94 view

How can you stop a pound cake from sticking to the pan?

You’re holding a get-together. You need a more exquisite (but yet simple) dessert than a plain sheet cake. What to cook… Marblehead sees the light! Bundt cake is a simple yet striking way to turn a standard cake into something special.

So you bake your Bundt cake, flip it over, hold your breath… and let the expletives fly as the cake falls out of the pan in bits, a mangled disaster.

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

Prevent Bundt cakes from sticking: Our top 10 tips for perfect bundts every time

1. If it ain’t broke…

If you use your grandma’s beat-up old aluminum pan (or a brand new top-of-the-line model), and your Bundt cakes ALWAYS come out of the pan with nary a crumb out of place — thank your lucky stars! Continue on if you want to have a self-satisfied giggle but don’t want to alter anything about your Bundt-baking process.

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

2. Use a non-stick pan — preferably one in good shape

Nonstick pans are the ideal answer to the inherent difficulties in the delicate design of a Bundt cake. But beware the older non-stick pan: a scratched, worn non-stick surface may no longer be slick enough to release your cake flawlessly.

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

3. Grease the pan thoroughly

Instead of butter, use nonstick vegetable oil spray or melted shortening. The milk solids in butter can act like glue, encouraging cake batter to stick to the pan. (You always butter your pan, and your cake never sticks? Tip 1 (see above).

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

If your pan is extremely detailed, use a pastry brush to coat all of its nooks and crevices with melted shortening.

Oh, and don’t forget about the middle tube: it requires just as much care as the rest of the pan.

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

4. Grease the pan just prior to adding the batter

Most recipes begin with, “Preheat the oven. Grease the pan…” We’ve found that greasing a non-stick Bundt pan too far ahead of time allows the oil to slide down the inside of the pan and pool in the bottom.

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

5. Don’t flour the pan; but do coat it

If you’re using a non-stick pan and still having trouble with sticking Bundts, try sprinkling a coating of either finely ground nut flour (that’s toasted almond flour on the left) or granulated sugar into the greased pan before adding the batter. Either will create a barrier between the batter and the pan, which is what you’re looking for.

“But sugar isn’t sticky?” Yes, it becomes sticky as it cools; and it can act like glue when fully cooled. But while warm, sugar is still semi-liquid, and your sugar-coated cake should slide right out of the pan.

What about flour?

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

Here’s a thought experiment: I did sprinkling the inside of a greased Bundt pan with toasted almond flour (left side of cake); granulated sugar (top), and flour (the missing chunk, and some adjoining real estate at the bottom).

Not only does flour sometimes provide a less-than-satisfactory non-stick experience, it also adds a dry layer of “gunk” to the cake’s surface. I like finely ground nuts or sugar (nut flour).

“I always flour my Bundt pan and my cake always comes out just fine,” you say? See the preceding advice.

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

6. Loosen the edges of the cake when you remove it from the oven

All you need is a little poke with a table knife or thin heatproof spatula. Carefully slide the knife or spatula down the sides of the pan as far as you can, to release any sticking spots.

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

7. Don’t forget the tube

Your cake may sometimes rise up and over the tube, thereby preventing it from releasing from the pan. Cut away any excess cake that has encroached on the tube, or use your fingers to gently push it back. The whole top surface of the tube should be visible.

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

8. Let the hot cake rest for a few minutes

If your cake splits as you remove it from the pan, you may be misinterpreting the reason. Some cakes are extremely fragile right out of the oven; even if they don’t stick to the pan, the simple act of moving them from pan to rack causes a fracture.

I prefer to lay my Bundt cakes for 5 minutes right side up, then 5 minutes upside down on a rack. As I turn the pan onto the rack, the cake sometimes falls out. It sometimes need a little assistance — continue reading.

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

9. Give your Bundt a gentle nudge

If you’ve turned the pan over, waited, and the cake hasn’t dropped out of the pan onto the rack, give it a few gentle side-to-side jiggles. This tiny motion is often sufficient to release it.

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

10. If all else fails…

Return your cake to the oven to cool (but not completely cool) for approximately 10 minutes. Often this mild heat is just enough to soften and release any baked-on areas clinging to the sides of the pan.

How-To-Prevent-Bundt-Cakes-From-Sticking via @kingarthurflour

Related Questions

  • Why is my bundt cake sticking to the pan?

    Dishwashers, abrasive sponges and detergents, and metal utensils will all harm your bundt pan’s nonstick coating. This may weaken the coating’s integrity over time, resulting in sticky messes. The best method to care for your pan is to hand wash it carefully, properly dry it, and avoid using metal utensils.

  • Why did my pound cake stick?

    You didn’t grease your pan.
    You made a mistake if you put the batter directly into the cake pan and set it in the oven. I recommend greasing your pan with shortening, but vegetable oil or butter will certainly work in a pinch. Avoid olive oil and stick to mild flavored oils.

  • How long should a bundt cake rest before taking it out of the pan?


    1. Allowing all Bundt cakes to rest in their pan for approximately 10 minutes before flipping the pan over onto a cooling rack is recommended.
    2. After removing the cake from the oven, slide an offset spatula over the sides of the pan, between pan and cake.