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Can you help me avoid a bundt cake disaster?

I recently purchased a Williams Sonoma fleur-de-lis bundt pan, and a few of the bundt cake mixes to go with it. (I had never made a bundt cake before, so wanted to stick with mixes before branching out.) On my first attempt, a pumpkin cake with streusel filling, I carefully greased and floured the pan, baked, and allowed it to cool for quite a while, probably over half an hour, before removing it from the pan. It came out wonderfully. On my second attempt, I greased but did not flour the pan quite as carefully, and tried to remove the cake from the pan about 10 minutes after it was done baking. The second attempt (strawberry bundt cake) fell apart into an ugly mess that could not be aesthetically salvaged. I assumed that I had tried to remove the cake too early. However, I have seen several posts and comments that indicate that the cake should not be left in the pan for too long. So, now I am thoroughly confused and more nervous than ever about making a new attempt. I would like to make a cake for New Year's Eve. I've armed myself with Pam for Baking. My question is twofold: (1) How will I know when to try to get the cake out of the pan, and (2) will Pam for Baking alone work? Thanks in advance.

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  1. MrHein, a Bundt pan is always the worst case scenario for removal of the finished product. This is due to the extra surface area, and your Fleur-de-lis pan, although beautiful, might be close to the extreme of the spectrum. I would make sure it is greased and floured very well.

    Cakes,by their design have very little gluten, and that exacerbates the problem of falling apart when they are removed from the pan. Waiting 1/2 hour to de-pan is perfectly fine, and I might go a little longer for extra insurance.

    1. Did just the top pieces stick to the pan or was it more like the top third layer? If it's just some of the "decorative" pieces, I would suggest greasing and flouring the pan REALLY well. The bundt pans with nooks and crannies are pretty but require a lot of greasing to keep the design. If a good portion of the cake fell apart, perhaps it wasn't baked quite enough?

      If all else fails and your NYE cake does stick to the pan, just whip up a nice glaze of frosting for the top. You won't have the fleur de lis pattern, but it'll still taste great. Besides, who doesn't love cake at a party, no matter what it looks like!

      1. Thanks all. I'm going to give it a decent amount of time this time. Leannabe, to answer your question, it wasn't really the decorative pieces that stuck, it was more that the cake split in half, with the top of the cake sticking to the pan. So the cake that came out had no top, and the rest was a crumbled mess by the time I got it out of the pan!

        1. It might help to use a pastry brush to apply the shortening, that way you can get every surface. Also, don't use butter, I hear it has a greater tendency to stick. I have some friends who collect bundt pans and they swear by bakers secret.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jcooks

            Yes, for a chocolate bundt, I have used melted butter with cocoa and applied this with a brush to paint every surface.

            1. re: Jcooks

              I like to use the wax paper wrapper from the stick of butter... smear a little extra butter on it, and use your fingers to get around every cranny of the pan, then get a handful of flour in there and shake it around til every surface is white. Then tap the excess lightly out into the sink.

              I have that very pan at home, and have met with beautiful results for lemon pound cakes.

            2. Pam for Baking will do the trick. Use lots of it. It already has the flour in it so you don't need to flour, just spray.

              1. I've had the same thing happen to me before, with the cake splitting in two. Lesson learned to let the cake cool a good long time. Pam with flour is excellent...I had a sticky, molasses-based cake come out of the budt pan perfectly yesterday. :)

                1. So, I've been making bundt cakes for a little while now and I cam across this forum. I've found what works best is to use a silicon bundt cake pan, grease it lightly with butter, using a paper towel to evenly distribute the butter, then spray the inside of the pan with Baker's Joy floured cooking spray. Let it cool for 20-30 minutes upside down in the pan, then flip it (while still in the pan) and cool another 30 minutes, allowing gravity to naturally run its course. When it comes time to removing the pan, because its flexible, gently tug on the edge just a little at several points, circling the whole cake to loosen the edges, then with both hands, slowly lift the pan. If you feel ANY resistance, stop and "massage" the pan just a little to loosen the cake from the edges, and try again. This has worked EVERY time for me. My only issue is with making chocolate bundt cakes, I tend to have trouble getting the center edge fully cooked.

                  1. As I have posted previously, Wilton Cake Release is absolutely the best product to insure perfect bundt cakes, even from old bundt pans without teflon, as well as new pans.

                    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_...

                    It is available for much less (I pay $3.49) at any baking or craft store that carries Wilton products. This stuff works like a dream!