Start to Finish: 2 hours
Servings: 16
Difficulty Level: Beginner

A bundt cake is technically any type of cake baked in a tubular, fluted pan, known as a bundt pan. Although some attribute the Nordic Ware company with the invention of the bundt pan in the 1950s, the cake pan and shape date back hundreds of years to Germany and Austria where the gugelhupf or bundkuchen cake was a tradition. These cakes, typically leavened with yeast and heavy with dried and candied fruits and nuts, were baked in fluted and grooved pans.

American bundt cakes tend to resemble pound cakes, with a dense crumb that slice easily. A bundt cake may include a filling, such as the famous tunnel of fudge cake that wowed judges at the Pilsbury bake off in 1966, or boast flavors such as blueberry, carrot, spice or fruit. Any cake mix, short of pound cake or angel-food cake, can be adjusted to bake in a bundt pan. The cake mix brands Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker both recommend versions of this adaptation.


Ingredients

  • 1 boxed cake mix, any flavor
  • 1 3.4-ounce box instant pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Cooking spray or shortening and a small amount of flour for greasing the pan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Liberally grease a bundt pan, even if its nonstick, with vegetable shortening or spray it with cooking spray. Get into every crevice to discourage sticking. Dust with flour.

Beat together the cake mix, instant pudding mix, eggs, water, vegetable oil or butter and sour cream, using an electric mixer set to low speed. Scrape down the bowl, and beat the batter at high speed for a couple of minutes or until it’s smooth.

Pour into the greased pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the batter is pulling away from the sides and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and then turn out onto a rack to continue cooling for at least another 45 to 50 minutes before slicing and serving.

Tips for Bundt Success

Avoid letting the cooked cake sit in the pan for longer than 5 to 10 minutes, or it might stick and not come out cleanly. But, if you invert it too soon after it is removed from the oven, it is also likely to fall apart. You must let the cake cool completely before slicing; a cake that’s too warm will yield slices that collapse.

To ensure a cake that stays intact, cool the cake in the pan and then freeze it. This causes the cake to shrink away from the edges and pop right out of the fluted pan. You’ll have to budget extra time for thawing before it can be eaten, though.

Flavor Variety

Bundt cakes can be made in innumerable flavor combinations. Any type of cake mix flavor and pudding mix flavor may be combined:
* chocolate cake mix with pistachio pudding
* vanilla cake mix with strawberry pudding
* spice cake mix with butterscotch pudding
* lemon cake with vanilla pudding and a tablespoon or two of poppyseeds
* chocolate cake mix with chocolate pudding