Bundt Cake castle design
© Denzil Green
A Bundt® Cake is a cake of any nature that has been baked in a Bundt® pan. The Bundt pans are more than just a cake pan; they are like “cake moulds” of various designs, so that cakes that come out of them are highly decorative in and of themselves and require little if any additional work to decorate.
Typical decorations might include a dusting of icing sugar, or a drizzle of a glaze. Typically, you won’t want to frost or ice them completely, as with many Bundt designs the frosting would hide the complex detail, which is the whole point.
The edges of the cake are crusty owing to the nature of the pans, which adds to the unadorned taste interest of the cake.
Typically, home recipes for them make batters of a butter, pound or sponge-cake nature, of any flavour. Most average sizes of Bundt pans will also perfectly accommodate a two-cake cake mix.
All Bundt Cakes have a hole in the centre, owing to the nature of the pans. When the cake is served, this hole may if desired be filled with whipped cream, ice cream, fruits, etc.
The most well-known recipe is perhaps the “Tunnel of Fudge Cake” (see separate entry), which is the recipe that set Bundt pans on their path to fame.
The pans must be well-greased and floured in every nook and cranny before the cake batter goes in. After the cake batter is in, thump the pan a few times to ensure that any air pockets in decorative nooks escape to allow batter into those nooks.
Any recipe used needs to be a particularly moist cake recipe, as the cake will have a great deal of surface area which can dry the cake out.
Bundt Cakes originated as German Kugelhopf cakes made in a special fluted tube pan called a Kugelhopf pan.
Literature & Lore
In 1901, Lizzie Black Kander published a cookbook that mentioned “Bundte” cakes. She was president of a Milwaukee social group known as “The Settlement” which, with the support of Federation of Jewish Charities of Milwaukee, helped new immigrants settle into America. She used the word “Bundte” to refer to “fancy shaped” cakes:
Bundte Schuessel: “By Bundte Schuessel is meant a large flat cake plate on which is arranged a variety of fancy shaped, decorated cakes. Use any desired sponge cake, cup cake or torte, that is not too delicate to handle. Bake in small fancy shaped tins or in a sheet. When baked in a sheet the cake may be cut into any square, oblong, diamond, heart or round shape with knife or cutters.” — Kander, Lizzie Black. The Settlement Cook Book. 4th ed. (Sandusky, OH: American Crayon Co., Fourth edition 1910. First published 1901.) PP 370-371.