Homemade lemon cake with icing

Bundt pans range from 6 to 15 cup sizes in the familiar ridged-ring shape. Yet, there are nearly limitless recipes to fill those pans. Determining cake baking time depends as much on the batter as the pan size. A 6-cup pan filled with a dense batter can take an hour to cook; a 12-cup pan filled with a light batter can be cooling within 40 minutes.

  • Bundt cake pan
  • Cake batter
  • Measuring cup
  • Water
  • Tooth picks or knife

Determine the pan size. Measure the volume by filling the pan with water one cup at a time. The original ridge-ring style pan holds either 6, 10 or 12 cups. A modified capacity pan holds 10 to 15 cups.

Estimate the amount of batter to be baked according to the recipe. Nordic Ware, a maker of Bundt pans recommends filling the pan no more than 3/4 full. For example, for a 12-cup pan the recommended maximum fill amount is 9 cups; for 6-cup pan pour in no more than 4 1/2 cups of batter.

Consider the batter consistency. Is the batter light and can it be easily stirred? Or is it a dense batter, heavy with eggs and milk and possibly fruit? The standard baking time for a 6-cup recipe cake at 350 degrees is 35 to 40 minutes. Use this as your baseline baking time.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the batter-filled pan inside. After about 25 minutes, check the batter for the following characteristics: the batter is pulling away slightly from the pan sides; light colored batter starts appearing golden brown on top; the batter springs back when pressed down lightly with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Do not adjust the oven temperature. Using the baseline cooking time of 35 to 40 minutes, monitor the cake as it cooks. Work with the fluctuations in batter density to determine the exact baking time for the particular recipe and pan size. Test your batter with a knife or tooth pick inserted near the center. The bundt is done baking when the knife and tooth pick comes out clean. If you see wet batter let it bake for another 5 or 6 minutes before checking it again.

If you are using a recipe that is not specific for a Bundt pan review these pan conversions:

  • Two 8-inch round cake pans hold 8 cups, equal to one 10-inch Bundt pan.

  • Two 9-inch round cake pans hold 12 cups, equal to one 10-inch Bundt pan.

  • One 9-inch tube pan holds 12 cups, equal to one 10-inch Bundt pan.