Bundt Cakes


Nearly any cake batter can be baked in a decorative Bundt pan.

By FamilyTime

 

A Bundt cake is any cake baked in a fluted tube pan. The beauty of a Bundt cake is that its naturally decorative contours mean it needs little ornamentation. No need for swirls of frosting or elaborate piping. Just a simple glaze, pourable frosting or dusting with sugar will do.

Bundt cakes are single layer cakes that are easy to transport and easy to slice. This makes them ideal as hostess gifts or contributions to pot lucks and casual parties. They can be dessert, snack, or coffee cakes

Bundt Pans
Bundt pans and Kugelhopf pans are nothing more complicated than fancy tube pans. Another name for a tube pan with straight sides is an angel food pan.

While angel food pans can be made of lightweight aluminum and usually have feet to facilitate cooling the light, airy cake, Bundt pans are heavier and, preferably, coated with a nonstick surface.

The most useful sizes for Bundt pans are approximately 8 ½ and 10 inches in diameter. If you have one pan of each size in the kitchen, you will be able to bake wonderful cakes at a moment’s notice.

Baking a Bundt Cake
Butter cakes – made with butter, eggs, and flour and often called “layer” cakes or “plain” cakes – are excellent for Bundt pans. Lighter cake batters, such as those for angel food cakes, should be baked in an angel food cake pan with straight sides.

Gingerbread, banana, and cinnamon swirl cakes do extremely well in Bundt pans, as do simple yellow and chocolate batters. Read you favorite recipes and see if they are adaptable for tube or Bundt pans. Often the recipe will say so, or, if you have made the cake before you will know if its crumb is substantial enough.

Bake the cake according to the recipe. Once it’s baked, let it sit in the fluted pan for 10 to 15 minutes at least. Turn the cake pan over onto a wire rack and release the cake. It should slide from the pan easily.

Because unmolding a cake from a fluted pan can pose a problem for the home cook, it’s a good idea to butter the sides of the pan, even with its nonstick coating. Sprinkling the pan with crushed cookie crumbs, flour, chopped nuts, or sugar also facilitates unmolding and strengthens the walls of the cake.

Freezing and Defrosting Bundt Cakes
Unadorned Bundt cakes freeze very well. Let them cool completely, set them on a cardboard disk (you can cut these yourself or buy them from a baking supply shop), and then put in the freezer to freeze just until firm and easy to handle.

Wrap the partially frozen cake in aluminum foil. Fold the foil securely around the cake so that no air can seep in. Seal the folds with freezer tape to ensure the wrapping is as airtight as possible. Finally, put the cake in a large, freezer-proof plastic bag with a zippered closure.

Label the cake with the date and defrost it within three months for optimal freshness and flavor.

Remove the cake from the bag and loosen the foil. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight or on the countertop for several hours. You can also defrost it in a moderate oven in about 30 minutes.

Decorating Bundt Cakes
These pretty, homey cakes are perfect candidates for glazes, sauces, dustings with powdered sugar, and sauces. The new Pour & Frost Frostings in supermarkets are great for these cakes. Just microwave and your ready to go!

If you plan to glaze the cake, set the completely cooled cake on a wire rack. The rack should be on a tray or in a shallow pan to catch the glaze’s drippings. Spoon the warm glaze over the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides and into the crevices of the fluted sides and inside the center tube. Don’t overdo the glaze; leave some cake exposed for an attractive presentation.

To dust the cake with powdered sugar, set the cake on a rack or plate. Spoon the sugar into a fine-mesh sieve and gently shake it back and forth over the cake. For a light, pretty effect, don’t overload cake with the sugar.

If the cake has a light crumb, you might want to dust it with cocoa or a mixture of cocoa and powdered sugar. Remember that most cocoa is unsweetened.

Creamy, light sauces such as lemon, berry, and vanilla sauces are lovely with Bundt cakes. Serve them alongside the cake, spooned on the plate next to the cake slice.

These are wonderful cakes to bake for weekend company, easy parties, or just to have on hand for friends and family. What could be better?