Cakes & Cupcakes Resources

A Better Baker: Bundt Cake Basics

May 13, 2020

Bundt Cake Basics is part of our series A Better Baker. Everyone loves a classic bundt cake. They’re easy to […]

Bundt Cake Basics is part of our series A Better Baker.

Everyone loves a classic bundt cake. They’re easy to make, delicious to eat, and they look super pretty right out of the pan. Follow these tips and tricks to make simple and delicious bundts that bake up perfectly every time.


If you’ve been following along here for a little while, you know that bundt cakes are by far one of my favorite desserts to make. They are easy to bake, delicious to eat and they are as pretty as can be right out of the pan. What’s not to love??

Bundt cakes make a simple, family friendly weeknight dessert and are fancy enough to serve up at the most special cake worthy occasions. With their moist crumb, delicate texture and signature shape, bundt cakes are a foolproof dessert that you’ll come back to again and again. They’re a real crowd pleaser and easy enough for even beginner cake makers to bake with no fancy layering or decorating skills required. My kinda cake!!

Flipping a bundt cake out of the pan can be a tiny bit stressful. We’ve all experienced that dreaded moment when we flip it over only to find out that half of the cake stuck to the bottom of the pan. It’s never fun. Not to worry. I’m sharing my best tips and tricks to bake a showstopping bundt every single time. Keep reading and then go bake this positively delicious Apple Cider Bundt Cake. Or if you’re in the mood for chocolate, you’ll love this Double Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake.


What makes bundt cakes special?

Bundt cakes are a simple and easy dessert that you can throw together in under an hour. Not only are these pretty round cakes with their signature hole in the center a breeze to bake, but they make a delicious dessert straight from the oven. Bundt cakes can be dressed up with a dusting of confectioners sugar, a swoosh of frosting, or just a simple vanilla glaze. I also love to drizzle bundt cakes with a decadent chocolate ganache or top a slice with a scoop of berries and a dollop of freshly whipped cream. 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to toppings and there is something for everyone when it comes to bundt cake flavors. My favorite is this Bailey’s Double Chocolate Bundt Cake. Because who doesn’t love a boozy bundt? When I’m in the mood for something on the lighter side I go for this Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake that reminds me of the one my grandmother used to make. And don’t even get me started on this Easy Butterscotch Bundt Cake that is just as perfect for a weekend breakfast as it is for dessert.


How to choose a bundt pan

My love for a beautiful bundt runs deep and I’ve got quite the collection of bundt pans to prove it. I’ve got old bundts, new bundts, antique bundts, and mini bundts. One can never have too many bundts if you ask me! A bundt pan can be plain, fluted, intrictate, or adorned. All have that signature ring shape that gives this all-American classic its well defined curves. Invented in the 1950’s by a young husband and wife in Minnesota, the bundt pan has become a popular kitchen essential among modern bakers and for good reason. There is a wide range of designs and sizes of the almighty bundt and a good sturdy pan will last you for years to come.

For best results, choose a bundt pan that has three key features. It should be made of metal, nonstick, and light in color. I love nerding out on the science of baking so let’s discuss.

Anodized aluminum pans work best since they are sturdy and conduct consistent heat. This helps to create an evenly baked cake. A nonstick finish is a must since this helps with the clean, easy release of the cake once baked. And light colored pans will leave you with a golden brown cake while darker colored pans often lead to over browning. Nordic Ware bundts are the gold standard of pans. Not sponsored, just a fan. They’re durable, well made and each one comes with a lifetime guarantee. Plus it’s good to know that Nordic Ware is a family owned company and their products are made here in the good U S of A. All good things in my book.


What size is best?

Bundt pans come in lots of shapes sizes but a 10 or 12-cup pan is standard for most recipes. This cup size refers to how much water the bundt pan holds when filled to the top. If you have an old bundt pan and aren’t sure what size it is, simply fill the pan to the rim with water one cup at a time, counting as you go. To prevent any future kitchen mishaps, it’s worth noting that this does not equate to the amount of batter you can fill your bundt pan with. Can any cake be baked in a bundt pan you ask? Well, yes and no. Not all cake recipes are dense enough to hold their shape when baked in a bundt. But as a rule of thumb, most standard 9 x 13 sheet cake recipes will bake up beautifully in a 10-cup bundt pan.

How to make the perfect bundt cake

Now that you know how to pick a winning bundt pan, let’s talk bundt cake basics. Turning out a beautiful bundt is easy if you follow a few important tips.

  1. Prep your pan. If you search the interwebs, you’ll notice a lot of debate on this topic. Some swear by greasing your bundt pan with butter and flour. Others are fans of brushing the inside of the pan with melted shortening. And some prefer to use a good quality non-stick baking spray and call it a day. I fall into the latter category and it works for me every time. Lots of bakers swear by Baker’s Joy which is a non-stick spray that contains flour. For chocolate bundts, dust a layer of sifted cocoa powder over the nonstick baking spray. Works like a charm for an easy release and keeps your bundt looking rich and dark. I should say that my bundt pans are all relatively new and well taken care of. If your bundt pan is old or has visible scratches, it may be more difficult to release the cake from the pan after baking. Try each method and go with what works best for you. Pro-tip: bundt pans can last a lifetime if cared for properly. Never run them through the dishwasher or use a knife to pry out your cake. Dented, warped bundt pans are make it more difficult to easily release the cake. It pays to be nice to your bundt.
  2. Measure carefully. Baking is a science and it’s easy to throw off a recipe by adding too much {or too little} of an ingredient. Too much flour is often the culprit for dry, dense cakes so be sure you are measuring this key ingredient correctly. For best results, do not scoop your flour directly from the bag. Instead, use a spoon to first fluff the flour inside the bag or container and then use the spoon to scoop the flour into a measuring cup. Do not pack the flour down or tap the cup on the countertop to level it. Once there is a small heap of flour over the top of the measuring cup, use the back of a table knife to swipe across the top of the measuring cup and level it off. And while too much flour can make a cake dry, too much sugar or leavening can make a cake fall.
  3. Don’t over mix. In terms of mixing your batter, less is more. We want a soft and tender crumb and over mixing the batter leads to a dense texture and can create a gummy cake. Mix until just a few streaks of flour remain and then stop there.
  4. Fill the pan carefully. To prevent air bubbles from popping up in your cake, slowly pour the batter into the prepared pan. Use a spatula or large spoon to guide the batter into place. Then tap the filled pan firmly on the countertop two or three times to release any extra air bubbles before baking.
  5. Don’t over bake. All ovens run differently so it’s important to keep an eye on your cake as it bakes. Resist the temptation to open and close the oven every five minutes however. Heat escapes each time the door is opened which increases the baking time and can cause the cake to fall. To check for doneness, use a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake. It should come out clean or with just a few crumbs remaining. If the cake is browning too quickly after 30 minutes in the oven, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and continue baking.


Master the flip

This is trickier than it sounds but don’t worry…you got this! Getting your bundt from the pan to the serving dish is a cinch if you follow two simple steps. First, allow the bundt to cool in the pan (on a cooling rack) for 10 minutes. Set your timer once the cake comes out of the oven and never wait more than 15 minutes to remove the cake as you will risk it sticking to the pan. Place a cooling rack or serving plate across the top of the bundt pan and holding tightly, flip it over in one quick motion to release. Second, if it does not fall from the pan immediately in one whole piece, turn the pan back over and allow it to cool in the pan for a few more minutes. Repeat the flip and tap the bottom of the pan firmly to help release the cake. If your cake comes out with a few missing pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan, don’t despair. The cake will still taste AH-mazing and you can hide anything under a thick layer of chocolate ganache. Like everything else, practice makes perfect, so if at first you don’t succeed – try, try again.


Tips for decorating your bundt cake

Thanks to their pretty shape and carved out ridges, a beautiful bundt can stand alone without any embellishment. But unlike a more fussy layer cake, decorating a bundt is, well –  a piece of cake. Bundt cakes are begging for a simple but impressive glaze to help show off those signature curves. Here’s a list of my favorite ways to top a bundt cake.

  • Two-ingredient chocolate ganache
  • Simple vanilla glaze
  • Tart citrus glaze
  • Salted caramel drizzle
  • Dusted with confectioners sugar
  • Fresh berries and whipped cream


How to freeze a bundt

As if we needed more to love about a bundt cake, they are easy to transport and are freezer friendly too. To freeze a whole bundt cake you’ll need to leave it unfrosted for best results. Simply cool the cake completely on a wire rack and wrap in two layers of plastic wrap. Then wrap in aluminum foil and place flat in the freezer for up to three months. To defrost the cake, remove the cake with the wrapping intact and defrost in the refrigerator overnight. You can also defrost the cake at room temperature on the kitchen counter if you want to speed up the process a bit. It’s important to leave the plastic wrap and foil on the cake while it defrosts so that the condensation that has formed collects on the wrapping and not on the cake. Once defrosted, decorate your cake with a glaze or drizzle and tah-dah…cake is served!


It’s easy to see why bundt cakes are everyone’s favorite. The more I make them, the more I love them. Bundt cakes are full of flavor, perfectly moist, easy to transport and super easy to throw together. Bundts are simple enough for anyone to make and classic enough to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Click on the links below for more foolproof bundt cake recipes perfect for your next cake eating occasion.


If you love Bundt cakes as much as I do, try these easy and delicious recipes:


  • Reply
    September 8, 2021 at 3:02 am

    Hi there, the dark chocolate cake in the photos – what recipe is that?
    Also do you use dutch cocoa powder in all your dark chocolate cakes? I have valrhona and callebeut cocoa dutched.

    I have tried using butter and flour method for greasing but it leaves white marks on the intricate design areas of the cake!
    I have also tried cake goop / homemade cake release and it does the same job of leaving white patches in the crevice areas.

    Will melted shortening work or does it have to be solid?

    Thank you

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      September 9, 2021 at 1:04 am

      Hi Tanya, the cake pictured is my Baileys Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake. I sometimes use cocoa powder to dust the inside of the pan but it depends on which bundt pan I am using. 95% of the time I just use a generous spray of Trader Joes canola oil baking spray. I never coat the pan with flour for the very reason you mentioned. I have a lot of success with the baking spray alone as long as the bundt pan has been well cared for.

Leave a Reply