I was watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding this weekend. I love that movie, especially the part where the groom's mother brings a 'bundt cake' to a huge family gathering, and the bride's mother fills the 'hole in the center' with a vase of flowers. I've seen these cakes mentioned in other movies too; in 'Erin Brockovich' the cake is a symbol of hospitality.
Well, bundt cakes really can't be grouped together. 'Bundt' isn't a flavor - it's a shape! The bundt pan was originally made by the NordicWare Company in the 1950s. In the Pillsbury Bake-Off® of 1966, the Tunnel of Fudge Cake, while not the Grand Prize winner, was a huge hit and demand for the specially shaped pans went through the roof.
Bundt pans look like a crimped tube pan, with swooping sides and a hole in the center. That hole helps the large cake bake evenly, since hot air can circulate all the way around the cake. The only problem I've ever had with bundt pans is removing the cake from the pan! Even the nonstick coating most pans have isn't enough. I used to grease and flour the heck out of these pans, but then I discovered baking spray, a combination of nonstick cooking sprays with flour. This wonderful product has made my cakes an absolute success every single time; I can't recommend it enough. I did try to use silicon bundt pans, but since I had a total failure with my first try, I can't recommend those! (If you've had good luck with them, write me and tell me about it - I'd love to know your secrets!)
Bundt cake recipes generally call for a 12-cup fluted bundt pan. This means that the pan holds 12 cups of liquid. If you aren't sure about the capacity of your pan(s), use water and a measuring cup to fill the pan and make sure you have the right size.
I have a nice new oven with a digital temperature control, and I've discovered another secret. If the recipe calls for baking the cake at 350 degrees F, as most of them do, I bake at 340 degrees F instead and add a few minutes to the baking time. This way, I've found the cake bakes all the way through with no wet layers, and the outside doesn't over brown. With an oven thermometer and a little fiddling, you can bake your bundt cakes at this temperature too. I also don't let the cakes cool as long as the directions say - five minutes is plenty. If they cool too long, they may stick and break apart, even with baking spray coating the pan.
There are now even some really fancy bundt pans on the market. The Cathedral Bundt pan and Sunflower and Star Bundt pans, along with the Castle Bundt pan, the Chrysanthemum Bundt pan, and the Mini Bundt pans make your cakes simply spectacular. Please remember, baking spray is even more essential with these deeply crenelated pans.
So try a few Bundt cake recipes this week. Be sure to read How to Make the Best Bundt Cakes before you start. They are delicious, some are even nutritious, and they are fun to make and eat.
Bundt Cake Recipes
Blueberry Bundt Cake
This beautiful cake is so perfect for a quick breakfast on the run or dessert after a family dinner.
Apple Walnut Bundt Cake
This cake is perfect for fall, when apples are at their best. This is a pretty nutritious cake too, combining oil with apples and walnuts.
Chocolate Macaroon Bundt Cake
This is the cake my husband usually asks me to make for his birthday. It's a delightfully tender chocolate cake with a coconut filling rippling through the center.
Peanut Butter Bundt Cake
I make this cake a lot - it's so easy, very delicious, and keeps very well. Try it!
Graham Cracker Cake
This wholesome cake is made with graham cracker crumbs, orange juice, and brown sugar. I like it frosted with a cream cheese glaze that isn't quite as sweet, but you can make it with a brown sugar glaze too.
Chocolate Chip Banana Cake
I love anything banana flavored, and this cake is exceptional. The velvety texture is accented with chocolate chips; what a perfect combination!
Glazed Lemon Pound Cake
This delicious, refreshing, and classic cake is filled with citrus juices and is glazed with a lemon-powdered sugar glaze.
Tunnel of Fudge Cake
This is the original recipe, made with a non-Pillsbury frosting mix. It still works well, and is quite a decadent treat.
Updated Tunnel of Fudge Cake
Because Pillsbury no longer makes frosting mixes, this is the 'updated' version of the classic cake that started it all.
Milky Way Cake
Oh boy, this cake is so wonderfully rich and decadent you must serve it in very thin slices. I usually make this cake the day after Halloween!
Classic Pound Cake
Smooth and velvety pound cake is the perfect base for many desserts, including Strawberry Shortcake, Cranberry Trifle, Dobos Torte, and Red, White, and Blue Trifle. It's also perfect by itself with a cold glass of milk.