How to Get Cake Out of a Bundt Pan in One Piece
So your bundt cake is stuck to the pan — now what? Give these tips a try next time you're in a bind.
Raise your hand if you've ever been personally victimized by a bundt cake. I know I have. I can remember waiting by the oven as my cake rose in the intricately-designed pan that promised an elegant presentation. But when it came time to invert the pan, the cake fell out in clumps, delivering a crushing blow to my bundt cake dreams.
Even with proper greasing, some cakes still stick to the pan. To avoid bundt cake disaster, try these simple methods for releasing a stuck bundt from the pan in (mostly) one piece. Plus, get tips on how to salvage a damaged bundt cake.
How to Prevent Cake From Sticking to a Bundt Pan
Before you even think about pouring the batter into your bundt pan, make sure you've greased properly to avoid heartache later. Here's how:
Start With the Right Pan
Most bundt pans you'll find today are nonstick (like this classic Nordic Ware bundt pan), and for good reason. Nonstick coating helps the cake to slide out from the pan as evenly as possible.
Go for a pan that's lighter in color to prevent over browning that can occur with darker pans. You'll still need to grease the pan, even if it's nonstick. But the nonstick coating will provide an extra layer of protection. If your bundt pan is older with considerable scratches, this can affect the nonstick capabilities, so consider upgrading to a new pan.
Grease the Pan
Using a pastry brush, grease the pan liberally with solid shortening. Make sure to get every square inch and crevice of the pan, because your cake is guaranteed to stick to any parts left un-greased. And whatever you do, don't substitute butter for shortening. The milk solids in butter will actually act like glue, causing the batter to stick to the pan.
Flour the Pan
Once you've greased the pan, it's time to flour it. Holding the pan over the sink, sprinkle flour into the pan. Tilt in a circular motion, tapping the pan as you go until all the flour has been evenly distributed.
Flip the pan over and tap out any excess. Make sure to get around the center tube of the pan as well. Now you're ready to add batter to the pan!
Allow the Cake to Cool
Once you've cooked your bundt cake and removed it from the oven, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then place a wire cooling rack over the base of the cake and invert the pan to release.
Cake Not Coming Out? Try These Methods:
If your cake slid out beautifully after following these steps, congrats! You can stop reading here. But even after doing everything right (you rule follower, you) sometimes bundt cake can still be stubborn. If your bundt cake is giving you a hard time (or if you're simply nervous about your cake crumpling into a mountain of cake chunks) give these methods a try.
Try Steaming the Cake Out
After removing your cake from the oven, place a kitchen towel in your sink. Carefully pour very hot water over the towel until it's damp, not dripping. Drape the towel over the tops of the pan and leave it there until the pan is cool enough to handle.
The steam will help release the cake from the pan when you go to invert it. You can also use a rubber spatula to help release the cake from the sides. Refrain from using a knife, as this can tear up the exterior of the cake and scratch the lining of your bundt cake pan.
Try Giving It a Bang
Another option is to take out your frustrations on your bundt cake by giving it a good bang. Lay a dish towel on the countertop, invert your pan and bang on the top and sides of the pan. This can help to loosen up the cake from the walls of the pan.
Try Waiting It Out
Last but not least, let gravity do its work. Once you've inverted your cake, let it sit for 10 minutes, and check on it again. This gives the cake a chance to cool, contract, and slide out of the pan.
How to Salvage Damaged Bundt Cake
If you've gone through all these steps, and you're still left with a damaged bundt cake, don't lose hope. You can still make a fabulous dessert out of a bundt cake that stuck to the pan.
If you have crumbled bundt cake you can use the crumbled pieces to create another, equally delicious dessert that's great for feeding a crowd: trifle. Trifle often calls for cubed pound cake, so you've already done the hard part. Simply layer the cake with a little fruit and whipped cream. When life gives you broken bundt cake, make trifle, right?
Related: Browse our entire collection of Bundt Cake Recipes.