The understated Bundt pan is not just for Bundt cakes, it is perfect for other sweet treats such as monkey bread, marble cakes and jello as well as dinner options such as roast chicken, timbale or meatloaf.Although Bundt cakes have been around for the last few centuries, the Bundt pan is actually a mid-20th century invention, and although cakes baked in a Bundt pan look fantastic, it can be time consuming to prepare them properly beforehand. In this article we take an in-depth look at how to prevent food from sticking to your Bundt pan, as well as looking at what the best Bundt pan has to offer for making the best Bundt cake.
The non-stick aluminum Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt pan (gold) with its classic swirl design and lifetime warranty is our pick of the Bundt bunch.
Complete with handles for easier releasing and a larger center tube, the Nordic Ware Platinum Anniversary Bundt pan is our budget Bundt pick.
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Bundt Pans
1. Nordic Ware 80677 Heritage Bundt Pan
Made in the US, the Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt pan (gold) is a 10 cup capacity pan with a classic swirl design. This pan is made from non-stick heavy cast aluminum for even baking and it comes with a lifetime warranty.If you make pound cakes, you may find this pan a little shallow and you may need to reduce batter quantity slightly from your regular recipe as there can be more risk of overflowing. The shape of this Bundt pan also means that parts of the cake can be prone to overbaking, so you may need to adjust cooking temp/time slightly.
2. Nordic Ware Platinum Anniversary Bundt Pan
Complete with handles for easier releasing, the Nordic Ware Platinum Anniversary Bundt pan is a 10 to 15 cup capacity non-stick pan with a larger center tube. This Bundt pan does come with handles which are useful, but if you invert your finished cake onto a plate rather than a rack you may find that the handles get in the way.Made from heavy cast aluminum, the exterior is silver and heat reflective for even browning and the pan is resistant to rusting and warping. The non-stick capability of this pan may reduce with time and use, and there may be occasional burrs around the edge of the pan.
3. Nordic Ware Bavarian Bundt Pan
Made from cast aluminum in the US, the Nordic Ware Bavarian Bundt pan has a heat reflective exterior for uniform browning and a durable inner non-stick coating for easy food release. With a 9" diameter, it has a 10 to 12 cup capacity. Its design is geometric, which can make it slightly more awkward to clean and it is only suitable for hand washing. It comes with a 20 year limited warranty.Like any type of pan, there can be a tendency for food to stick, so thorough greasing is usually recommended. It may also be smaller than you expect and to take the maximum cup capacity it may mean filling the pan to the top or baking an 8 cup cake rather than a 10 cup.
4. Wilton 2105-6803 Non-Stick Fluted Tube Pan
Made from steel, the Wilton 2105-6803 non-stick fluted tube pan is 9.25" diameter with a capacity of around 10 to 12 cups. The pan edge contains handle molding for easier gripping and because the fluting is shallower than similar pans, your cakes will not be as pronounced when baked in this pan.Although this pan is dishwasher safe, handwashing is recommended. It comes with a ten year warranty from the manufacturer.
5. Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt Pan
The cast aluminum Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt pan (metallic) has a swirled diamond pattern that is ideal for glazed cakes. It has a 10 cup capacity, and made in the US, it also comes with a lifetime limited warranty.As the pattern on this pan is complex, you will need to spend extra time when greasing and coating to ensure that all of the nooks and crannies are well greased, otherwise there is a risk of your cake sticking. Similarly, it will also take longer to clean.
6. Cuisinart AMB-95FCP Chef’s Classic Non-Stick Fluted Cake Pan
The Cuisinart AMB-95FCP Chef’s Classic non-stick fluted cake pan is a 9.5" diameter pan made of heavy gauge aluminized steel. Ideal for making Bundt cakes, this has a traditional open fluting pattern and it can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Some owners have experienced some leakage on the seam of this pan, so you may find it helpful to place a sheet pan on the bottom of the oven to catch any spills.The pan also has thick rolled edges to help prevent it from warping and a Whitford Xylan non-stick inner, which can be liable to scratches or damage with use. This pan also comes with a lifetime limited warranty.
7. Nordic Ware Pro Cast Original Bundt Pan
With a 12 cup capacity, the Nordic Ware pro cast original Bundt pan (bronze) is the first design produced by the manufacturer in the 1950s. Made from cast aluminum for even heating and browning, it has a PFOA free non-stick coating to assist cake release and cleaning.This pan is made in the US and comes with a ten year limited warranty. Washing by hand is recommended. Like any type of Bundt pan, there can be a risk of sticking and Nordic Ware advise that this pan should be greased with a flour-based spray. As this is a darker colored pan, you may not find it as suitable for making lighter colored cakes.
8. Utopia Kitchen Round Baking Pan
Suitable for tube cakes, Bundt cakes and other foods, the Utopia Kitchen round baking pan is made from high carbon steel with a non-stick coating for easier food release. With around a 10 cup capacity, the manufacturer recommends that you hand wash this pan for longer life.The edge of the pan is shaped for you to grip it, although you may want to check this pan carefully on arrival as some owners have found that the edge can be a little sharp.
9. Wilton Recipe Right Non-Stick Fluted Tube Pan
The Wilton Recipe Right non-stick fluted tube pan is ideal for making Bundt cakes or tube cakes, although unlike a traditional tube pan, its bottom is not removeable. Its diameter is 9.75" and its capacity is around 10 cups. Made from steel, it has a non-stick surface and although this pan is dishwasher safe, hand washing is advised.The fluting in this pan may be shallower than similar pans, so if you are baking a Bundt cake it may not be as fluted as you would like
10. Anolon Advanced 9.5" Fluted Mold Pan
The Anolon Advanced 9.5" fluted mold pan is made of heavy gauge steel for uniform heat distribution and resistance to warping. It is also non-stick. This is a medium colored pan suitable for lighter cakes and it also comes with a wide rim and rubberized handles for safer gripping.This is dishwasher safe and comes with a lifetime limited warranty. If you want to use this for making Bundt cakes it is worth noting that the fluting on this pan is shallower than similar pans, so your cake pattern will not be as pronounced.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Bundt Pan
As well as making Bundt cakes, a Bundt pan is ideal for tunnel cakes, marble cakes, gelled desserts, meatloaf, frittata, phyllo ring, timbale, monkey bread, bread or even a Thanksgiving stuffing ring! You can also put vegetables in the base of the pan and attach or impale a seasoned chicken to it so that as the chicken cooks and crisps its juices will flavor the vegetables.
A Bundt pan always has a chimney or center tube to leave a hole in the middle of the cake. This means that a Bundt cake is a toroidal shape, allowing more surface of the cake to be in contact with the heat during cooking - cooking faster and browning more evenly.
The sides of a Bundt pan are usually patterned with traditional grooves or flutes although today’s pans can often have highly elaborate patterns or even landscape designs.
The Bundt Cake
The Bundt cake is based on the Kugelhupf, a European cake, of which there are many variants. One such variant is the Gugelhupf, a brioche-like cake that was popular in a number of European Jewish communities. It is the shape of the Bundt cake, rather than its recipe which makes it what it is.
In Southwestern Germany, Gugelhupf is called Bundkuchen. There is no real agreement as to why the cake is called Bund, as there are a number of meanings of the word in different European languages. Recipes for Bund cakes were found in Jewish-American cookbooks at the start of the twentieth century.
Nordic Ware and the Birth of the Bundt Pan
Although Bundt cakes have been around for some time, the Bundt pan is relatively modern. In 1950, the owner of Minneapolis’ Nordic Ware, H. David Dalquist, cast an aluminum pan for a Jewish ladies’ group who wanted to bake a traditional Kugelhupf.
This pan contained ridges for easier cake cutting and Dalquist called this first pan a Bund pan which means ‘bond’ or ‘alliance’ in German. The name was later changed to Bundt. Whether this was done for trademarking purposes, or to distance the pan from a similarly named pro-Nazi group, no-one knew.
There was little demand for the Bundt pans during the 1950s and 60s, but everything changed when a Bundt cake came second in the annual Pillsbury Bake-Off. As a result of this, Nordic Ware had to increase their production to 30,000 Bundt pans per day.
Nordic Ware also published Bundt cookbooks which were tested out by H. David Dalquist’s wife in their home kitchen.
Difference Between a Bundt Pan and a Tube Pan
A ‘true’ tube pan, or angel food cake pan is slightly angled and smooth sided and its bottom is usually removeable to allow you to extract your cake with minimal damage. It also has a chimney or center tube.
This is where things get confusing. Because the Bundt pan is a tradename owned by Nordic Ware, it means other manufacturers cannot market pans for baking Bundt cakes under that name. They will therefore tend to call them tube pans, although these will be designed similarly to, and will look like a Bundt pan, complete with swirls, fluting or other patterns.
If you are making a Bundt cake, then a tube pan that looks like a Bundt pan i.e. patterned should be suitable to use. If, however you are making a recipe such as an angel food cake which calls for a tube pan, then you should be looking to use a smooth sided and loose bottomed tube or angel food cake pan.
So, in some cases there is a very clear difference between a Bundt pan and a tube pan, but in other cases, there is little difference between the pans except for the use of a tradename.
Choosing Metal, Glass or Silicone Bundt Pans
Aluminum is the most popular type of Bundt pan as it has excellent heat conductivity. Likewise, so does steel. Metal pans are also sturdy, but they can be more difficult to release cakes from. Lighter colored pans can help prevent some of the overbrowning which can occur when you use a darker colored pan.
A metal pan that is non-stick makes it easier to release the cake, but if your Bundt pan is older and the non-stick is scratched or wearing thin, then it is probably time to invest in a new one as even if your cakes are not yet sticking, they will do so soon.
Glass will not conduct heat as well as metal and its lack of any flexibility can make it more difficult to release your cake.
Although silicone Bundt pans offer good non-stick capabilities and easy cleaning, they are more unstable when using due to their flexibility. Silicone also acts more as a heat insulator than conductor which means cakes can take longer to fully bake while running the risk of the outside of the cake burning.
In terms of capacity, most pans tend to be 10 to 12 cup, and many recipes are written for this capacity. Smaller individual pans are available, as are the larger 15 cup pans. If you do use a larger or smaller pan, it is easy enough to scale the recipe up or down.
If you are not sure of the capacity of your pan, then use a measuring cup to fill it to the rim with water to get an accurate measure of its capacity. Remember you will not need to mix as much batter as this as a Bundt pan should usually only be around two thirds full for baking a light Bundt cake. If it is more than three quarters full it means more chance of batter overflowing as it rises. If you are making pound cakes or cakes that will not rise as much, you can fill the pan with more batter.
Greasing and Flouring a Bundt Pan
If you are one of the many of us who owns one or more Bundt pans, then you have probably also experienced the occasional Bundt cake disaster. Although there can be other reasons, such as the fragility of the cake, the pan is often the main culprit when disaster strikes. This means it is always worth taking the time to prepare the pan properly.
It is usually better to grease the Bundt pan just before you are ready to add the batter to it. If you grease when you turn the oven on there is more chance of the grease running down the sides and pooling in the bottom.
Melted shortening or a non-stick vegetable oil spray are the best things to grease a Bundt pan with, and you can use a pastry brush to make sure that the pan and its chimney are fully and evenly coated with grease.
Some manufacturers may advise against using a cooking spray as this can leave a residue over time which makes cleaning more difficult, and although butter is traditional for greasing, this can sometimes encourage batter to stick to the pan.
Some of us flour the pan, but this does not work for all, and the layer that flour can leave on the top of the cake may not always be suitable for the type of cake baked.
You can instead try coating with granulated sugar. Because this will stay as a semi-liquid when warm it means the cake can slide out easier. A finely ground nut flour will also create a barrier between the pan and the batter, or if you are making a rich chocolate Bundt cake, then an even coating of cocoa in the pan will add extra flavor to the cake.
The easiest way to flour or coat is to place your greased tin on a sheet of parchment and add the sugar, nut flour or cocoa. You want the coating to be fine and even, so to get this, turn the pan onto its side and slowly rotate it, tapping it against the counter as it rotates to move any excess coating. Rotate it in the opposite direction to make sure all parts of the pan are coated and by this point, the excess should have fallen out of the pan and on to the parchment.
Once you have added your batter, take the time to clean the edges of the pan with a damp towel as this removes any excess grease and batter to help stop residue forming on the edge of the pan. Place your Bundt tin on a sheet pan to catch any overflow and to prevent the tin from tipping or baking unevenly on the wire rack.
Releasing a Bundt Cake from its Pan
As a rule of thumb, when a Bundt cake is done, its internal temperature will have reached around 200°F.
When the cake comes out of the oven, slice away any excess that has risen over the chimney and/or edge of the pan. You can insert a table knife or thin silicone spatula between the cake and the pan and push it as far down as it can go to help to release a sticking cake. This can be more difficult to do if you are using a very ornate Bundt pan, and there can be some risk of damage to any non-stick coating. You can also use your fingers to gently push the cake away from the edges.
Then leave the cake to cool slightly before ejecting. Sometimes a Bundt cake will break because it is still too hot when coming out of the pan. Leaving the cake for five minutes or so the right way up and then another five minutes upside down on the rack can often be enough to gently release a stubborn or fragile cake. If it will still not release, try a few gentle side to side shakes or even return it to the cooling oven for five to ten minutes to see if it then releases the sticking spots.
Decorating a Bundt Cake
As icing can be difficult due to the shape of a Bundt cake, the easiest options for decorating once cold are to serve as is, drizzle glazing or sauce over the top, or just dust with some powdered sugar or cocoa.
In this article we have looked at a range of Bundt, tube and fluted pans that are ideal for making Bundt cakes and other treats. We have also looked at the differences between these types of pans and also some of the tried and tested methods for preventing your cake from sticking to a Bundt pan.If you want to replace a worn-out Bundt pan, or are looking to try making your first Bundt cake, we trust that our reviews will help you to choose the best Bundt pan for your kitchen, whatever you fancy making in this understated, yet well-designed, item of cookware.
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