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Dec 29, 2006 08:40 PM

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.

          4 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.

                1. re: Jcooks

                  Shortening, not butter. And when you think you've greased enough, go back and grease it some more. Make extra-sure you get into every little nook and cranny and grease the top of the center tube, too. I use a wadded-up paper towel and keep dipping into the shortening can, but a brush is less messy. I just don't want to have to wash it.

                  Nordic Ware, the maker of many bundt pans, recommends that you do not use any pan spray that contains lecithin. Most supermarket sprays do have lecithin. Some baking-specific sprays do not.

                  Make sure you flour the pan well. Greasing alone will not do. And like julesrules said, use cocoa powder instead of flour for chocolate 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.