Eye-catching and almost sculptural, bundt cakes are a beauty to behold when unmolded from their pans unscathed. Unfortunately, if the correct precautions aren't taken, what makes these cakes so visually appealing — their intricate ridges and valleys — can be a downfall. Thankfully, with a little know-how, this problem becomes a nuisance of the past.
- While we understand the appeal of a vintage bundt pan, generally these are best relegated as kitchen decor, as most are thin, don't promote heat evenly, and are less likely to unmold cleanly. Use these at your own risk, and take extra care with pan prep. Our favorite pan is sturdy and has a light-colored (for less-intense browning) nonstick coating for added insurance, though other options will work as well.
- Brush the entire interior of the pan (get into those nooks and crannies!) with a thin coat of melted butter. To make sure you didn't miss a spot, examine the pan under a bright light, which will reflect off the butter's sheen and highlight any ungreased areas.
- Sprinkle a few large spoonfuls of all-purpose flour into the pan. If you're making a chocolate cake, then use cocoa powder instead, since the color of cocoa powder will contrast less with the cake. Spread the flour all around the interior of the pan, without using your fingers or a spatula, by tilting the pan so that flour falls on all of the buttered surface. Tap out any excess flour into the kitchen sink or a trash can, firmly rapping against the bottom of the pan to remove all but the thinnest film of flour.
- Fill the pan with batter, and bake. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack before attempting to unmold. To unmold, place a large plate on top of the bundt pan, and invert the pan in one fluid motion, holding the plate tight to the pan.
- Glaze the cake, dust it with powdered sugar, or leave it plain. Enjoy!