Bundt pans are a baking necessity. Their unique construction allows for a move even bake on denser cakes, like pound cake, and they usually have a non-stick coating to help ensure that your cake slips right out once it’s done. They also produce a gorgeous pattern that other kinds of pans, such as a tube pan or loaf pan, cannot.
We studied and tested the top alternatives to help you pick the finest bundt pan for your baking requirements. We analyzed the material, style, color, size, and additional features of each bundt pan. With these considerations in mind, we found the Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Bundt Pan to be the finest.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall : Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Bundt Pan
- Best Value Bundt Pan : Wilton Recipe Right Fluted Tube Pan
- Best Non-Stick: Anolon Advanced Nonstick Fluted Baking Pan
- Most Visually-Pleasing: Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Fluted Cake Pan
In actuality, bundt pans are difficult to go wrong with. Whichever you choose, you’ll end up with a cake that your friends and family will enjoy cutting into. Every model we tested—except one—produced an evenly browned cake with a tender crumb, and released from the pan without incident. But when it came to ease of use, the caliber of construction, and the aesthetics of the final product, one contender still stood out from the pack.
Best Overall: Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Bundt Pan
We like this Nordic Ware selection because it is dependable and of great quality. With a sturdy cast aluminum body that was taller and narrower than its competitors and deeply defined curves and ridges, it produced a cake that was elegant and shapely with clean lines and eye-catching architectural edges. The pan’s light-colored surface kept it from overbrowning and drying out, and the large handles made it simple to get it into and out of the oven. When it was time to flip the cake out onto a cooling rack, the handles were equally easy to hold.
With a capacity of 10 to 15 cups — the largest of all the models we tested — it would be large and versatile enough to accommodate an array of recipes. It is considerably pricier than the other models we tested, but it comes with a lifetime guarantee and, given its superior performance, feels worth every penny. Moreover, Nordic Ware is still a family-owned business that manufactures all of its goods in the United States.
We finally agreed with culinary experts Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, authors of Baked Explorations and Baked Occasions. “Nordic Ware pans are very unique,” they said. “You can still feel the enthusiasm about the product from the company — it’s still got a mom and pop feeling, even though it has grown to a global scale.”
Price at time of publish $38
Best Value Bundt Pan: Wilton Recipe Right Fluted Tube Pan
We were impressed by the even golden color of the bake in the simple, inexpensive Wilton Recipe Right Fluted Tube Pan, and appreciated the durability and reliability of the nonstick surface. In addition, apart from the Nordic Ware pan, this was the only other type that produced a cake with reasonable height and well-defined fluting. It was very simple to clean.
Price at time of publish $13
Best Non-Stick: Anolon Advanced Nonstick Fluted Baking Pan
We enjoyed the feel of the soft, easy-grip handles on the sturdy Anolon Advanced Nonstick Fluted Mold Baking Pan, and were pleased by the consistency and depth of color of the cake it produced. The nonstick surface performed well as well, and the completed cake slipped out easily after just a few minutes of cooling. Our only reservations? The surface of the cake seemed a bit artificially shiny in comparison to the matte texture of the Nordic Ware cake, and the decorative ridges and curves were considerably less pronounced, resulting in a less visually interesting cake.
Price at time of publish $25
Most Visually-Pleasing: Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Fluted Cake Pan
The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Fluted Cake Pan was a serviceable contender, producing a uniformly browned cake that was well baked all the way through and slid neatly from the pan with cracking or crumbling. But, we were underwhelmed by the under-defined ornamental curves and ridges, particularly given that such elements are one of the distinguishing characteristics of the bundt cake shape.
Price at time of publish $32
In Search of the Best Bundt Pan
The bundt cake, invented around 1950 by a young husband-and-wife team in Minnesota and popularized in the 1960s by a Texas bake-off participant, has now become an all-American classic—and the bundt pan, a contemporary kitchen must. Originally conceived as a lightweight, modern alternative to the heavy cast iron cookware traditionally used to make the central European cake called kugelhopf, the pan’s basic design was simple: a round tube-shaped loaf with a hollow center and a decorative, fluted pattern around the body.
Today, variations on the form abound—bundts come in the shape of rosettes and castles and even pine forests—but from the simplest design to the most elaborate, the requirements of a quality bundt pan remain the same: it should be well-constructed to stand up to repeated use without denting or warping (which might mar the decorative shape); it should be generously-sized to accommodate the large batches of dough needed to feed a crowd. In truth, the term “bundt” is essentially a derivative of the German word “bund,” which roughly means “an alliance or assembly. You should yield a cake that is evenly browned and shapely, with the well-defined curves that are the hallmark of the form; and it should be non-stick, allowing the cake to release effortlessly from the pan’s ridges and crevices without cracking or sticking.
Hoping to single out a pan that best meets those criteria—and earns a place in every baker’s arsenal—we spent hours baking our way through a bevy of bundts, comparing their design, functionality and ease of use. What did we discover? Although competition is fierce, most classics become classics for a reason—and in the case of bundt pans, the original is still the gold standard.
Factors to Consider
While it’s possible to find bundt pans made of glass, stoneware, and silicone, the overwhelming consensus among professional and amateur bakers is that metal—either aluminum or coated steel—is the best material in which to bake a bundt cake, thanks to both its sturdiness and its even and efficient heat conductivity. Silicone bundt pans, in particular, often get negative feedback—and even mentioning them may rile even skilled bakers.
“Never, ever, ever use a silicone bundt pan,” cautioned Lewis and Poliafito. What’s the reason? Silicone is squishy and unstable—a bad match for hefty bundt batters, which may spill or sag when not properly contained. Moreover, because to the material’s weak conductivity, silicone mixtures will never brown deeply—essential for a well cooked bundt cake. Given this, we ultimately decided to test just metal pans.
We also found that most cooks agree that when it comes to bundts—with their elaborate whirls, curves, and crevices that seem tailor made for trapping cake—a nonstick surface is indispensable. Even if your pan has a nonstick surface, most experienced bakers and cookbook authors advocate buttering and flouring it or completely coating it with a nonstick cooking spray before filling.
The color of the surface of a bundt pan will also affect the texture and appearance of the finished product: In general, light-colored surfaces perform better than darker ones, as the dark surfaces may produce a crust that is dry is overly browned before the cake’s interior has had enough time to bake properly.
The market is littered with mini bundt pans of assorted shapes and sizes, but because the most common size for bundt pans is between 10 and 12 cups, We confined our experiments to models that fell in or near that range. In general, if you want a bigger pan, go for one that seems taller rather than wider—wider pans yield squatter, less architectural cakes. Most recipe developers create recipes for 10-cup bundt pans, so home bakers will be best served by a pan that holds at least that much. If you want to adapt a non-bundt-specific recipe, the form is fairly forgiving—in general, a cake recipe that yields enough batter for two 9-inch rounds or one 9-by-13-inch pan will also fit a typical bundt pan.
One rule of thumb that Lewis and Poliafito recommended following: Any sturdy cake batter or quick bread that is typically baked in a loaf pan will also do well in a bundt—but avoid delicate, airy cakes, which will just fall apart. Before baking, the batter should reach two-thirds of the way up the edges of your bundt pan. Overfilling it will result in a sloppy mess; underfilling it will result in a thin, squat cake. If you are unclear about your pan’s capacity, you may measure it by filling it one cup at a time.
Lastly, while assessing the pans, we kept in mind the subtle design details—like easy-grip handles, a gratifying weight, and appealing proportions—that may make a major impact in the baking process and the resulting cake’s aesthetics. And while today’s makers produce bundt pans in a dizzying array of creative designs, we limited my tests to the “classic” shape: a ring-shaped series of peaks and rounded curves that Lewis and Poliafito call Bundt 101, and is beginner-friendly, always beautiful, and easy to glaze. They advise that the more intricate designs may be more difficult to turn out of the pan and, although Instagram-worthy, don’t hold up as well to a variety of frostings or glazes.
What’s the difference between a tube pan and a bundt pan?
“Tube pans most often have detachable sides, while bundt pans do not,” says chef and cookbook author Denise Norton, founder of Flavour Cooking School. “A tube pan is round, with deep sides and a hollow center tube that is most notably used for angel food or sponge cakes, which tend to be oil-free and very delicate. “The central tube and removable sides help inverting the cake onto a bottle so it doesn’t deflate,” she explains. “Tube pans often feature a detachable bottom or ‘feet’ to aid with cake turning,” explains Virtue Restaurant pastry chef Becky Pendola.
“A bundt pan also has a hollow tube in the center – but it also usually has decorative sides, which nowadays can be very intricate – and is usually used for denser, oil- or butter-based batters,” says Norton. “Every bundt pan is a tube pan, but not every tube pan is a bundt pan,” adds Pendola.
How do you get a cake out of a bundt pan?
“Since most bundt pans are ornamental, greasing is required. “Take special attention to the pan’s nooks and crannies,” Norton advises. According to Pendola, a well-greased pan should allow the cake to come out cleanly. “Let it cool on a wire rack for 10 to 20 minutes until the pan is cool enough to handle but not cooled completely. After that, invert onto a wire rack. If your pan was properly greased and your cake is baked through, you shouldn’t have any problems. If it’s obstinate, wriggle or tap it,” she suggests.
How do you grease a bundt pan?
“Grease your bundt pan well with softened unsalted butter and nonstick cooking spray. To get into all the nooks and crannies of your bundt pan, use a paper towel or pastry brush. Then, for good measure, spray with cooking spray. Butter provides taste and lets you to see confirm that your pan is fully covered. Don’t use melted butter, as it will not coat the pan and blend in with the batter,” says Pendola.
“Keep in mind that adding butter will cause your cake to brown, so if you’re making a lemon or vanilla cake, you might want to stick with spray,” Norton advises. “A thin coating of flour may also assist here.” Be sparing with flour, however, as it can leave a chalk-like film on the cake if you use too much, according to Pendola, who forgoes flour at this step.
Do you put a bundt pan directly on the oven rack?
According to Norton and Pendola, baking a bundt cake instead of a sheet pan results in a more equal cake. “It uniformly distributes the bundt pan on the rack. Since it is circular and usually fluted, it has a greater chance of not sitting evenly on the rack,” says Pendola. “Also, if you happen to overfill your pan, the baking sheet allows you to catch any mess before it hits the bottom of your oven.”
What is the best material for Bundt cake pan?
Although glass, stoneware, and silicone bundt pans are available, the general agreement among professional and amateur bakers is that metal—either aluminum or coated steel—is the ideal material in which to bake a bundt cake, due to its sturdiness and uniform and efficient heat transfer.
Is Nordic Ware better than Wilton?
Wilton pans won out above Nordic Ware pans in both categories, giving greater design features and a better value.
Are there different types of Bundt pans?
Material – You could go with the classic aluminum pan or spring for ceramic (my preference), silicone, or even glass. Pay close attention to the nonstick coating as well.
Are silicone bundt pans good?
And while silicone pans can easily release the cake once baked, they are too unstable for a heavy Bundt cake batter, meaning they won’t hold the decorative shape well. Use a light-colored aluminum pan to assist prevent overbrowning.