Converting cake recipes for a Bundt® pan

This weekend in several Facebook groups I came across questions regarding using Bundt® pans for other cake recipes and converting recipes. You have my solemn promise that I will not turn into the 24/7 Bundt® lady (1-800-BundtRx) but I wanted to write about this subject as it seems pertinent to bakers. (Darcie shared a very helpful article regarding converting pan sizes in baking last week.)

Which Bundt® pan should I purchase?

Bundt® recipes typically call for two sizes: 12-cup and 6-cup. The anniversary Bundt® holds 10 to 15 cups. Accordingly, this sized-pan will work for any recipe that requires a 10-cup through a 14-cup pan.

I recommend buying the anniversary Bundt® (10-15 cup size) so you are prepared for recipes of any size with just an adjustment to the baking time. (10-cup recipes will require less baking time than a 12-cup or 14-cup). I love the 6-cup pans to use for holiday baking (I have two). I can bake two cakes with one 12-cup recipe and have one cake to gift and one cake to eat.

Can I bake layer cake recipes in a Bundt® pan?

Cook’s Illustrated tested three 9-inch round layer cakes – yellow, chocolate and carrot – and found while the cakes were a bit denser and needed additional time to bake – the result was positive.

I found a helpful conversion table on Comfortably Domestic, Joy of Baking shared some helpful advice, and King Arthur Flour addressed this issue as well. For those who wish to bake a Bundt® cake recipe in regular pans, the Kitchn offered this advice. The Spruce shares some wonderful advice on making the most out of your bakeware with particulars regarding specialty pans (see their chart below).

Illustration: Lara Antal. © The Spruce, 2019

If you have a 14-cup recipe and only own a 10-cup to 12-cup pan measure out the cake batter for the appropriate pan and bake off the remaining batter as cupcakes (you will need to shorten the bake time as you aren’t using a 14-cup recipe/pan so check for doneness fifteen minutes prior). Cupcakes usually take approximately 15 to 18 minutes to bake. Scaling recipes can be done but I’d rather tackle cupcakes than math problems.

How do I know when my Bundt® cake is done?

To check for doneness the most accurate method is by using an instant-read thermometer (OXO makes a nice product). However, Thermapen is my favorite and can be purchased at King Arthur and other baking supply stores. A Bundt® cake should register 210 degrees in the middle of the cake indicating doneness. The toothpick method isn’t reliable for a Bundt® cake.

Nordic Ware does make a special reuseable Bundt® cake thermometer which turns red indicating the cake is done. I ordered one of these thermometers and will test it out once I receive it and report back.

Other Bundt®/baking related articles:

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  • angrygreycat  on  September 16, 2019

    I have an odd shaped Nordic ware bundt pan. It is large (probably 12 cup) and in a wreath pattern, but the circle it makes is big and the dish itself is shallow. I have had a difficult time getting baking times right in it.

  • IslandgirlOK  on  September 17, 2019

    Great post! I love the illustration, as well as the idea of using a thermometer to check for doneness.

  • mfto  on  September 17, 2019

    I also highly recommend the anniversary Bundt® pan. I have had one for years and never a failure. The pan still looks great, too. Of course, I believe in hand washing, avoid the dish washer.

  • rchesser  on  September 19, 2019

    Thank you, I have this article bookmarked!

  • Creative.Juices  on  September 20, 2019

    What a terrific bunch of links – no doubt they’ll come in handy for the holidays, and beyond!

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