How to Make a Bundt Cake (That Doesn't Stick in the Pan)
Learn how to make the best Bundt cake ever with tips from our Test Kitchen. Just remember to save us a slice.
By Nicole Doster, Digital Associate Editor and Christine Rukavena, Food Editor
The Bundt pan is easily the prettiest in the kitchen. Its deep fluted edges create a beautiful mold for all types of goodies—but most importantly, cake. Whether you're making a simple chocolate cake or stunning spice cake (with carrots and cranberries!), baking in this fancy-pants pan can seem daunting. But never fear—our team of expert cooks have broken down the best way to make a Bundt cake with step-by-step instructions. Follow along to learn how to make a basic buttermilk Bundt cake.
1 cup butter, softened
2-1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
Confectioners' sugar, optional
10-in. Bundt pan
Test Kitchen Tip: To find the diameter of your Bundt pan, measure across the open end.
No buttermilk on hand? Here are a few substitutions:
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Let stand for 5 minutes before using.
- 1-3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk
Step One: Prepare the pan
This might be the most important step to no-stick! Do not forget to grease and flour the pan before pouring in your batter. Bundt cakes rely on a perfect release to show off their pattern. If you don't prep your pan well, you risk having half the cake stick. Check out our step-by-step guide to how to prep the perfect pan here. And while you're at it, turn on the oven to 325° so it's preheated when you're ready to pop the cake in.
Did you know? The space in the center of a Bundt pan isn't just for decoration. The hole allows more surface area of the cake to be in contact with the oven's heat. This means that very sugary or buttery cakes—like fruitcake or pound cake—can fully cook in the center without getting too brown on the outside.
Step Two: Cream butter and sugar
Grab your beaters and a large bowl. It's time to cream together the sugar and softened butter. Creaming simply means mixing these two ingredients together really well. The end result should be evenly light and fluffy throughout.
Test Kitchen Tip: If you've forgotten to soften your butter, scrape a cold stick from the fridge through a box grater. This will shred your butter into tiny pieces that will soften a whole lot faster. Here are more methods for softening butter fast.
Step Three: Add the eggs
Crack each egg into a small bowl before moving it to an easy-to-pour bowl and add the vanilla. Then pour one egg at a time into your buttery creamed mixture. Beat the batter after each addition.
Test Kitchen Tip: Cracking the eggs into a separate bowl is smarter than cracking them directly into the rest of the eggs or the batter. You don't risk getting shell bits in the batter. Or, if you get a bad egg, you don't have to throw them all away, and it won't ruin the batter.
Step Four: Incorporate the rest of the ingredients
Next, combine the flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Have your buttermilk measured and ready to go, too. You'll want to alternate adding a portion of each into the bowl, beating in between. The usual way is 1/3 of the dry ingredients, 1/2 of the wet, 1/3 of the dry, the other half of the wet, and finally the last of the dry. This ensures that liquid and dry ingredients are incorporated smoothly. Mix until the dough is blended and smooth. Don't overmix—it can make your cake tough.
Test Kitchen Tip: Want to add berries or nuts? Now's the time to gently fold them into the batter. Don't beat them in (again, overmixing can make the cake tough).
Step Five: Bake it up
Pour the batter in the pan and stick it in the oven! Bake at 325° until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 70 minutes.
Test Kitchen Tip: if your Bundt begins to brown early, cover it with a piece of aluminum foil.
Step Six: Let it cool
Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool in its pan for 15 minutes. Then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. To get the cake out of the pan, we like to put a wire rack over the opening. Hold one hand flat on the bottom of cake pan, and put the other hand over the cooling rack. Moving quickly and smoothly, flip your hands so the cake pan is on top. The cake should slide out on its own. If it doesn't, let it sit for another few minutes and then try again.
Test Kitchen Tip: Be extra patient when cooling down your cake. It's important to follow each recipe's cooling instructions. This time allows air to circulate around the cake so moisture doesn't build up, rendering your cake soggy—no matter what kind of cake it is or what kind of pan it's in. Here are 10 more common cake mistakes to avoid.
And voila, you've got a tasty dessert everyone will adore.
When serving, keep it simple. Let the cake's showstopping shape speak for itself. Drizzle on a bit of icing or sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Berries and cream can't miss, either.
Don't limit yourself to cake when cooking with a Bundt pan. You can cook a meatloaf or mac and cheese in one. It's great for breads. Or use it for a gelatin mold. Check out 23 more recipes of all kinds you can make in a Bundt pan.