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Bundt cakes can be amazingly beautiful, with intricate details and designs (and even holiday-appropriate shapes from haunted houses to pine trees) standing out in sharp relief—if you manage to get them out of the pan in one piece, without any of the top layer sticking to the Bundt pan and blurring the details.
To prevent that kitchen tragedy, here are tips and tricks for how to get Bundt cake out of the pan, sourced in part from historical Chowhound community knowledge.
1. Even if your pan is nonstick, grease and flour the entire interior extremely well, covering every single nook, cranny, curlicue, and divot. Use a pastry brush to liberally coat the inside with melted butter, coconut oil, or shortening, then spoon in plenty of flour (or cocoa for chocolate cakes) and tilt, tap, and rotate the pan until every inch is covered. Tap the excess out into the compost.
2. Another option is to use a baking spray (these incorporate both flour and oil). Just be sure to spray every single centimeter and don’t stop at a modest spritz.
3. Whichever method you choose, prepare the pan right before you pour in the batter. This is per the recommendation of King Arthur Flour (baking experts, of course), and is because the nonstick finish on most Bundt pans can make the fat run off the sides and pool in the bottom, leaving spots for cake to stick. (Yes, you really do still need to grease and flour nonstick Bundt pans.)
4. No matter what your recipe says, don’t attempt to unmold your cake until at least half an hour has passed after baking. Let the pan sit on an elevated cooling rack during that time, instead of right on the countertop.
5. If your cake doesn’t want to come out, run a small silicone spatula around the edges, including the center tube. Be gentle so as not to smush any of the details, then try unmolding again.
6. If it still won’t come out, try a little sauna. Cover your Bundt pan tightly with foil first. Then, you can either soak a kitchen towel in hot water, wring it out (use silicone barbecue mitts to protect your hands), and drape it over the top for 15 minutes, or fill your sink with hot water, place the towel in a ring inside, and place the pan on top, with another towel draped over the entire sink to trap the steam. After 15 minutes, try unmolding the cake again.
And if it still sticks and breaks, just turn it into a trifle or cake pops and it will taste just as good.
Nordic Ware Ultimate Bundt Cleaning Tool, $7.50 on Amazon
This tool with an angled brush, flat scraper, and pointed pick is specifically designed for cleaning detailed Bundt pans (which in turn makes them less likely to cling to future cakes).
Bundt Cake Pans
These are just some of our favorite options, but Bundt pans come in a huge variety of styles.
Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Bundt Pan, $9.50 on Amazon
The basic Bundt pan, which should still be greased and floured though it's nonstick.
Boxiki Kitchen Silicone Bundt Pan, $29.90 on Amazon
Same goes for this silicone model, but it should clean up more easily.
Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Heritage Bundt Pan, $31.03 on Amazon
A more modern look for your Bundt cakes..
Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt Pan, $48.64 on Amazon
Geometric details are great for catching thin glazes.
Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Anniversary Bundtlette Pan, $27.23 on Amazon
For those brave enough to unmold multiple Bundt cakes at a time.
Bundt Cake Recipes
Try your newfound knowledge out with some of our best Bundt cake recipes—and see alternative uses for your Bundt pan in between cakes.
This simple but rich cake tastes of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, and vanilla, plus a bit of rum from the glaze. Sour cream helps keep the crumb tender, and a shower of powdered sugar just before serving is a nice touch. Get our Cinnamon Walnut Bundt Cake recipe.
Red velvet cake is even better in Bundt form, and the de rigueur cream cheese frosting means it doesn’t even matter if your cake sticks a bit since the top will be covered up (so it’s probably not the time to break out your fanciest pan either…unless you’ve found a Bundt cake pan in the shape of an armadillo). Get our Red Velvet Bundt Cake recipe.
This recipe from the “Modern Potluck” cookbook is wonderfully moist (sorry, but it is). It’s also nicely spiced with black pepper and cardamom in addition to the usual cinnamon and cloves, and has chocolate chips speckled throughout for a lovely sweet contrast. Bonus: It’s a one-bowl affair. Get the Applesauce Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake recipe.
This is a buttery vanilla cake (with vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract) that includes a bit of lemon juice and Greek yogurt in the batter, plus fresh strawberries suspended in the golden crumb. It’s topped off with a simple glaze that’s thin enough to highlight all the details of your particular pan shape. Get our Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake recipe.
Pumpkin spice season doesn’t have to be all about pie. This easy Bundt cake captures all the favorite flavors of fall (pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg), and includes a luscious salted caramel sauce to pour on top. Some whipped cream wouldn’t be unwelcome at this pumpkin party. Get our Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake recipe.
Guinness (or any other stout you like) adds even more depth and richness to a gingerbread batter, and helps ensure another moist Bundt cake too. If you don’t want to use beer, replace it with an equal amount of brewed espresso or strong coffee—it won’t taste like coffee, but will enrich the flavor and texture of the cake. We use a salted caramel sauce drizzle here too, to great effect. Get our Guinness Gingerbread Bundt Cake recipe.
If you prefer chocolate, this deep, dark cake has plenty (in the form of unsweetened chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips), plus espresso to intensify the flavor, and bourbon because why not? We like to top if off with espresso bourbon caramel—and again, maybe some whipped cream too. Get our Mississippi Mud Cake recipe.
Or take a more classic approach with the chocolate and peanut butter combo; this rich chocolate cake has a peanut butter swirl inside and a thick bittersweet chocolate glaze plus salted roasted peanuts on top. Get our Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake recipe.
This recipe calls for a tube pan, which is basically just a simpler form of Bundt pan, though some tube pans also have removable bottoms. You should still have success making this autumnal apple cake in a Bundt pan as long as you remember to grease and flour it well. If the gooey caramel glaze makes it stick and crumble, just serve it in small dishes with whipped cream and extra chopped toasted pecans, and call it a trifle. Get our Apple Bundt Cake recipe.
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