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.
How to Make a 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 (You can buy one here!)
Editor’s Tip: To find the diameter of your Bundt pan, measure across the open end. And 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 1: 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 2: 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.
Editor’s 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 3: Add the Eggs
Crack eggs into a bowl and add the vanilla. Then pour one egg at a time into your buttery creamed mixture. Beat the batter after each addition.
Editor’s Tip: Cracking the eggs into a separate bowl is smarter than cracking them directly into the batter. You don’t risk getting shell bits in the batter. Or, if you get a bad egg, it won’t ruin the batter.
Step 4: Add Remaining 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.
Editor’s 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 5: 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.
Editor’s Tip: Bundts are often high in sugar, so they’d over-brown if baked at a typical oven temperature of 350°. Some Bundts bake as low as 300°.
Step 6: 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.
When serving, keep it simple. Let the cake’s show-stopping shape speak for itself. Drizzle on a bit of icing or sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Berries and cream can’t miss, either.
Editor’s 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.
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