Pay tribute to the Bundt, its history, and your mother this May with our Pecan-Bourbon Bundt Cake.
The distinctive ridged ring. The nostalgic design. The no-decoration-necessary final product. It’s no wonder the Bundt cake holds a firm place in American kitchens more than 60 years after Nordic Ware first developed it in 1950.
The company produced the pan in response to the Hadassah Society’s Minneapolis chapter, who asked Nordic Ware founder H. David Dalquist to create an aluminum pan modeled after the cast-iron Kugelhopf mold used in Eastern European baking. Dalquist obliged, manufacturing pans for the Hadassah members as well as several more to sell in area department stores.
Sales were slow until the 1960s, when Bundt cakes started appearing in America’s most beloved culinary competition: the Pillsbury Bake-Off. After that, its popularity grew, coming to a head in 1972, when Pillsbury released its Bundt cake mixes. Sales reached $25 million in the first year, making the Bundt cake one of Pillsbury’s most successful new product introductions ever.
And after all these years, the Test Kitchen has found that the original is still the best. In a testing of six models, our favorite was the Nordic Ware’s Anniversary Bundt Pan, a heavyweight, cast-aluminum model with a silver nonstick finish that produced nicely risen, golden-brown cakes that released perfectly. Nordic Ware also won our testing of mini Bundt pans, with their nonstick Platinum Anniversary Bundt-Lette Pan that produced adorable, shrunken Bundts that were easy to remove from the tray.
That easy release is the most important part of the pan. After all, what’s the advantage of a built-in, decorative exterior if it’s marred by tears? After unmolding lots of Bundt cakes unsuccessfully, we’ve concluded that it’s best to leave the cooking spray on the shelf. Instead, make a simple paste from 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 tablespoon flour (or cocoa powder for chocolate cakes) and apply it with a pastry brush. Using a brush allows you to thoroughly coat the surface of the pan, including all nooks and crannies, giving you easy, blemish-free removal with every cake.
Pan greased with regular cooking spray.
Pan greased with butter and flour mixture.