The Bundt pan, first sold by Minnesota's Nordic Ware company over 60 years ago, generated a whole new type of cake: elegant yet easy, simple yet striking. Iced, showered with sugar, drizzled with glaze, or simply left plain to showcase its graceful shape, the Bundt cake is an all-American classic.
Before you begin —
First, check your recipe size
A typical cake recipe calls for a 9" x 13" pan, two 9" rounds, three 8" rounds, or 2 dozen cupcakes. This size recipe makes about 6 cups of batter, and will fit in most Bundt pans.
Next, check your pan's capacity
You might have a 10-cup Bundt pan, or a 12-cup, or something in between. Bundt pans can vary in width and depth, too. Rather than try to match volume to dimensions to capacity, simply measure your pan's bakeable capacity by pouring water to within 1 1/4" of the top rim. Measure the water; this is your pan's true baking capacity.
Finally, match recipe to pan
10-cup Bundt pan
A typical cake recipe — one calling for a 9" x 13" pan, two 9" round pans, or three 8" round pans — will fit in a 10-cup bundt pan, which has a bakeable capacity of about 6 cups. Fill the pan to within about 1 1/4" of the top rim.
A smaller pan
If you're making a typical cake recipe in a smaller Bundt pan, one whose bakeable capacity is less than 6 cups, you'll have excess batter. Again, only fill the pan to within about 1 1/4" of the top rim; use any leftover batter to make cupcakes.
A larger pan
If you're making a typical cake recipe in a larger Bundt pan, the finished cake will be smaller, though still retain its pretty design. The cake may take slightly less time to bake; start checking 15 minutes before the end of the minimum baking time.
How to make a Bundt cake
Thoroughly grease the pan (including non-stick pans); vegetable oil pan spray works well. If your pan isn't non-stick, grease it and then sprinkle with flour, tapping out any excess.
Slowly pour batter into the pan, leaving at least 1 1/4" space at the top for expansion.
Gently tap the pan several times on the countertop to dislodge any bubbles; smooth the batter with a spatula.
Set the pan on a baking sheet for easier handling, and to catch any potential spills.
Bake as directed. Remove the baked cake from the oven, and immediately loosen its edges with a thin spatula or table knife.
Turn the pan upside down onto a cooling rack. After 10 minutes, lift the pan off the cake.
Making your favorite recipe gluten-free
Want to make your favorite Bundt cake gluten-free? All it takes is substituting our gluten-free Measure for Measure flour for the all-purpose or cake flour in the recipe — no further adjustments needed.
- Use a marble cake recipe, one with two different flavors/colors of batter.
- Pour one batter into the pan.
- Drop scoops of the alternate batter atop the first batter.
- Use a table knife to gently and briefly swirl the two batters together, creating a marbled effect.
- Bake as directed.
Filled (or tunnel) cake
- Spoon about 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
- Distribute the filling atop the batter, centering it within the ring of batter so it doesn't touch the sides of the pan. Pat it down gently.
- Dollop the remaining batter on top, again smoothing it with a spatula.
- Bake as directed.
- Chips, nuts, and dried fruit are tasty additions to many types of Bundt cake.
- To avoid add-ins sinking to the bottom of the cake, choose a cake that starts with thick batter.
- Stir add-ins into the thick batter before scooping it into the pan.
- Make sure your pan is large enough to accommodate add-ins.
- See helpful details: Bundt cake mix-ins: 10 tips for perfect results
The icing on the cake
Bundt cakes can be enjoyed plain, or with a variety of icings or glazes. Here are some suggestions for finishing off your cake.
A clear glaze moistens cake, and can add flavor as well. It's especially helpful for cakes that won't be served the same day, as it helps keep them soft.
- Lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit juice and granulated sugar makes a tasty glaze for citrus-type cakes. Combine sugar and juice to taste, using anywhere from 1 part sugar to 2 parts juice, to 1 part juice to 2 parts sugar.
- Simple syrup — equal parts sugar and water by volume, simmered until the sugar dissolves — can be flavored to taste with vanilla, almond, or the extract or liqueur of your choice.
- For greatest penetration, poke the cake all over with a toothpick. Gently brush or pat the prepared glaze onto the hot cake, using several coats.
The simplest icing is made from confectioners' sugar mixed with enough milk or cream to make it "drizzlable."
- For added richness, replace some of the milk or cream with melted butter. For flavor, add a pinch of salt, and flavor to taste with your favorite extract.
- Add liquid gradually when mixing; just a half teaspoon too much liquid can turn icing from perfect to watery.
- If you're going to drizzle icing artfully, start drizzling over a piece of waxed or parchment paper until you get the hang of it.
- Icing can be brushed or patted on cake rather than drizzled. Make sure it's thin enough that it can be brushed on. This will create a satiny, opaque "shell-coat" that not only looks pretty, but helps keep the cake moist.
A simple dusting of confectioners' sugar is often the perfect final touch.
- To prevent confectioners' sugar from dissolving and disappearing, sprinkle completely cooled cake with sugar just before serving.
- If you want to dust cake with sugar well before serving, use non-melting topping sugar, which won't disappear on a moist cake.
Bundt cakes can range from the simplest vanilla pound cake to tantalizing combinations of fruit, nuts, and chocolate. Enjoy some of our favorites:
Perfect for the holidays
You might have some questions about Bundt cakes, especially if you've never baked one before. How can I keep my cake from sticking? Can I bake a 9" x 13" cake recipe in a Bundt pan? Contact us: we can help.
And while we're a wealth of knowledge around cake, our area of expertise extends far beyond that. Our seasoned staff of bakers knows bread and pizza, brownies and cookies, pie crust and biscuits and muffins. If you can't figure out why your shortbread crumbles or your sourdough isn't sour enough, we can help. We're available via phone, email, or live chat 7 days a week.
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