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TIP OF THE DAY: Holiday Bundt Cakes

Classic Bundt Cake With Topping
Chai Spice Bundt
Gingerbread Bundt Cake
Orange Bourbon Pound Cake
Red Velvet Stained Glass Bundt Cake

Maple Leaf Mini Cakes

Here’s the current selection of dozens of bundt pan designs. [1] Classic bundt served with bourbon pecan sauce (photo courtesy Spice Islands). [2] Pumpkin cake in the Elegant Party Bundt pan. [3] Gingerbread Cake in the Elegant Party Bundt. [5] Orange Bourbon Cake in the Heritage Bundt Pan ( (photos [3], [4] and [5] courtesy King Arthur Flour).[4] Red Velvet cake in the Stained Glass Bundt (photo courtesy Nordicware). [6] Maple Leaf Pan for cakelets or muffins (photo courtesy Nordicware)

  You don’t have to know how to decorate a cake to put a lovely one on the table. That’s one of the reasons bundt cakes are so popular.

Although a classic bundt pan (photo [1] is always lovely, Nordicware, inventor of the bundt pan, produces many elegant bundt pan designs, plus charming seasonal designs. We can’t help ourselves: Every couple of years, we buy another one.

This year it’s the Turkey Bundt Pan (how could we resist). Last year it was the Elegant Party Bundt (photo [2]): The flutes are narrower, creating smaller slices with no fuss. We’ve come to prefer it to the Classic Bundt Pan.

Fall themes include:

  • Autumn Wreath, with acorns and leaves wreath
  • Tom Turkey, a stand-up stunner you can use as a centerpiece
  • Many others, including loaf pans, mini loaves and cakelets
    We looked at the entire selection, and found these styles to be fall-appropriate, including Chanukah and Christmas:

  • Crown Bundt Pan
  • Diamond Cut Bundt Pan
  • Harvest Leaves Bundt Pan
  • Heritage Bundt Pan (giant swirls, photo [3])
  • Jubilee Bundt Cake (crown-like)
  • Kugelhof Bunt Pan, the classic European turban shape that led to the creation of the Bundt
  • Stained Glass Bundt Pan
  • Star Of David Bundt
  • Vaulted Cathedral Bundt Pan
  • Vintage Star Bundt Pan 

    These recipes are from King Arthur Flour, the source for the finest baking ingredients and recipes.

    Be sure to read the tips from customers who have made the recipes (scroll to the bottom of each page).

  • Apple Spice Cake
  • Butter Rum Walnut Cake
  • Caribbean Rum Cake
  • Chai Spiced Pound Cake
  • Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake
  • Gingerbread Bundt Cake
  • Maple Pound Cake With Mable Rum Glaze
  • Orange Cranberry Nut Fruit Cake
  • Orange Pound Cake With Bourbon Glaze
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
  • Rum Glazed Eggnog Cake
    In the words of The Great British Baking Show: Ready, Set, Bake!


    This recipe from King Arthur Flour fills a 10- or 12-cup bundt pan.

    Ingredients For The Cake

  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons gingerbread spice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 cup water
    Ingredients For The Glaze

  • 1/3 cup rum or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon gingerbread spice; or 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    *Blend your own: 2-1/2 teaspoons ginger, 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cloves and 1/2 teaspoon allspice.

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10- to 12-cup bundt pan.

    2. WHISK together the flour, gingerbread spice, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl. Set aside.

    3. BEAT beat together the butter and sugar in a separate bowl, until fluffy.

    4. ADD the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the molasses.

    5. ADD the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the water, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.

    6. BAKE the cake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. While the cake is baking…

    7. MAKE the glaze by stirring together the water spice and sugar. Set aside.

    8. REMOVE the cake from the oven, cool it in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack. Brush the cake with the glaze, and allow it to cool completely before serving.



    It started with a special cake pan, the Kugelhopf, from Vienna; but let’s begin a century later, with the modern bundt pan.

    The History Of The Bundt Pan

    The Bundt pan was created in 1950 by H. David Dahlquist, the founder of Minneapolis-based Nordic Ware, a manufacturer of kitchenware products. He did so at the request of Rose Joshua and Fannie Schanfield, members of the Minneapolis chapter of Hadassah, a Jewish women’s service organization.

    According to an article in the Fall 2005 issue of Generations, the newsletter of the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest, Fannie remembers a Hadassah luncheon when Rose lamented the quality of light and fluffy American-style cakes, and longed for the rich, dense cakes of her European childhood. These, however, required a special type of of pan—one with a hole in the center that allowed heat to penetrate heavy cake batter from all sides.

    With this type of form, a heavier batter could be baked without leaving under-baked dough in the center. Fannie’s husband arranged a meeting with Dahlquist, and Rose joined her to show Rose’s mother’s ceramic kugelhopf cake pan. This became the prototype for the Bundt pan (a contemporary aluminum version of the kugelhopf is shown in the photo at the right).

    Dahlquist modified the design by introducing folds in the fluted edges, and fashioned the pan out of aluminum. Some months later, a dozen Nordic Ware factory “seconds” were delivered to Hadassah member Mary Juster’s home, and Hadassah sold the pans to members for $4.00 each.
    The History Of The Kugelhopf

    The original kugelhopf, a Viennese specialty, is a sweet yeast-bread similar to brioche and panettone; the traditional version usually contains yeast, raisins or currants and is topped by a snowy layer of powdered sugar. It was a favorite of the Austrian princess Marie Antoinette (yes, that Marie Antoinette).

    Over the years, denser cakes were baked in the same fluted molds. The original molds were earthenware; later molds were made of glass or metal. The name kugelhopf derives from the German word Kugel, meaning round or ball (“Kugelkopf,” with a “k,” means “spherical head”), although the actual kugelhopf somewhat resembles a pleated hat like a turban or toque.

    How The Bundt Got Its Name


    Kugelhopf Cake

    Iced Apple Spice Bundt Cake

    Vintage Star Gingerbread Bundt
    [7] The Kugelhopf [8] became the Bundt, [9] which engendered many different designs, like this Vintage Star limited edition (photos [7] and [9] courtesy Nordicware, photo [8] courtesy King Arthur Flour.

    The way the story is told, the name bundt comes from the German word bund, which means “community” or “a gathering of people”; and that Dahlquist just added the letter “t” to the end and trademarked the word. However, there is a citation for a “bundt form” as early as the 1903 edition of the famous Milwaukee Settlement Cookbook†, 63 years before Dahlquist filed for his trademark on March 24, 1966. One can imagine that the Jewish women of Milwaukee had the cookbook and asked for a bundt pan. Still, Dahlquist was granted the patent.

    In 1960, the Good Housekeeping Cookbook showed a pound cake baked in a Bundt pan; that feature turned the Bundt into the number-one selling cake pan in America. But it was the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-Off, where the Tunnel of Fudge Cake recipe baked in a Bundt won second place, that launched America’s love for Bundt cakes.

    While many Americans spell Bundt with a capital “B,” which is the correct German spelling, for the sake of consistency with English names (e.g. angel food cake, apple pie), we’ve decided to use the small “b.” The exception is with recipe names, e.g. Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake.
    †In the 1903 Milwaukee Settlement Cookbook, “Bundt form” is found on page 319 in the following text (under BUNDT KUCHEN, No. 2): “Grease Bundt form (a heavy round fluted pan with tube in center) well, and flour lightly. Cream butter and sugar well, add beaten yolks and beat, then the raised mixture and the rest of the flour, and lastly the beaten whites. Pour in pan, let rise until very light, and bake until well done and brown in a moderately hot oven, about forty-five minutes.” (Read details of the Settlement Cookbook source material). The Settlement Cookbook, first published in 1901 in Milwaukee to raise funds for the Settlement House for immigrants, is considered to be the most successful fund-raising cookbook in American history. It is still in print; the 1976 edition was named to the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame.


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