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What is a Bundt Pan?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2016
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The Bundt™ pan was invented by H. David Dalquist in 1950, and remains a registered trademark of his company Nordic Ware®, which has sold over 50 million of these popular cake pans. The Minneapolis Hadassah Society Chapter in particular requested Dalquist’s help to design a simple pan for the German coffee cake called Kugelhoph, which was then popular in the US.

Up until Dalquist’s design, pans for the German coffee cake were extremely challenging to work with, since the cake could easily stick to the inside of the ridged pan. Dalquist set to work designing a lightweight pan from aluminum, resulting in the modern Bundt pan. Later designs added to the appeal by including non-stick coating.

Cooks can find some modern varieties of the Bundt pan with extra designs, like a square castle shape. Cupcake pans with this design are also popular. For young sports fans, cooks can consider a stadium rectangular pan, which can be decorated with marzipan soccer or footballs and even sugar grass.

The interior of the Bundt pan has small curves or folds so that, when the cake is turned out, it is in the shape of a pretty ring with raised curves. Many recipes and a variety of cake mixes have been created specifically for the pan shape. Despite the improved Dalquist design, if the pan is not prepared properly and the cake cooked correctly, it can stick, leaving half of the cake still left in the pan.

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There are a few ways to address this. First, cooks should make sure that the cake is thoroughly cooked. An undercooked cake will often break when the baker attempts to remove it from the pan. Second, the baker should either grease the pan thoroughly, paying particular attention to the small grooves, or alternately use a pan with a non-stick coating.

The folds in the pan are an excellent way to keep portion sizes regular. In fact, Dalquist designed the folds for easy portioning and cutting. Of course, some cakes may have frosting or glaze that somewhat disguise the regular rise and fall of the Bundt cake.

Since the Bundt pan is so widely popular, it has won several honors and distinctions. National Bundt Pan Day in the US is on 15 November, and people can celebrate by making a delicious round cake. Additionally, interested cooks can see some of the early pan designs at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C..

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amypollick
Post 3

@Millie: I think what's happening is the cake is just too dense for all the crevices in the Bundt pan. The weight of the cake is pulling it away in pieces, if that makes any sense.

You might try a regular tube pan. Not as decorative, but it might work better. You could also run a knife around the sides to help release the cake. And, if you get one with a removable bottom, you can line the bottom with parchment paper and it will be easier to get the cake off the bottom.

Have you tried this? Try getting a pastry brush and dipping it in softened butter or shortening, and brushing the Bundt pan, letting it "dry" and then spraying it with Baker's Joy?

But I'd try the tube pan and make a glaze or something to drizzle on the sides, for a more attractive cake.

anon136722
Post 2

I have a rich, dense carrot cake recipe with coconut and pineapple in it. I like using my Bundt pan, but no matter how I grease this pan, the cake sticks partially. How long should a dense Bundt cake be on cooling rack before you try to release it? Please advise. thanks --millie baker's Joy not much help, either.

anon44655
Post 1

Even a non-stick Bundt pan should get a coat of cooking spray. Take it from someone who knows...

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