Bundt cakes are rich and indulgent, which makes us question their nutritional value. You’re probably wondering: Are Bundt cakes bad for you?
Let’s find out whether Bundt cakes have a place in your diet. We’ll also explore ways to make them healthier.
What makes Bundt cake a Bundt cake isn’t the flavor but the decorative donut-shaped pan it’s baked in. The sturdy cast aluminum pan is ideal for dense cakes that can hold their shape, such as pound cakes.
Invented by H. Dave Dalquist, the Bundt pan is a nod to the German word “bund,” which means “group of people.” Its festive, fluted shape screams “party time,” so the name is pretty spot-on.
Bundt cakes come in all flavors, from classic vanilla to decadent chocolate to fruity lemon or blueberry. The Bundt cake Tom Cruise gifts his Hollywood friends for holidays has coconut flakes and cream cheese frosting.
With so many mouth-watering options, it’s hard to resist indulging in a slice (or two). It’s okay to have it on special occasions, but Bundt cakes shouldn’t be a substitute for real food.
Check out why you should only eat Bundt cake in moderation:
A one-twelfth piece of an 8-inch diameter Bundt cake (without icing) contains 246 calories. That’s roughly 12% of a 2000-calorie diet.
To put that into perspective, burning 246 calories requires any of the following:
- 25 minutes of running
- 37 minutes of cycling
- 1 ½ hours cleaning
Meanwhile, here are the calorie contents of a serving of different flavors of a well-loved Bundt cake brand:
- Classic Vanilla Bundt Cake: 280 calories
- White Chocolate Rasberry Bundt Cake: 280 calories
- Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake: 290 calories
- Lemon Bundt Cake: 290 calories
- Pecan Praline Bundt Cake: 300 calories
- Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake: 330 calories
- Strawberries and Cream Bundt Cake: 360 calories
A slice of generic Bundt cake has 9.9 g of fat, 2.7 g of which is saturated. Two tablespoons of cream cheese frosting contain 5.7 g of fat (137 cal), while chocolate glaze contains 2 g (129 cal).
Bundt cake ingredients like butter and heavy cream are rich in saturated or trans fats, which raises bad cholesterol. In high amounts, trans fat increases your risk for heart disease.
Nutritionists recommend that fats shouldn’t exceed 20–35% of your daily calorie requirements. In particular, you should keep trans fat to less than 10%, so try to replace it with unsaturated fat as much as possible.
Depending on the recipe, a slice of Bundt cake has around 17–38 g of sugar. Each gram of sugar is equivalent to 4 calories, so that’s about 68–152 calories per serving.
The American Heart Association suggests limiting the daily sugar intake to 25 g (100 cal) for women and 36 g (150 cal) for men. That said, a single slice of Bundt cake can provide more than the recommended added sugar.
So, think twice before reaching for that second slice. Too much sugar can lead to obesity, diabetes, and chronic inflammation.
Fortunately, you transform a Bundt cake into a healthier treat without sacrificing flavor. Here are some ways you can make Bundt cakes healthier so you can enjoy them guilt-free:
Instead of white flour, use whole grain flour to reap greater health benefits.
Although it makes for a denser Bundt cake, it’s a small price to pay for the increased fiber content it provides. Not to mention, it gives it a slightly nutty flavor.
You can try wheat, barley, or oat alone or in mixes. You can also add herbs or seeds for extra crunch and taste.
Consider substituting butter and refined oil with cold-pressed sunflower or rapeseed oil as a heart-friendly alternative. Not only does this lower the trans fat content in your Bundt cake, but it also adds a lighter and moister texture to it.
Additionally, these oils are excellent sources of antioxidants, such as tocopherols and carotenoids. As such, look for recipes that use oil instead of butter for an accurate measurement.
When choosing a baking spread for your Bundt cake, you should always check the label for trans fat.
Fruits and veggies can add fiber and sweetness to your Bundt cake while keeping it moist at the same time. Besides, they’re jam-packed with nutrients!
These fruits and vegetables go well in Bundt cakes:
Some of these ingredients are naturally sweet, so you don’t need to add as much sugar to your recipe.
Another way to make your Bundt cake healthier is by topping it with nuts. Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashew nuts have impressive nutrient profiles.
Brazil nuts are one of the most abundant dietary sources of selenium, which boosts DNA synthesis and thyroid hormone production.
While egg whites have fewer nutrients than whole eggs, they’re lower in fat and calories and cholesterol-free. Their low protein-to-calorie ratio makes them a popular food for weight loss.
What’s more, egg whites can make your Bundt cake lighter and fluffier!
No matter what food you’re chowing down on, eating in moderation is key.
If you have a sweet tooth and can’t resist a sugary treat, cut your Bundt cake into tinier portions. Limit yourself to one piece daily and save the rest in the fridge.
When eating your Bundt cake, savor the flavor in small nibbles. Eating a whole slice in one go just makes you want more!
Instead of the traditional butter and refined sugar frosting, use sugar-free sweeteners like Stevia and whole food ingredients. For example, avocados are chockfull of healthy fats and add creaminess to your icing.
Another option is coconut milk or cream. It is naturally sweet and has a tropical flavor that pairs well with many desserts.
If you’re looking for a caffeine boost, coffee complements chocolate cakes nicely. Meanwhile, the tangy flavor of lemon gives a lovely contrast to sweeter treats.
For a unique twist, use matcha cashews to lend a green color and subtle earthy flavor to your Bundt cake. Sweet potatoes and tahini paste are also superb choices for healthier frosting.
Lastly, use these natural food dyes in place of artificial food coloring:
- Cacao powder
- Fresh fruits, like mangoes, oranges, and berries
So, are Bundt cakes bad for you? Bundt cakes are a flavorful treat to enjoy occasionally. Like any other sweet treat, they can be high in calories, sugar, and fat. But that doesn’t mean they have to be unhealthy.
Swap out some ingredients, cut back on portions, or add nutritious toppings, and you can indulge in a Bundt cake slice without feeling guilty. Just make sure to eat it in moderation and with a mindful approach to your overall diet and lifestyle.
With a little effort, you can have your Bundt cake and eat it too!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.