Bundt cakes and pound cakes are two of the most popular cakes all over the world. Bundt cakes are famous for their sophisticated shape, while bakers love pound cakes for their simple, available ingredients.
Naturally, you might reach for either of the two common recipes when you’re thinking of baking. What you might not know is that pound cakes have a fixed recipe, while Bundt cakes can be anything you want!
Do you want to find out more? In this article, we’ll compare Bundt cake vs. pound cake, so you’ll know which tasty cake to bake next. Let’s dive in!
What Is Bundt Cake?
Bundt cakes originated in Europe. First, the cake was called Gugelhupf, and yeast was the main leavening agent.
Furthermore, Gugelhupf didn’t have the traditional round shape of Bundt cakes. Instead, it was more tubular.
It wasn’t until the 1950s, when the Bundt cakes got incredibly popular in America, that Bundt cakes took the shape that we’re now familiar with.
Bundt cakes don’t have a single recipe! Any cake can be a Bundt cake if you use the correct pan.
Still, Bundt cakes traditionally were airy, fluffy, and included fruits. That’s why sponge and angel food cakes would be ideal in a Bundt pan to replicate the traditional recipe.
What Is Pound Cake?
Pound cakes are probably one of the most popular cake recipes. This recipe has stood the test of time from the 1700s to this day!
The original recipe originated in Eastern Europe. Yet, due to their simplicity, pound cakes traveled around the globe.
Many countries have their own version of a pound cake. The classic dessert is known as quatre quarts in France, which appropriately translates to four-fourths!
In Mexico, they add raisins and nuts to the cake and call it panqué. Germans’ interpretation of pound cake is rührkuchen. In Britain, glacé cherries are a main ingredient, and the cake is called a cherry cake.
As the name suggests, pound cakes use a pound of each flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. This makes for a big cake that can feed the entire family.
Later, the recipe called for a couple of alterations, from reducing the quantity of the ingredients to adding flavors such as vanilla or almond extract.
The Differences Between Bundt Cake and Pound Cake
Though Bundt cake refers to the shape of the baked good and pound cake refers to the weight of the ingredients, you can still compare the two cakes in the following aspects:
The main difference between Bundt cake and pound cake is the shape. While Bundt cakes have a distinct donut shape with fluting along the sides, pound cakes come in all shapes and sizes!
Typically, bakers use a loaf pan to make pound cakes. Yet, many homemade pound cakes can be made in a springform or a circular pan.
You can even use a Bundt pan for your pound cake, so you’ll have both types of cakes in one!
Pound cakes are a little denser than regular cakes. That’s because they have equal parts egg, flour, sugar, and butter. In contrast, most Bundt cakes should be airy and fluffy.
Still, if you want to make the traditional pound cake in a Bundt pan, it’ll turn out equally delicious. Though, the texture might surprise your guests!
Bundt cakes don’t have one specific taste. You can make a chocolate Bundt cake or a lemon on. In other words, only the shape of the Bundt cake matters, not the taste.
Pound cakes are the complete opposite! Their distinct flavor is what sets them apart from other cakes. Pound cakes are pretty well-balanced. They aren’t too sweet, too fluffy, or complicated.
Additionally, pound cakes usually don’t contain any flavor enhancers. So, they taste plain and simple. Yet, you can add vanilla depending on the recipe you’re using.
Ingredients and Preparation
As mentioned earlier, Bundt cakes don’t have one recipe, so there isn’t a set list of ingredients for them. You can prepare them any way you like.
This means you can use cake mix for your Bundt cake without the need for a hefty list of ingredients. Some people even make Bundt jello cakes!
On the other hand, pound cakes are pretty straightforward. Not only do pound cakes have specific ingredients, but there’s a specific method of preparation.
While you might find pound cake mixes, they won’t taste quite like the classic homemade version.
Which Is Better?
There’s no way for you to compare Bundt cakes and pound cakes. It depends on what ingredients you have on hand, your baking skills, and the occasion.
If you don’t know much about baking, going with a Bundt cake would be a safer choice. Though you can make an intricate cake, or even a pound cake, in a Bundt pan, you can also save yourself some time and effort and use cake mix!
Moreover, Bundt cakes have a great advantage due to the distinct shape of the pan. More heat comes in contact with the batter, so it bakes evenly. There’s just less room for error.
Alternatively, classic pound cake recipes are difficult to master. The traditional recipe doesn’t include any leavening agents. Instead, you incorporate the air during the mixing process.
For the perfect pound cake, you need to pay attention to the order in which you mix your ingredients. Otherwise, you might run into one of many pound cake problems, such as the cake shrinking or tasting eggy!
That’s not all! You might think the ingredients of a pound cake are simple. However, classic pound cakes are dense, which calls for all-purpose flour.
There’s no doubt that Bundt cakes look exceptionally elegant and impressive, even if you use a simple recipe!
For this reason, Bundt cakes can be a stylish addition to any party. You can even take it one step further by making a marble Bundt cake or a red velvet Bundt cake. The choices are endless!
In contrast, pound cakes are perfect as a side with afternoon tea. You can have it with cream or jam as a sweet brunch. Yet, it just doesn’t pair with parties or special occasions.
Generally, cakes aren’t expensive, especially homemade ones. Still, Bundt cakes can be significantly cheaper or more expensive than pound cakes, depending on the recipe.
If you’re on a budget, using a cake mix for your Bundt cake can save you a couple of bucks. That said, you’ll need to make about 10 to 12 cups of batter to fill a classic Bundt pan.
As for pound cakes, it’s costly if you’re following a traditional recipe. The reason is simply the number of eggs, which are getting pricier by the day!
While you can get away with using one or two eggs or even egg substitutes in a Bundt cake, pound cakes need a pound of eggs! This means at least nine medium-sized eggs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Bundt cake a pound cake?
Your Bundt cake can definitely be a pound cake if you use a pound cake recipe and bake it in a Bundt pan. There isn’t a specific recipe for Bundt cakes, and there isn’t a specific shape for pound cakes.
What’s the best cake to make in a Bundt pan?
You can make any cake you want in a Bundt pan. Usually, Bundt cakes are airy, so Angel food cake would be ideal. You might also add icing on top of the cake to give it an even more elegant look.
What type of flour is best for a pound cake?
You might think that using cake flour is the best option for any type of cake. However, pound cakes are traditionally dense, while cake flour is light.
This means all-purpose flour would be a better choice for pound cakes as it contains more protein, making for a denser cake.
So, what’s the difference between Bundt cake vs. pound cake?
Any cake can be a Bundt cake if you use a Bundt pan. Pound cakes aren’t as flexible, though. You need to use a pound of each of the main ingredients, or at least equal parts flour, sugar, eggs, and butter!
Accordingly, a pound cake can be a Bundt cake if you bake it in the correct pan! That said, Bundt cakes are traditionally fluffier.
If you’re wondering which cake to bake, you might find Bundt cakes easier as you’re not confined to a single recipe. The pan also helps the cake bake evenly, and you’ll end up with an impressive-looking dessert!
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.