake and something that looks boring and utilitarian.
- Care – How hard is the pan to take care of? Is it dishwasher-safe? How durable is the model?
- Versatility – What kinds of cakes can you make in the pan? This is usually related to heat distribution and is often determined by material.
The Best Bundt Cake Pans
With a relatively complex type of baking pan like the bundt pan, picking the right one is of the utmost importance. Here are my top picks for 11 different categories of bundt pan, with a more detailed description of each pan below.
1. Classic: Nordic Ware Original Bundt Pan
by Sur la table
First off, let’s be clear: Nordic Ware definitely takes the cake in terms of bundt pan brands. They were the first to introduce a bundt pan back in 1950, and they still make most of the best ones.
And speaking of the first bundt pan, this model is almost exactly the same as that original. The chemical makeup of the thick-cast aluminum material and the nonstick coating have been updated a bit to make it lighter and even more convenient to use, but the concept – donut center, fluted edges, ultra-reflective interior and heat-absorbent exterior – stays the same. It even has the same dark metal aesthetic.
A solid design that really does hold up.
2. Mini: Nordic Ware Nonstick Cast Aluminum Mini Bundt Pan
by Nordic Ware
I love giving miniature bundt cakes to my friends as impromptu gifts. They’re more filling than most miniature cakes, and they look more impressive because of the fluted edges. A great pan that can make 12 of them at once is incredible.
I just whip up a batch or two every now and then, and suddenly I’m the most popular resident in my neighborhood once I start handing them out like some sort of off-season Santa Claus.
Anecdotes aside, though, this mini bundt cake pan is great. Even though the small patterned indents for the cakes are pretty intricate, they nearly always come out perfect and the pan itself always cleans off easily after use. It looks really nice with its gold finish, too.
I wouldn’t expect any less from Nordic Ware.
3. Holiday: Nordic Ware Gingerbread House Bundt Pan
Another example of Nordic Ware’s brilliance with bundt pans, this one is specially themed for the holidays. It’s not just a generic snowflake or star mold, either – the pan is in the shape of a detailed gingerbread house.
The design looks so nice that it’s easy to forget it’s a fully-functional bundt cake pan! The house even has a large chimney in the center that serves as the tube in the middle of the pan.
The first time I baked using this pan, I was pessimistic that the cake would actually come out with the detailed design of the mold intact. When I extracted it from the pan, though – miracle of miracles – it looked just like it had in the ad.
I sprinkled some powdered sugar on top to imitate snow, and I had a masterpiece of a cake that impressed all of the guests at my holiday party. It tasted great, too.
4. Budget: Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick 9-Inch Fluted Tube Pan
This bundt cake pan gives you everything you need: some nice heft, heavy-duty aluminum material that distributes heat well (although not quite as well as more expensive models), a pair of handles that makes it easier to carry the pan around, and a donut shape.
My one complaint is that the patterns on the edges of the pan are extremely shallow and are barely noticeable on the cakes themselves. For this price, though, the pan is a steal and is a good buy for bakers on a shoestring budget who want to expand into the wonderful world of bundt cakes.
5. Duo: Nordic Ware Cast Aluminum Duet Bundt Plaque
by Nordic Ware
A medium-sized bundt cake is a perfect dessert after a large meal, both elegant and satisfying. A single mid-sized cake sometimes isn’t enough to feed the whole family, though, and baking a large bundt cake can be a little unruly. This pan offers the perfect solution: two mid-sized cakes cooked in one pan.
Again, Nordic Ware does a great job with the concept and makes the baking process as hassle-free as possible.
6. Quartet: Nordic Ware Nonstick Cast Aluminum Bundt Quartet
by Nordic Ware
Now let’s say you’re cooking a bundt cake dessert for a whole dinner party instead of just a family of four. That’s where this pan comes in.
It makes four mid-sized bundt cakes in an economical size that will fit in almost any standard home oven. And once again, Nordic Ware’s brilliance in the bundt cake niche makes for a great baking experience.
The visual design of each cake mold is also fantastic. All four patterns are different. They are all attractive, but they all have good heat distribution, and none of them creates problems during the baking or serving process.
7. Bundlette: Nordic Ware Anniversary Bundtlette Pan
by Sur la table
They’re not quite big enough to be considered mid-size, but not as small as the 1-serving bundt cakes made in a mini bundt pan. Nordic Ware brings you something new… bundtlettes!
There are six bundt cake molds in this convenient pan, and they’re the perfect size for everyone to sample each one. Because of that, I like to use this pan to make six different types of bundt cake, creating an awesome bundt cake party platter!
8. Shape: Nordic Ware Nonstick Cast Aluminum Octopus Bundt Pan
Whereas the gingerbread house bundt pan I mentioned above is really only usable during the holidays, this one is equally as delightful all year round.
In my experience, people are seriously impressed when you present them with a cake that has an interesting shape or design – they don’t realize that it’s as easy as pouring the batter into a different mold!
I’ve brought octopus bundt cakes from this pan to parties on a few occasions, and the people at those parties have been bringing up those cakes with admiration for years.
9. Ornate: Nordic Ware Cast Aluminum 70th Anniversary Crown Bundt Pan
by Nordic Ware
This Nordic Ware masterpiece stands out because of its elegant and unique pattern. The cakes it produces are, no exaggeration, what I believe to be the most aesthetically appealing cakes I’ve ever seen without frosting or any other post-baking decoration.
10. Ceramic: casaWare Fluted Cake Pan
Truth be told, ceramic is my favorite material for bundt cake pans. Why? Because it heats more slowly and evenly than an aluminum pan, meaning lower chance of burns on the cake’s edges. And with bundt cake pans having more surface area than most pans, that’s especially important.
Ceramic also just looks nicer, especially in the case of this beautiful blue pan with flecks of white and black. It has a higher heat resistance, too.
11. Silicone: Aokinle Silicone Flute Cake Baking Pan
It may not be the prettiest bundt pan, but damned if this model doesn’t work as well as anything I’ve used. It has amazingly high heat resistance—up to 446 degrees—and it’s easy to slide cakes out once they’re finished.
Since the material is soft and pliable, it’s easy to store or to bring around with you. Silicone doesn’t conduct heat quite as well as aluminum pans so baking might take a bit longer, though. It’s also a bit harder to clean because of how flimsy the material is.
Bundt Cake Pan FAQ
Technically, yes, but it’s probably not a good idea. Since bundt pans have a different shape than “normal” cake pans, they will cause regular cake mix to expand in crazy ways. Because of that, it’s near-impossible to figure out exactly how much regular batter to put in the bundt pan in order for it to cook to a proper size for the pan.
A bundt pan can actually be used to make lots of other 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
You can also use old bundt pans for a variety of surprisingly stylish decorations, like planters or holiday wreaths.
It serves three purposes.
First, it prevents cakes made in the pan from having the undercooked centers that plague so many round cakes made in traditional pans.
Second, it creates more surface area to conduct heat, helping the cake to bake faster and more evenly.
Third, it creates more crispy edge pieces for anything cooked in the pan.
After shucking the corn, hold the cob vertically against the “platform” in the center of the bundt pan. As you’re holding the cob, use a sharp knife to cut off the corn kernels in downward sweeping motions. The kernels will rain down into the hollow part of the bundt pan.
Bake it Happen
The word “bundt” is derived from the German word that refers to “a cake for a gathering.” And, indeed, bundt cakes are the ultimate crowd-pleasers.
They’re fun, filling, and bursting with flavor, not to mention the fact that everyone can get one of the edge pieces. Mini bundt cakes are great treats, too, and make awesome party fare.
Without a proper bundt cake pan, though, you’re missing out on all of that. I hope my recommendations help you to kick-start your own bundt pan escapades!
Last update on 2022-02-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API