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Many people are familiar with the Bundt® cake, a circular cake with a hole in the center. This shape is made possible by cooking the cake in a Bundt® pan, which was invented in the mid 20th century by the company Nordic Ware. Its founder, H. David Dalquist, was inspired by the heavy pans that were use to make the popular European cake kugel, but these pans were so heavy they were not always practical for use, and Dalquist sought a means for creating a pan that would weigh less, eventually lighting on the idea of using aluminum to create the Bundt® pan.
It can’t be said that initially these pans were hugely popular, but this changed after a Pillsbury baking contest about 15 years later. One of the prizewinners was a Bundt® cake. News of this win and a Pillsbury line of cake mixes for Bundt® pans greatly increased demand for the pans and they remain among the best selling cake pans today.
It’s difficult to describe flavor or type of Bundt® cake because there is vast variety and a host of recipes in books and online. One of the books considered most useful for creating lots of varied cakes, and some savory recipes too, is Bundt Cake Bliss: Delicious Desserts from Midwest Kitchens by Susanna Short. The cookbook features a foreword by the wife of H. David Dalquist and focuses solely on the many ways that the cake can be interpreted and the pan can be used.
Also, there are still plenty of cake mixes that are perfect for Bundt® cake pans. In appearance, most of these cakes look similar, with slightly fluted tops and sides. Some bakers prefer using mini-pans, which make miniature versions of the classic Bundt®. Color of each cake may depend on ingredients and some of the cakes are topped with things like powdered sugar, whipped cream, or glaze.
Pound cake recipes are some of the most adaptable if people want to make a Bundt® cake. Yet there’s no reason to stop there. Other bakers choose cakes that aren’t quite as rich and there are excellent low fat Bundt® cake recipes too. Some cakes have a center filling, which can be accomplished by filling the cake pan part of the way with batter, and then adding the filling, before topping the pan off with the rest of the batter. Alternately, some people inject filling into a cake after it is baked.
Traditional Bundt® cake flavors can include classics like vanilla, chocolate and lemon. However, a search through Short’s book and through online recipes will give bakers a plethora of choices in flavor and ideas. Some of the more unusual recipes incorporate ingredients like root beer, various kinds of alcohol, pumpkin, prunes or ginger and fruit. For those without much time, there are lots of cake mixes available that are perfect for Bundt® pans and many of these can be adapted and made more special by adding extra ingredients.
And if you bake a cake in a Bundt pan, either use one that is nonstick, or make sure you get a cooking spray or other oil or butter into every single crevice, even up the tube part. Otherwise, you'll end up with a lot of cake still in the pan.
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