The birth of the Bundt

In 1946 housewife, Dorothy (Dotty) Dalquist, and her husband David founded Nordic Ware in Minneapolis where a vibrant immigrant community was forming and more importantly no competition for their business.

Dotty, the daughter of a Danish immigrant, and David having just returned from service in World War II wanted to bring jobs to St. Louis Park, Minnesota. They began as a small operation making Scandinavian ethnic cookware products such as the Rosette iron, Krumkake iron, Platte Panne pan, and the Ebelskiver pan

About five years into the business, the Minneapolis chapter of the Hadassah Society, a local Jewish women’s group, requested that Nordic Ware add a new design to their inventory. The women were looking for a traditional, old world cake pan which was round and deep with a hole in the middle to ensure even baking, but made with modern materials.

In places like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and parts of France, these pans were used to make light, yeasted cakes called gugelhupf (sometimes spelled kugelhupf), but the Hadassah women called them “bund” cakes as a nod to how they were often served to a group. David coined the term Bundt as a play on the “bund” hoping to evoke the idea of people gathering together around a cake.

Meanwhile, in Texas, Ella Rita Helfrich found a slightly more American use for the Nordic Ware Bundt pan that had found a way into her home. She came up with the “Tunnel of Fudge Cake” which was filled with a can of Pillsbury frosting. She submitted her cake to the 1966 annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest and she won 2nd prize and the cake became a household name helping to propel the further success of Nordic Ware’s line.

Growing up, in the midwest, the only cakes my mother baked came from a box mix. I remember sometime in the 70s when we somehow came across a Bundt pan ourselves (perhaps a gift) and my mother made the infamous Tunnel of Fudge cake. To us kids, it  was a miracle and something elegant – that creamy fudge center oozing out of that perfectly molded cake. The delusions of youth where everything is far more grand than it truly is. We seldom had guests in our home but on those rare occasions when we did, a Bundt cake (and often it was a Tunnel of Fudge cake for a celebration) would make an appearance. My sisters and I counted the minutes until the cake would be presented, sliced and the lava flow of fudge would pour forth.  

Over the decades, Nordic Ware has grown from a company of two employees, the Dalquists, to over 500 workers making 350 plus products all over the world, and Bundt is a household name. They have Ella and her Tunnel of Fudge cake to thank for bringing their pan to American baker’s attention. Dorothy, as well, worked endlessly developing recipes and doing presentations including the development of the Bundt cake box mix for mass production. Dorothy is still the Director of Nordic Ware. David passed away in 2005. 

The Bundt cake is making a comeback – although I don’t believe it was ever really gone. Many bakers continue to bring the curved cake to celebrations, pot lucks and house warmings. With the addition of flower shaped pans and other specialty designs Bundt has brought a whole new generation of fans to the Nordic Ware line.  I have three beautiful Bundt cake pans myself of the gold variety which hang proudly in my kitchen. Just as we cookbook lovers collect books, there are collectors of Bundt pans who proudly declare their love of all things Bundt.

Two of my friends and EYB members have contributed two photos of their pans. Vivian’s collection is shown in the photo above. As you can see from these shared photos there are many shapes, sizes and styles in the Nordic Ware line. Collectors can be very creative showing off their collection as you can see below in member Kerrey’s photo. Her dining room has a 3-D Bundt cake pan wallpaper border. Kerrey started collecting over ten years ago and has roughly seventy pans in her collection. I have a long way to go to start a border of Bundts in my kitchen. 

This month we are featuring Bundt cakes in our Eat Your Books Cookbook Club as one of our options. Come join us and share your bundt creations!  Eat Your Books has over one thousand online Bundt recipes indexed for our members. 

Beautiful Bundts: 100 Recipes for Delicious Cakes and More by Julie Hession shares 100 versatile recipes for every occasion featuring the retro classics we enjoyed as a child, to modern pull-apart Bundts like Monkey bread for even more Bundt cake inspiration.

The recipes here are simple and easy to make, and the results are spectacular (see my photo of the Rich chocolate bundt from this book below). There are recipes for sweet, savory, vegan, and gluten-free ensuring that there are Bundts for everyone! Helpful advice, tips and techniques to get started, from key ingredients and how to glaze and ice a cake, to step-by-step photos on how to effortlessly make a gorgeous layered and swirled Bundt are all included.

The book is divided into two parts Part I is all about Bundts including information on equipment and tools, key ingredients, basics and specialty Bundts. Part 2 is all about recipes from simple Bundts to Breakfast and Brunch to Filled and Savory, ending with a whole selection of glazes and sauces. Try a Lemon-filled coconut snowball bundt, or a Pepperoni pizza pull-apart bundt or even a Mexican hot chocolate piñata bundt from this book – the variations are endless. 

For Easter, I made the Rich chocolate bundt (pictured above) in a Nordic Ware Premier Gold Brilliant Bundt Pan and it was not only stunning but easy and delicious. It was indeed rich and a hit at dessert. Our guest even asked to take a slice home – a sure sign of a good cake. Truth be told any cake would look stunning after being baked in the Brilliant Bundt Pan. I have to admit I was a little fearful that my cake wouldn’t slip out of the pan. But using Bak-Klene Non-stick baking spray, flouring lightly, tapping and then one more light layer of release spray, the cake came out perfectly (the prayers and promises to the baking gods could have contributed as well) and it was Easter. I did allow it to cool for only 10 minutes as well.

Robert Rose is offering three copies of Beautiful Bundts in our contest below open to US and Canadian members and Nordic Ware is providing one of those gorgeous Brilliant Bundt pans to a winner in the US. Special thanks to both companies for their contributions to this promotion.

Robert Rose would also like our members to try one savory recipe from Beautiful Bundts now. The Croque Monsieur Strata Bundt would be perfect as a brunch offering or even served for dinner beside a fresh salad.  

Croque Monsieur Strata Bundt

Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

Originating in French cafés as a lunch or afternoon snack, the croque monsieur is a ham sandwich, usually served on buttery brioche bread, with broiled Gruyère or Comte cheese on top. The name of the sandwich derives from the French words croquer, to bite, and monsieur, mister. The croque madame, its counterpart, takes the already satisfying sandwich another step by placing a fried egg on top! Inspired by the croque monsieur, slices of this savory strata feature layers of Black Forest ham and nutty Gruyère cheese and need only a simple green salad and a glass of sauvignon blanc for a perfect weekend brunch.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

• Minimum 12-cup Bundt pan, sprayed

  • 9 large eggs
  • 3 cups half-and-half (10%) cream 750 mL
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard 30 mL
  • 1 tsp salt 5 mL
  • 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 mL
  • Pinch cayenne pepper Pinch
  • 1 lb Black Forest ham slices, chopped 500 g
  • 2 cups finely shredded Gruyère cheese 500 mL
  • 1⁄4 cup minced green onions 60 mL
  • 11⁄2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (or 11⁄2 tsp/7 mL dried) 22 mL
  • 1 lb loaf rustic white bread, cut into 3⁄4-inch 500 g
 (2 cm) cubes (see tip)

1. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until blended. Whisk in cream, mustard, salt, pepper and cayenne.

2. In a medium bowl, toss together ham, cheese, green onions and rosemary. If necessary, using your hands, separate pieces to break up any clumps and create a uniform mixture.

3. Place one-third of the bread cubes in prepared Bundt pan. Top with half the ham mixture, sprinkling in an even layer. Repeat with half the remaining bread and the remaining ham mixture. Arrange the remaining bread on top, pressing down gently.

4. Slowly pour egg mixture evenly over the layers, letting it soak in as you pour. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight to allow bread to absorb egg mixture.

5. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

6. Uncover pan and bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until puffed and golden brown and a paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then carefully invert strata onto a plate. For best results, serve warm or at room temperature.

Tip

It is important to cut the bread into small enough cubes so that it can thoroughly absorb the egg mixture. If desired, buy your bread a day in advance so that it has a chance to dry out a bit.

Courtesy of Beautiful Bundts: 100 Recipes for Delicious Cakes & More by Julie Anne Hession © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold. Photo credit for recipe images: Julie Anne Hession. Black and white photos courtesy of Nordic Ware. Rich chocolate Bundt and Bundt pan photo by Jenny Hartin. Collector photos courtesy of Vivian and Kerrey, EYB members. 

 

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and Canada and Nordic Ware is offering one of their Nordic Ware Premier Gold Brilliant Bundt Pan to one member in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first and which Nordic Ware product is on your wish list? The Fleur de Lis is next on my list. 

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on May 20th, 2018.

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121 Comments

  • antpantsii  on  April 8, 2018

    Lemon blueberry streusel bundt

  • laureljean  on  April 8, 2018

    I've been into all things maple lately, so the Blueberry-glazed maple walnut bundt.

  • stef  on  April 8, 2018

    Spiced cranberry orange pecan Bundt. I can just taste that combination

  • LarissaPrusak  on  April 8, 2018

    The Panettone Bundt would be my first try.

  • MadMom  on  April 8, 2018

    The Lemon Blueberry Streusel Bundt sounds divine!

  • rchesser  on  April 8, 2018

    Orange, fig and pistachio babka bundt…for sure.

  • sgump  on  April 8, 2018

    Sign me up for the triple coconut Bundt cake–and it looks as if the "elegant party" Bundt pan would make for easy slicing!

  • dvajefink  on  April 8, 2018

    Savory Caprese strata brunch bundt
    This savory Bundt cake recipes intrigue me!

  • IslandgirlOK  on  April 8, 2018

    I want to make the Apres-Ski Bundt (Irish Cream and Chocolate Swirl Cake).
    I think the Lotus Bundt Pan is going to be the next one I add to my collection, but the Premiere Gold Brilliant Bundt Pan is definitely calling out to me.

  • ksmith47406  on  April 8, 2018

    I’d make the Cinnamon swirl caramel bundt and the anniversary bundt pans with handles look useful.

  • amyz218  on  April 8, 2018

    Cheddar bacon jalapeño cornbread bundt! Oh,my!!!

  • sipa  on  April 8, 2018

    Lemon-glazed blueberry streusel

  • NancyLynn  on  April 8, 2018

    I'd make the vegan chocolate cake, and for fun use the halloween skull bundt mini cake molds

  • mcrimmins  on  April 8, 2018

    Peanut Butter Bundt sounds delicious. I love baking in the mini cake molds and just purchased the mini bunny mold.

  • hillsboroks  on  April 8, 2018

    The lemon filled coconut snowball bundt covers my two favorite flavors in one cake.

  • jr0717  on  April 8, 2018

    The mini chocolate lava bunts in the NordicWare quartet pan! Perfect!

  • Kimmaicutler  on  April 8, 2018

    Croque monsieur bundt

  • hillsboroks  on  April 8, 2018

    I forgot to add that I have the blossom bundt on my wish list.

  • mpdeb98  on  April 8, 2018

    Glazed cinnamon-raisin roll bundt

  • eliza  on  April 8, 2018

    The peach jam buttermilk sounds good.

  • Zosia  on  April 8, 2018

    Strawberries and cream bundt. The Bavaria bundt pan is next on my list.

  • chawkins  on  April 8, 2018

    The Boston Cream Bundt and the heritage pan.

  • janv  on  April 8, 2018

    Chocolate-cinnamon bundt cake with mocha icing

  • okmosa  on  April 8, 2018

    Lemon. Always lemon!

  • kmn4  on  April 8, 2018

    Lemon lover's bundt and the Nordic Ware Stained Glass Bundt Pan.

  • hae1123  on  April 8, 2018

    Hands down, Pecan Praline for me!

  • RoseMGenuine  on  April 8, 2018

    Oh, the squared bundt pan by Nordic Ware is classy.

  • RoseMGenuine  on  April 8, 2018

    And I want to make the strawberry and cream bundt! It’s a spring kind of thing.

  • southerncooker  on  April 8, 2018

    So many wonderful sounding cakes. Hard to choose one to start but either one of the chocolate ones or the lemon lovers bundt. The pans are nice too. The blossom one is on my wish list though.

  • ebs  on  April 8, 2018

    I think cherry vanilla and chocolate swirl bundt sounds delicious

  • lauriesk  on  April 8, 2018

    I would like to try the German Chocolate Bundt cake.
    The Nordic Ware Lotus Bundt pan is on my wish list.

  • Alleycat  on  April 8, 2018

    Garlic knot pull apart bread and the s'mores Bundt will be big hits here. I love the pan you posted above; that would ne my pick!

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  April 9, 2018

    I want to make the blueberry-glazed maple walnut bundt. The Nordic Ware baker's pan is on my wish list.

  • contest718  on  April 9, 2018

    Pecan praline bundt & Spiced applesauce breakfast bundt.
    Nordicware 9 Cup Bundt Quartet Pan & Nordic Ware Blossom Bundt Pan but if I could have them all I surely would!

  • JRumi  on  April 9, 2018

    Lemon lovers Bundt

  • sarahawker  on  April 9, 2018

    My kids LOVE Bundt cakes far more than any other dessert. I'm sure I'll end up with this book in either case! 🙂 First I'd try is the Boston cream bundt for my 13 y.o.!

  • vickster  on  April 9, 2018

    Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt and Rose Bundt Pan

  • AngelNewsi  on  April 9, 2018

    French onion soup pull-apart bundt and the pan I most want now is the Nordic Ware Elegant Party Bundt Pan. I've already got about a dozen bundt pans and I love them all 🙂

  • dmass  on  April 9, 2018

    I would love to try the Sweet Belgian Craquelin Bundt, sounds delicious. There are so many that sound good it's hard to pick just one. I would love any Nordic Ware Bundt, but would love to add the Heritage to my kitchen.

  • LaurenE  on  April 9, 2018

    Lemon Blueberry Streusel Bundt

  • koismith  on  April 9, 2018

    Lemon Lovers' Bundt. My friend mentioned lemon cake a week ago and I've been wanting lemon cake since, which I'm much more of a chocolate person!

  • dbielick  on  April 9, 2018

    Key lime bundt

  • Scotsman61  on  April 9, 2018

    Cheddar bacon jalapeño cornbread bundt and the Nordic Ware Stained Glass Bundt Pan

  • ktwalla  on  April 9, 2018

    Cheddar bacon jalapeño cornbread bundt

  • yvettehenderson  on  April 10, 2018

    I would say The Classic Pound Cake. Simple yet delicious!

  • ltsuk  on  April 10, 2018

    maple bacon monkey bread and the vintage star cake pan

  • ket06e  on  April 10, 2018

    Pecan praline or cinnamon swirl caramel!

  • lizkamerer  on  April 10, 2018

    Sticky toffee pudding bundt in the 9cup quartet pan!

  • heyjude  on  April 10, 2018

    Pecan Praline Bundt and the gold brilliant pan. I have the Castle Bundt and use it for birthdays.

  • Steben  on  April 10, 2018

    Croque monsieur strata bundt

  • Lmocooks  on  April 11, 2018

    S'mores bundt cake and I like the Baby Bunny cake pan. My kids would go nuts.

  • ravensfan  on  April 11, 2018

    Classic pound cake

  • amylou61  on  April 11, 2018

    I'd bake the Lemon lover's bundt. The Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan is on my wish list.

  • Teruska  on  April 13, 2018

    I would make the Figgy Pudding in Nordicware 3.5 Cup Geo Bundtlette Pan for individual serving purposes.

  • ToPieFor  on  April 14, 2018

    This was an easy choice…Cardamon Streusel Brunch Bundt with Blood Orange Glaze! I fancy a classic bundt so I'd choose Fleur de Lys.

  • lgroom  on  April 14, 2018

    The croquet monsieur Bundt cake.

  • Mariarosa  on  April 14, 2018

    I'd love to make (and eat!) the Lemon Lover's bundt. One of the Bundtlette cake pans would be on my wish list.

  • jluvs2bake  on  April 15, 2018

    Apple bread pudding with brandied butterscotch sauce

  • jluvs2bake  on  April 15, 2018

    Nordic Ware Pro Cast Original Bundt Pan, 12 Cup

  • allthatsleftarethecrumbs  on  April 15, 2018

    I don't make enough savory bundts, so the Savory Caprese strata brunch bundt.

  • thecharlah  on  April 15, 2018

    Peach jam buttermilk bundt and a 'Heritage Bundt Pan'

  • Patoliv1312  on  April 16, 2018

    Carrot Cake with White chocolate cream cheese frosting. Yum

  • RNJessicaK  on  April 17, 2018

    I'm obsessed with blueberries & maple so definitely Blueberry-Glazed Maple Walnut Bundt.

  • matag  on  April 17, 2018

    Savory Caprese strata brunch bundt

  • matag  on  April 17, 2018

    Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Heritage Bundt Pan

  • robynsanyal  on  April 18, 2018

    German Chocolate Bundt cake

  • jennsham  on  April 20, 2018

    Lemon Lover's bundt!

  • lapetitebaker  on  April 20, 2018

    I'm a huge lemon fan, so I'd love to try the "Lemon lover's bundt." I would love to add the Bundt Charms pan to my Nordic Ware collection. The variety of little bundts in the one pan is lovely!

  • catmommy9  on  April 20, 2018

    Chocolate chip cream cheese bundt, and I'd like to have the Nordic Ware Pro-Cast Bundt Duet Pan

  • Rosesrpink50  on  April 20, 2018

    It's hard to pick just one! I use to make bundt cakes all the time for special occasions, especially at work because they were so much easier and they always turned out! Always moist, no cracking. I think I would make one of the savory bundts first. Maybe the Cheddar bacon jalapeno cornbread bundt.

  • cwilsdon  on  April 20, 2018

    You had me at the Peach Jam Buttermilk Bundt. And I have my eye on the baby-bunny bundt (bundty? 🙂 cake pan.

  • Maefleur  on  April 20, 2018

    Spiced cranberry orange pecan bundt. I'm interested in the 6 cup heritage bundt pan, or the heritage loaf pan.

  • MiMi60  on  April 20, 2018

    Decadent vegan chocolate bundt
    I would love the savory bundt pan.

  • t.t  on  April 20, 2018

    Savory Caprese strata brunch bundt. I'd love the Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Heritage Bundt Pan.

  • sammi357  on  April 21, 2018

    Something savory, or lemon. And the 6.5 qt Dutch oven…just look at that RED!

  • RSW  on  April 21, 2018

    Pecan praline bundt and Nordic Ware Blossom Bundt Pan

  • Yarnia  on  April 21, 2018

    Decadent vegan and bundtlette

  • AnnaZed  on  April 22, 2018

    I would like to make a Pistachio bundt with coconut glaze in a Nordic Ware Solera Bundt Pan.

  • davisesq212  on  April 22, 2018

    I would love to try making the Dark chocolate mocha bread pudding !

  • EmilyR  on  April 23, 2018

    Lemon lover's bundt… I want to get another seashell pan, which they just re-released.

  • verorenee  on  April 23, 2018

    the lemon lovers bundt and the Nordic Ware crown bundt

  • Siegal  on  April 24, 2018

    I am with the majority here lemon lovers cake

  • demomcook  on  April 24, 2018

    Lemon lovers for me as well. I have the party bundt on my wish list.

  • jwolfe  on  April 25, 2018

    I, too, would make the lemon lovers bundt. I keep thinking about the heritage bundt or perhaps the pine forest bundt … both are on my list.

  • threefourpfeif  on  April 25, 2018

    I'd try the healthy start bundt because who doesn't love cake for breakfast!

  • dusksunset  on  April 26, 2018

    Savory Caprese strata brunch bundt

  • LABeachGal  on  April 26, 2018

    I would love to try the Peanut butter and jelly babka bundt! Anything with peanut butter and jelly is a winner in my book. And I'd love the Nordic Ware Solera Bundt Pan. It's so pretty!

  • trudys_person  on  April 27, 2018

    I would like to try the Cardamom-streusel brunch bundt with blood orange glaze, and I think the Vaulted Cathedral Bundt Pan is very pretty … Thank you!

  • sallansd  on  April 27, 2018

    Rich chocolate bundt – I'd love a new Bundt Pan from Nordic Ware!

  • jezpurr  on  April 27, 2018

    Dried cherry, apple, pecan and sausage stuffing bundt & Pistachio bundt with coconut glaze!!!^_^ The Gold Brilliant Bundt Pan looks awesome!!!^_^

  • linmin  on  April 27, 2018

    Spaghetti Carbonara Pie Bundt

  • lisambb  on  April 27, 2018

    Probably the rich chocolate bundt but the praline one looks really good too. And I love that brilliant bundt pan. I have several already but none like that.

  • honken  on  April 27, 2018

    Lemon lover's bund

  • Katiefayhutson  on  April 27, 2018

    Pecan praline and the Fleur de Lis pan

  • juazella  on  April 27, 2018

    Pecan praline bundt

  • Wojtanowski  on  April 28, 2018

    The pepperoni pull apart Bundt is a must try….the Nordicware crown Bundt pan is on my wish list

  • sequoia55  on  April 28, 2018

    Glazed cinnamon-raisin roll bundt & Nordicware crown Bundt pan

  • starrie143  on  April 28, 2018

    Croque Monsieur Strata Bundt

  • Dannausc  on  April 28, 2018

    Pecan praline bundt

  • Dannausc  on  April 28, 2018

    Pecan praline bundt and nordicware platinums collection heritage bundt

  • Julia  on  April 28, 2018

    Lemon lovers bundt

  • Laura1  on  April 28, 2018

    lemon lovers bundt and the nordicware crown pan

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  April 30, 2018

    can't go wrong with classic pound cake found on page 34

  • thewoobdog  on  April 30, 2018

    I want to try the Spaghetti Carbonara Pie bundt – yum!

  • sdg8trgrl  on  May 1, 2018

    Rich chocolate bundt and the Jubilee pan

  • jmay42066  on  May 1, 2018

    The lemon filled coconut snowball bundt

  • JJWong  on  May 2, 2018

    I'd try the Lemon Lover's Bundt, because we are a family of lemon lovers! This book would be wonderful to have because I just received a Nordic Ware Bundt cake pan over the holidays!

  • rltalbert  on  May 5, 2018

    The carrot cake with white chocolate frosting sounds delicious and would look great in the Anniversary bundt pan.

  • FireRunner2379  on  May 6, 2018

    I want to try the Glazed cinnamon-raisin roll bundt and would like the Nordic Ware Bundt Squared Pan.

  • Shelley.b  on  May 6, 2018

    Pecan praline bundt

  • miggsy  on  May 6, 2018

    Lemon Blueberry Streusel Bundt!

  • NanaBeth  on  May 7, 2018

    I'd love to try the Triple Coconut Bundt. Would love to add the Fleur De Lis pan to my collection. So elegant!

  • auntietina  on  May 9, 2018

    I want to try the Savory Caprese strata brunch bundt (whyyyy have I never thought of a savory bundt???). And the Nordic Ware piece I've got my eye on is the Stained Glass Bundt Pan.

  • amferrer  on  May 10, 2018

    Blueberry-glazed maple walnut bundt

  • orchidlady01  on  May 15, 2018

    Glazed cinnamon-raisin roll bundt

  • leilx  on  May 16, 2018

    peach jam buttermilk bundt

  • leilx  on  May 16, 2018

    peach jam buttermilk bundt. I only have one Nordic Ware bundt, so really I'd be happy with any but I think I would love to have the vintage star or the heart.

  • littleminxgirl  on  May 17, 2018

    I'm trying to be healthier, so maybe the vegan chocolate cake.. and we have a nordicware pan shaped like a sandcastle, so I'd use that for an outdoor bbq surprise

  • SarahGelle  on  May 21, 2018

    The lemon lovers bundt in the quartet pan, because who doesn't love something small?

  • goodfruit  on  September 15, 2019

    Lemon Lovers and Autumn Treats

  • DettaAsti  on  March 4, 2020

    crispy lemon glaze

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!