Have you ever heard that baking is more science than art? It’s true that precision matters, especially in cake recipes. Yet, there’s always a bit of room for creativity if you’re willing to try.
That said, with all the attractive designs of Bundt pans, you can’t help but wonder if you can use them for other purposes. I’m sure you’ve thought about the question “Can you bake a regular cake in a Bundt pan?” before.
Luckily, the answer is: Yes, you can.
In this article, you’ll learn the differences between regular cake and Bundt cake. You’ll also explore why you need a special pan for Bundt cakes. Then, I’ll give you a few tips to get perfect results baking a regular cake in a Bundt pan. Let’s make a delicious dessert!
What Is a Bundt Cake?
So, what’s the deal with Bundt cakes, and how are they different from regular cakes?
Primarily, the main difference between a Bundt cake and a regular cake has less to do with the ingredients than the pan itself.
In other words, you may think of it as a regular cake having an extreme makeover and turning into the belle of the ball! Simply put, the most essential element of a Bundt cake is its shape.
Generally, a cake baked in a Bundt pan has a doughnut-like shape. This means it ends up having a large hole in the middle and distinctive fluted outer edges. Moreover, such a cake would have a deeper brown color and slightly more well-done texture than its interior.
Consequently, a Bundt cake wouldn’t be easily distinguishable in a blind taste test. Instead, it would be more apparent only by sight.
What Is a Bundt Pan?
Principally, a Bundt pan is a container you make Bundt cake in. Well, duh!
Like the Bundt cake itself, the shape of the pan is what differentiates it from other baking vessels.
In essence, a Bundt pan looks a bit like a round, deep dish with a circular hole sticking up in the middle. Because of its shape, this hole is called a chimney.
Usually, the chimney is open and hollow, allowing air to circulate properly while the cake is baking. This way, more of the cake batter would be touching the pan itself than if you were baking a cake in a normal baking dish.
As a result, each piece of the cake gets an equivalent ratio of outer and inner cake. As such, a piece of Bundt cake has a more well-done texture around almost all of its outside while being soft and light inside. What a perfect formula!
The History of Bundt Cakes
As you may have guessed from the spelling, Bundt cake originated in Germany. However, for having no quintessential ingredients or recipe, it has taken on different forms in various places.
Traditionally, Bundt cake was known as Gugelhupf. Yet, in North Germany, where it was most popular, it went by the name Bundkuchen.
Over time, it became more widely popular, especially in the mid-twentieth century. That’s when the US-based cookware company “Nordic Ware” began manufacturing the pans (Today, Nordic Ware makes many different Bundt pan shapes that are quite spectacular).
Overall, many people became infatuated with the finished Bundt cake’s unique shape and impressive looks. That’s especially true for Americans who used Bundt cakes as a wonderful dessert centerpiece at family gatherings and holidays.
Since then, the Bundt cake has remained a popular dessert in the United States and worldwide.
Why Would You Want To Make a Regular Cake in a Bundt Pan?
Mainly, there are a couple of reasons why you might want to make a Bundt cake in a regular cake pan. Let’s look at a few of them.
- Stunning Beauty: The first and most obvious reason is to get that appealing Bundt cake shape. It truly is a beautiful dessert that looks lovely when frosted, decorated, or even sprinkled with powdered sugar.
- Baking Perfection: Some people like the way Bundt pans cook their delectable desserts. After all, it’s almost impossible to achieve that crispier exterior in a regular cake pan or baking pan.
- Vessel Availability: Another reason to use a Bundt pan instead of a regular pan is availability. Sometimes, your regular baking pan is dirty or being used for something else. That’s especially likely when hosting a large gathering and feeding many people.
Ingredients in a Bundt Cake vs Ingredients in a Regular Cake
Basically, there aren’t major differences between the ingredients of the two cakes. As a matter of fact, almost all cakes have four main ingredients, regardless of what else is in them. These ingredients are flour, sugar, fat (usually butter), and a binder (usually eggs).
Most cakes have additional ingredients, which include baking powder, baking soda, salt, milk, and other custom ingredients. For example, chocolate cake would obviously include cocoa or baker’s chocolate and so on.
Moreover, there are also cakes made for special diets. For vegan cakes, bakers usually replace the butter with another fat and the eggs with another binder (sometimes applesauce). As for gluten-free cakes, they leave out traditional flour and use suitable alternatives.
All in all, these are all going to be about the same for Bundt cakes and regular cakes.
How to Use a Bundt Pan for a Regular Cake Recipe
So, if you decide to give it a go and bake a regular cake in a Bundt pan, there are a few tips you need to take care of, which are:
1. Greasing and Dusting the Pan
Essentially, you need to grease your Bundt pan well. In fact, this is important no matter what you make in a Bundt pan. If it isn’t well-greased, it can be tough to get the contents out of the pan.
What’s more, whatever you make will lack that quintessential Bundt cake shape, with the fluted sides and hole in the middle. And where’s the fun in that?
To properly prepare a Bundt pan, apply a thin layer of fat (typically whatever fat you used in your recipe).
After applying the fat, you must sprinkle a thin layer of flour or another dry material, such as cocoa powder. Optimally, dust it over the pan and work it around. Once all the bottom and edges are completely covered, shake out the excess.
2. Using the Right Amount of Dough
It can be difficult to know how much batter your recipe will yield before you actually mix all the ingredients. As a general rule, your Bundt pan should be filled about two-thirds of the way. In all cases, you must never fill over three-fourths of the pan.
Otherwise, the batter could spill out, causing a huge mess. Plus, it makes removing the cake from the pan hard, destroying the shape of the finished cake. In all cases, you may need to experiment with your recipes to see how much they make.
My advice is to make a little extra if you can. Then, bake a smaller cake or cupcakes if you have any batter leftover.
3. Baking Properly
Another big challenge of using a regular cake recipe in a Bundt pan is the baking time. In general, Bundt pans are deeper and hold more batter than regular ones. Therefore, using a Bundt pan, you’ll need to leave the cake to bake for longer than usual.
Most Bundt cakes take over an hour in the oven. So, the best thing to do is use an internal thermometer. Once the cake’s temperature reaches 200°F, it’s done.
Alternatively, you can stick a skewer in the center of the cake. Coming out clean is an indication that the cake is baked all the way through.
4. Removing the Cake From the Pan
First, let your cake cool for about 10 to 15 minutes. Before flipping it, begin to gently pull the cake away from the sides.
After that, flip the entire pan carefully and tap it gently on all sides to loosen the cake inside. Next, gradually lift the Bundt pan away from the cake. You may need to shake it as you do.
Can You Bake Boxed Cake Mix Batter in a Bundt Pan?
Technically, yes. Yet, your biggest challenge is making sure you have the right amount of batter to properly fill the Bundt pan.
Thus, it might be a good idea to buy two boxes and prepare them both. While you’ll likely have leftovers, you can make a cake in an 8×8 baking dish or a few cupcakes afterward.
Is There Anything Else That a Bundt Pan Can Be Used for?
Yes, absolutely! In addition to some delicious recipe ideas, I’ve also compiled a few other fun things to do with a Bundt pan, such as:
- Monkey Bread: All you need to do is roll balls of bread dough in butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Then, stuff your Bundt pan full of them and bake on top of each other.
- Jalapeno Poppers: To get perfect results, just stand them up inside the Bundt pan and bake them like normal. The best part is having an easy and adorable way to serve them.
- Lasagna: A Bundt pan is a stunning way to serve lasagna. What’s even more convenient is that you can use your favorite lasagna recipe without adjustments.
- A Wreath, Planter, or Gift Basket: That’s right, you can make use of an abandoned Bundt pan you no longer cook with for these fun crafts.
What Cakes Will Not Work in a Bundt Pan?
Although Bundt pans can work wonders with many recipes, certain cake types may not be the best fit for them.
Take a look at some of the cakes you may want to avoid baking in a Bundt pan.
- Delicate Cakes: Cakes with a light, airy texture might not bake well in a Bundt pan. Some intricate Bundt pan designs can make it challenging to maintain the cake’s delicate structure. Such types include angel food cake, sponge cake, etc.
- Layered Cakes: Bundt pans create lovely standalone designs. Yet, they don’t work well if you want to make a complex layered cake. That’s because having no flat top can make stacking layers tricky.
- Moist Cakes: You should also avoid baking cakes with a high moisture content in Bundt pans. Releasing cake types, such as lava, pudding, or mudslide cakes, from the detailed folds of these pans can be quite challenging.
Tips for Choosing the Right Bundt Pan
Selecting the perfect type of Bundt pan can make a huge difference in your baking experience. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for your next Bundt pan.
- Choose a Bundt pan with a non-stick coating to ensure easy release of your cake.
- As for the material, aluminum pans are the best for even heat distribution.
- Consider the style of the Bundt cake you want to create and choose the pan accordingly.
- Ensure that the size you go for matches your recipe.
- Check to make sure the pan is dishwasher-safe for more convenience.
The most important step to making any kind of cake is enjoying eating it! Even when Bundt cakes don’t come out with their quintessential, perfect shape, they usually still taste amazing.
Optimally, you can hide more minor imperfections in Bundt cakes with frosting, fruit syrup, or many other toppings and serving ideas.
Overall, don’t give up on achieving the perfect Bundt cake, even if it takes a few attempts!
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.