We’ve all been there. You’ve baked a Bundt cake recipe you’ve had your eye on, it’s done cooling and you’re ready for the big flip. Oven mitts on and serving platter ready, you take a deep breath, flip the pan—and only half of the cake comes out.
Now, I firmly believe that most imperfections can be fixed with a bit of buttercream frosting. But why hide perfectly good curves if you’ve got ’em? When properly prepared, bare Bundt cake can be downright gorgeous. A bakery favorite, this confection owes its beauty to its uniquely fluted baking pan, but without a healthy coat of grease, Bundt pans tend to hang on to their contents, marring the cake’s iconic shape. For flawless Bundt cakes every time, our Test Kitchen uses a fail-safe method.
How to Grease a Bundt Pan
Taste of Home
To grease a Bundt pan for perfect release and appearance, grab the following:
- Vegetable shortening
- Paper towels
Step 1: Grease with Shortening
Fold a sheet of paper towel and dip it into the shortening. You’ll need plenty, so go ahead and scoop out a big gob of the stuff. Then, as though washing the pan with a soapy sponge, spread the shortening around, making sure to coat all of its nooks and crannies.
Why shortening here and not butter? Catherine Ward, our Test Kitchen’s expert Bundt baker, says that the milk solids in butter can actually cling to the pan making it harder for the cake to come out in perfect shape.
Step 2: Dust with Flour
Next, take a spoonful of flour and lightly dust the greased pan. I find holding the spoon steady in one hand and gently tapping my wrist with the other helps prevent dumping the contents of the spoon all at once. If you’re worried about the flour clumping, sift it into the pan using a fine-mesh sieve. Next, pick up the pan, gently tapping and rotating it to create a thin, even coating of flour across the pan’s interior.
Test Kitchen tip: For chocolate Bundt cakes, dust with cocoa instead of flour to preserve the rich color of the cake.
Step 3: Tap Away the Excess
Time to shake out any excess flour. Head over to the sink or wastebasket, turn the pan upside down and gently tap. If you see any missed spots after tipping the pan over, just go back over with a bit more shortening and some flour.
What if You Don’t Have Shortening?
While this is our Test Kitchen’s preferred method, you can grease your pan with something else if you have shortening. No—skip the butter and the traditional cooking spray. Catherine recommends a cooking spray just for baking, one that’s formulated with flour. It’s a good substitute.