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How to Get Pound Cake Out of the Pan Like a Pro

How to Get Pound Cake Out of the Pan Like a Pro

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Is there anything as frustrating as realizing that you have to ruin a perfectly good pound cake because it’s stuck to the bakeware?

Figuring out how to get a pound cake out of the pan can save you this heartache.

In this post, we’ll go over five steps that can help get the whole thing in one piece. For plan B, we’ll check out a few salvaging techniques.

As a bonus, you’ll find some preventative tips and a quick overview of the pan types that work well for pound cake recipes.

Getting a Stuck Pound Cake Out of the Pan: 5 Simple Steps

Usually, you’d flip the pan on a towel, cooling rack, or plate and tap firmly to release the cake, but that doesn’t always cut it.

So, let’s jump right in with a step-by-step transfer guide:

1 – Check the Doneness

First things first, make sure you’re not trying to flip a pound cake that’s all raw inside and sticky on the sides.

How? Well, the wooden pick test is a simple yet effective method. If it comes out moist, then it’s too soon to take the cake out of the pan.

2 – Let the Cake Cool Completely (But Not Excessively)

Just because the pound cake passed the doneness test doesn’t mean that you can flip it.

The inner parts tend to be more fragile when the cake is steaming hot and could fall apart if you rush the flipping. On the other hand, letting the loaf cool too much can leave the top and sides damp, which leads to sticking.

You’ll want to wait 10–15 minutes before even proceeding with the transfer.

3 – Drag a Knife or a Spatula Across the Sides

So, you’ve waited for a bit, flipped the pan, and nothing came out—the cake is officially stuck.

Odds are, the sticky batter is on the sides rather than the bottom.

That’s why it’s helpful to pick up a butter knife and slip it between the pound cake and the pan. Then, drag it across the perimeter to clear out any sticky batter.

There are a few concerns here, though:

  • Some people fear that using a knife might scratch the pan.
  • One wrong move can tear the cake from the sides.
  • Pound cakes baked in intricate Bundt pans can be a nightmare during this step.

If you’re worried about the first, consider using a thin rubber spatula instead. For the second concern, we’d recommend steadying your hand while dragging.

4 – Invert, Tap, and Wait

After clearing the perimeter, try flipping the pan again. If nothing comes out, give the bottom a firm bang to help dislodge the cake out of place.

Sometimes, it helps to leave the pan upside down for a while to let gravity do its magic.

5 – Get Some Steam Going

If it’s still stuck at this point, then it’s time to bring out the heavy artillery. By artillery, we mean the good old steamer.

The goal here is to expose the bottom and sides of the pan to enough steam to break up any stuck batter. Since there’s no knife sliding or dragging involved, this step can be particularly handy for Bundt pans.

Salvaging a Torn Pound Cake: 3 Nifty Tricks

It would be a shame to throw a pound cake just because the shape isn’t as perfect as you expected it to be.

After all, it’s always possible to hide or embrace the messy parts.

Depending on how much of the loaf got ruined during the transfer, one of the following three tricks might work for you:

1 – Seal up the Cracks

Maybe your pound cake isn’t in bad shape, but there are a couple of tears. In this case, the fix could be as simple as whipping some buttercream!

Those who’ve worked with buttercream and icing before know that they act as glue once they harden. So, you can carefully spread a thin layer in any crack to seal it up.

2 – Garnish the Top

Not everyone will be lucky enough to dislodge a stuck pound cake with only minor cracks. It’s entirely possible that the top will be mangled.

The good news is that you can hide any rough patches with icing, chocolate drizzle, nuts, whipped cream, or fruit slices. There are lots of options here, so have fun with the toppings and make it look intentional.

One of our favorite approaches is going with a thin but sweet layer of icing and then sprinkling some crushed pecans on top—it hits the aesthetic, flavor, and texture aspects in one strike!

3 – Pretend It’s a Trifle

Even if your pound cake is too stuck that you don’t see it coming out in a single piece, there’s still a way out: make trifle.

Although this method will change the dessert drastically, it beats having to throw the whole thing away.

Just salvage what you can out of the baking pan and chop up the pieces into neat squares. Then, fix up a fresh-looking trifle with some cream and your fruit of choice.

7 Preventative Tips to Keep Pound Cake From Sticking

Although it’s possible to dislodge (or at least salvage) a stuck pound cake, it’s often too much of a hassle.

So, before you set out to make your next baked treat, it could be worthwhile to take some preventative measures.

Here are the top tips that can help you avoid sticky situations in the future:

  • Pick pans with nonstick coating.
  • Don’t use an old pan with scratched finishes.
  • Opt for springform pans if your batter tends to be too sticky.
  • Ditch the butter greasing since the milk portion in the butter turns glue-like during baking—use cooking spray instead.
  • If you use a Bundt pan with intricate shapes, make sure you grease up every nook and cranny.
  • Try not to grease the pan too soon because once the oil pools down, the sides will be left vulnerable to sticking.
  • Consider parchment paper if you’ll use a loaf pan for your pound cake.


Can you bake a pound cake in a 9×13 pan?

Yes, you can use one 9×13 pan instead of a Bundt pan. However, it might take longer to bake and the top could end up more crusty than usual.

Overall, this swap would be a good idea if you want a flat sheet of pound cake to cut out the bottom pieces for complex treats, like Martha Stewart-style strawberry shortcake jellies.

Can a pound cake be baked in a loaf pan?

There’s nothing wrong with baking pound cake in a loaf pan, but you’ll need two medium loaf pans to hold the same amount of batter that an average Bundt would.

On the upside, splitting the batter into two pans can help speed up the baking process.

Can you use regular cake pans for pound cake?

It depends on what you call “regular.” You could get away with using two 9-inch round pans instead of one Bundt.

For other sizes, we’d recommend checking the conversion chart first to check how they match the volume of the pan that the recipe originally calls for.

Either way, this switch from Bundts could come in handy if you’re making a layered pound cake.

Final Thoughts

The keys to getting a pound cake out of a pan are cooling it just enough, clearing sticky bits with a knife or steam, and using gravity to your favor.

Just be patient and don’t rush the transfer process. If all else fails, you can still get a decent trifle out of the salvaged bits and pieces!

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