The best Bundt pan will transform even the simplest cake recipe into something beautiful, nostalgic, and celebration-worthy. A Bundt is effortlessly stunning, with no complicated layering required. You don’t even need to make a frosting—just finish it with a simple glaze or an elegant dusting of powdered sugar. These magic pans are a valuable investment for bakers of all skill levels, and if you don’t already have a favorite Bundt cake pan in rotation, you should add one to your bakeware collection stat. My top pick? I’ve baked a lot of Bundts and own a number of beloved pans, but there is one that reigns supreme in my kitchen cabinets: the Anniversary Bundt from Nordic Ware.
Why is this the best Bundt pan around?
If you don’t have the cabinet space to collect a variety of Bundt shapes and sizes, this pan will give you the most flexible bang for your buck. At around $38, this high-quality pan with a nonstick finish is a worthy, affordable addition to any baker’s cupboard and is made to last.
Nordic Ware is a family-owned kitchenware brand based out of Minnesota. The term “Bundt” was coined by its cofounder, Dave Delquist, in the early 1950s (that’s right—they invented the Bundt). Delquist was seeking a trademarkable name for Nordic Ware’s uniquely shaped ring-style cake pan, known for its rounded ridges, and found inspiration in the German word bundkuchen, or “gathering cake.” It has since become synonymous with an entire category of deeply beloved baked goods: Bundt cakes. While there are endless styles and shapes of Bundt pans available now, this original pan is a classic for a reason. The fluting makes it easy to evenly portion slices, and it turns out beautiful cakes that look great plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or glazed.
This specific Nordic Ware nonstick pan is designed to have a flexible capacity, which is really my favorite thing about it. While other cake pans are sold by their diameter and length (8″ round, 9″ square, etc.), Bundt pans are distinguished by the volume of their internal capacity. Most standard Bundt pans are made to hold about 10–12 cups of batter, although you can find cute mini Bundt pans as well, like this 6-cup pan from Nordic Ware.
The Anniversary Bundt pan has straighter sides and a taller height (4½”) than most other pans, which works well with a variety of batter quantities—anywhere from 10–15 cups. Filling the pan partially using a smaller quantity of cake batter will result in a shorter, more squat cake. Filling it more will produce a towering wonder worthy of the most special occasion. This heavy-duty cast-aluminum Bundt pan will maintain its shape without risk of warping, and it’s also easy to clean. And since the hardest part about baking a Bundt is the unmolding process, this pan also boasts handles and a PFOA-free, silicone-based nonstick coating to make the “big flip” a smooth one.
<click> Add to cart. Now how should I use my Bundt pan?
You’ve got a great excuse to make any number of Bundt cake recipes, like this Fruity Rum Bundt, this Sticky Toffee Date number, or even a classic Lemon Buttermilk beauty. But think beyond the pound cake—a Bundt pan shape is useful for a number of other baking projects too, like ooey-gooey Monkey Bread. Or use it to make a decorative ice ring to keep a batch of punch cold at your next party. Baking stuffing in a Bundt pan makes for both beautiful presentation and an increased ratio of crispy exterior to soft interior texture. For the gelatin fans, it also makes a gorgeous Jelly Mold! In my upcoming book, Savory Baking, I even use a Bundt pan to bake a loaf of bread, first coating the pan with butter and sesame seeds so that the loaf is evenly encrusted when unmolded.
How do I care for my Bundt pan?
Because of the crevices and crannies, Bundt pans—especially highly decorative ones—have a reputation of being more difficult to clean than the average cake pan. Nordic Ware’s Anniversary Bundt is not dishwasher-safe, so if there’s anything visibly stuck inside your pan, let it soak in hot soapy water for 5–10 minutes before trying to clean it. This should make it easier to remove any stubborn bits without risk of scratching the non-stick surface. Nordic Ware sells a special “Bundt cleaning tool,” but you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush instead to help gently scrub the pan. Be sure to dry the pan well before storing it, especially if you’re stacking it with other baking pans.
But why stop at just one Bundt pan?
If you’re going to own only one, the best Bundt cake pan is the Nordic Ware Anniversary Bundt—but if you bake cakes frequently and want to hop on the Bundt-collecting train with me, there are so many amazing shapes and sizes out there. Unlike more utilitarian round and square cake pans, Bundt pans also look as great on your shelf as the finished cakes themselves. Here’s a few of my other favorites:
This slightly smaller (9″ diameter/10 cup capacity) Bundt pan, also from Nordic Ware, is aptly named the “Elegant Party Bundt.” It has evenly spaced ridges all around, and each makes a perfect slice guide so that every portion is just right. It’s also designed to be used with standard (non-Bundt) cake recipes, so you can easily convert an existing recipe in your repertoire into a Bundt.
One of my other favorite cookware brands is USA Pan, which makes very utilitarian, no-frills nonstick bakeware that’s reliable and encourages excellent browning on baked goods. Their Fluted Tube Cake Pan is no exception—it bakes evenly and releases cleanly. It is made with aluminized steel, the same rust-resistant material that professional bakers use.
If you prefer the easy release of silicone Bundt pans to metal pans, this mini mold from Silikomart might be for you. It has 15 cavities, each almost 2″ in diameter, and makes perfectly sweet two-to-three-bite mini Bundt cakes. Think of them as cupcakes, Bundt-ified.
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