How to make the best Bundt cake
Bundt cakes make excellent gifts because the bases are simple to prepare, they appear beautiful straight out of the pan, and they require little embellishing. In a nutshell, you get all the wow without all the hassle.
However, using these dishes and preparing these meals takes some skill. I spoke with Taste of Home’s Prep Kitchen Manager Catherine Ward, a Bundt cake specialist, to ensure you get your Bundts just right. (during our chat, she was in the midst of making 30 bundt cakes for an upcoming photoshoot). Here are her top suggestions for making a good bundt cake.
Pick the right recipe
Bundt dishes are extremely useful. Pound cakes, coffee cakes, and other delicacies can be baked in them. However, not every cake recipe is meant to be a Bundt cake.
Denser cake recipes, according to Catherine, work best in these containers. Most pound cake recipes can be baked in your beloved Bundt pan. “However, in a Bundt pan, don’t use a light sponge or box cake mix,” she cautions. These lightweight mixtures lack the bulk and structural stability required to neatly exit these expensive vessels.
Grease your pan with shortening and dust with flour
Catherine’s greatest advice for any Bundt maker is to oil the pan with shortening and sprinkle with flour—no butter here! “You don’t want to use butter in this situation.” “Because of the milk solids in it, the cake may stick when baking,” Catherine recommends.
Melt oil and use a traditional fiber pastry brush to prepare the Bundt tray. (not a silicone one). Then sprinkle flour on the inside. Bang the skillet on the surface (with a cloth down first!) to get rid of any extra flour. If there are any gaps, re-grease the area, dust with flour, and continue.
Choose cooking spray wisely
While butter and flour sprinkling is our Test Kitchen’s favored technique, you can also use culinary spray to prepare your skillet. However, any ordinary spritz will not suffice. If you use spray, Catherine recommends using one that contains flour: “Something like Baker’s Joy or Pam with flour works well.”
Choose the right pan for your recipe
If you’re a frequent cook with a plethora of Bundt cakes to choose from, make sure you get the correct one for your recipe.
Cakes with no additions, such as a traditional chocolate Bundt cake or butter pound cake, can be cooked in any Bundt pan and appear particularly stunning in your most ornate choices, which have many slots and crannies.However, Catherine cautions that “additions like fruit can cause the cake to stick to the sides, so use a plainer pan with those recipes.”
New to baking? Use a simple pan
Expensive Bundt dishes, such as the Nordicware Brilliance or Heritage plates, are among our favorites. However, cakes with all of these beautiful peaks and patterns can be more challenging for first-time Bundt makers to work with.
“Start with a pan without much design, something curved,” Catherine recommends for novices. For openers, a skillet like this Original Bundt pan is an excellent choice—plus it always appears nice. “If your grandmother or mother gives you a pan that always works for them.
Prevent a domed bottom
Bundt cakes frequently bake with a slightly raised bottom. That’s fine; most desserts do! Catherine suggests making a hole in the middle of the ring with a spatula to avoid this and make a more uniform foundation for your cake. You can also tilt the skillet so that the batter rises higher up the edges. It’s just an additional method to help your cake rest evenly on a beautiful cake stand.
Because the ingredients for pound cake and Bundt cakes are so thick and the molds are so big, these cakes take longer to prepare than most—usually around an hour. Wait for your cake to prepare. It is all worthwhile.
Do a skewer test to ensure your cake is done on the inside. Insert a stick or narrow wooden tool into the cake’s middle. The cake is done if it comes out clear. Allow it to roast for another 10 minutes if it comes out gummy or coated in batter.
Cool (a bit) before flipping
When the cake emerges out of the oven, do not immediately remove it from the plate. Instead, let it settle for ten minutes on a wire stand before flipping.
Give the pan a bang
Don’t panic if you turn the pan and the cake does not come out! Instead, Catherine suggests placing a cloth on the surface and gently hitting the sides of the cake to release it.
Let gravity do its work
Catherine reassured me that the cake didn’t have to fall out of the plate right away to be a triumph. If the cake doesn’t come out right away or after a few thunks, just set it upright on a drying stand for a few minutes. After 10 to 15 minutes, check on it again.
Fix small flubs
If you remove your cake from the plate and a tiny piece remains, you can repair it. Catherine suggests doing this right away and allowing the heat of the cake rebind it. This will only work for minor errors, but it’s a useful technique.
And don’t worry if you’re preparing a dish that calls for icing, like this key lime pound cake. Frosting can hide a wide range of flaws.
Cool the cake entirely before glazing
It’s enticing to garnish or top your cake right away after it’s been in the oven for a long time. Hold your horses, advises Catherine. “You must cool the cake before glazing,” she advises. “It will soak up all the glaze and can make your cake soggy” if the cake is still heated.
Instead, let the cake chill completely before cutting it. You can prepare this cake a day or two ahead of time and then top it on the day you intend to consume it.
(Hint: Here’s a vanilla frosting recipe that goes well with almost any bundt cake.)
Show off a bit!
“Glaze the cake in front of your guests if you really want to impress them,” Catherine advises. Because you’ll have to wait until the cake is completely cold to add any final flourishes, you might as well put on a performance for your visitors. Furthermore, these modest gestures can make a dinner gathering or commemoration unforgettable.
“Just say, this is how you always do it,” Catherine says, smiling. And what is Catherine preparing for her visitors?
Wash the pan by hand
With all of the corners and holes in a Bundt pan, it’s easy to throw it in the washing. Do not attempt it! According to Catherine, manually washing your skillet is the best method to maintain the Teflon covering.
It can be difficult to clear out all the fragments trapped inside a skillet with a lot of pointed edges. You can scrape them away with a gentle toothbrush (clearly one you’ve put aside specifically for this reason) or even a Bundt cake brush.
Don’t sweat it if it doesn’t come out
Despite your best efforts and meticulous pan preparation, a Bundt cake may not come out clear. But don’t be alarmed! “If it’s a complete failure, turn it into a delectable trifle,” Catherine suggests.
Trifles also create lovely, delectable sweets. Your visitors will be just as happy with one of these tiered cakes, milk, and berries.