HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


???? re Nordic Ware "fancy" cake molds--have you used them?

I was thinking about getting one of these, specifically to make one of my Christmas dinner desserts, just for something different:


Have you ever used them? With the ones that have especially angular or "pointy" designs, do the details show up in the cakes? Is it hard to remove the cakes? Also, are they non-stick, and if so, do the cakes brown properly?

In particular, I was considering one of the following shapes: the chrysanthemum, fleur-de-lis, holiday tree or cathedral molds. I'm thinking of doing a babas au rhum, although that might change.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I just have the basic bundt in that series, and it has both rounded and pointy elements. The details come out beautifully clear. They are nonstick, but you still really need to use butter+flour or whatever that bakers version of Pam (baker's companion or something?) is, to ensure a smooth release. I can't really comment on the browning.

    I've always wanted some of the designs you're talking about ( I've been admiring the sunflower, actually) but how many bundt pans does a person need? So, lately , I've been eying the minis, which come in some of the same flower shapes you're considering, but smaller. I see they are on sale on that site, with free shipping on orders over $50, so, that might nudge me towards a purchase.

    I would love to hear what you end up with, what you do with it, and how it turns out.


    1. I have the castle pan and the details come out very well. And the cake is browned properly. I use a pastry brush to get shortening in all the nook and crannies before flouring. And give it a hard bang over sink (oooo, that sounds dirty) to make sure there is no excess flour. I have found if I don't do that last step, sometimes the details are lost a little.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sooeygun

        LOL, Sooey, re the sink. It will be our little secret. ;-)

      2. I've used the castle and the details do come out remarkably clear. Because of the nature of the shape, it is not especially easy to get an artistic glaze on one.

        1. I have both the bundt cake (large) and smaller individual cake pans. I LOVE them and always get oohs and aahs when I serve something baked in them. I use the "bakers" spray formulation and they slide out of the pans beautifully. The biggest problem is cleaning the pans afterward. Also, you can usually find these on sale for $20 or less at TJ Maxx or Tuesday Morning.

          1. I have the "Bavaria" one. I grease and flour it, as for a basic cake. (I don't remember if that's what the manufacturer says, or if it is "theoretically" non-stick on its own). I bought it as a replacement for a dollar-store type "bundt" pan, and passed the "bundt" pan on to a daughter starting up her kitchen.

            I really like the Nordic ware pan-- much better than the dollar-store pan. My cakes come out beautifully.

            1. Thank you all so much for the replies.

              I feel much more assured about getting one now, after hearing your endorsements.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Normandie

                I've had the rose for at least five years. I use the flour and oil pressurized spray on it and have never lost a cake. The pointy bits have always come out just right and it de-pans easily.

                I was given a blue silicon mold with six smaller roses. It makes for a charming variation. But the cakes are too large for a single serving and every time, the four on the ends come out darker crusted than the two at center. I even had people wondering what the difference was in the batters used between the darker and lighter cakes. I know these are minor quibbles, but they are a variable that could be used to advantage.

                1. re: shallots

                  shallots, I know we can't do this with every type of cake batter, but I was just wondering if you have ever tried rotating the silicon pan halfway through baking and, if so, whether it had made a difference? Just curious.

                  I've never tried any silicon bakeware. I love my silicon utensils, but just because I'm a genuine klutz, I can see myself spilling the contents of a silicon mold.

                  1. re: Normandie

                    I have always put the silicon multimold on an old cookie sheet- those molds are flexible to a fault.

                    I should try convection for better circulation, but haven't yet.

                    1. re: shallots

                      If you bake or roast a lot, I think you would like convention. I've only had it for a couple of months, but I've noticed what I think is a real positive difference in both my baked goods and roasted meats. And I can say this despite some temperature issues with a couple of the cooking modes that service is still working on. Regardless of those specific problems, I have found just as people said I would that things cook more quickly, baked goods rise *beautifully* and they and meats gets lovely browning and a yummy crispiness on things like chicken skin.

              2. Like others, my wife has a few of these...sand castle, pumpkins, maybe one other. I've always greased them with "bakers grease" of equal parts vegetable oil, flour and shortening. Never had a problem with them sticking, they turn out really nice.

                11 Replies
                1. re: jzerocsk

                  Seems like everybody's satisfied with these, jzerocsk. So nice to hear about products that appear to deliver what they promise!


                  1. re: Normandie

                    I have several Nordic Ware cake pans ranging from full size cake to 30 tiny cakes in one pan and love them all. I always use Baker's Secret and never have any problem with sticking. My favorite bundt cake recipe suggests cooling the cake(s) for ten minutes exactly and then inverting the pan on the cooling rack. So far this tip has worked every time. Be aware that the smaller the cake in the pans of 12, 20 or 30 sometimes lose a little detail due to air bubbles in the batter. The Platinum Series is Nordic Ware's premium line. Maxx/Marshall's/Home Goods sometimes have the specialty pans, mostly in the fall leading up to the holidays.

                    1. re: wvgardener

                      wv, is Baker's Secret a spray?

                      Also, toward the end of your post, when you said "the pans of 12, 20 or 30"--to what do the numbers refer?

                      So far the designs that I especially like are in the Platinum Series.

                      1. re: Normandie

                        Oops! My mistake. It's Baker's Joy not Baker's Secret and it is a spray available at many supermarkets. I like this brand better than store brands or other oil and flour sprays.

                        Nordic Ware makes several pans with multiple cavities for small cakes. The older designs are roughly the size of a muffin pan with 12 cavities. There are several with 6, 9,12, 20 or 30 cavities. Newer designs feature a pan shaped like a scallop shell, dinosaur footprint, butterfly, etc . Search "Nordicware Cake Pans" at Amazon to view the largest selection of these lovely pans. Another bonus is that they're American made. So when I splurge on more for my collection, I can say I'm helping the domestic economy. : )

                      2. re: wvgardener

                        If the Platinum Series is Nordic Ware's best line, does this mean one should avoid Nodric Ware's other lines- the Pro-Cast and Pro-Form?

                        I spotted a sale for Nordic Ware Pro-Cast Bavaria Bundt and I know that some posters wrote positive things about the Bavaria Bundt shape, but now I'm concerned if I will have problems with the Pro-Cast line.

                        1. re: hobbess

                          I also hope someone can share the experience. I want to buy two 6 cup bundt pans to use the recipe for a 12 cupt bundt pan and Nordic ware has three choices. Platinum, Pro-cast, and Pro-form. Pro-form is significantly less expensive. "More than $15 difference". Since I need two of them, the price is attractive to me.

                          I checked the website and the warranty periods are different for Pro-Cast/pro-Form (10 years) vs Plutinum series ( Lifetime) as you might know. but they didn't really explain what is the main difference of those pans.

                          Also, I have a Pro-Cast 12 cup Bundt pan and a pan for 6 small bundt cakes (Pro cast) bought cheap at WS outlet and used them for a while but it is less than two years. I really don't know how long they will last. One poster at Amazon said her pro-Cast started to become not non-stick after 5 years. So it might happen to my pans, too, but so far I have nothing to complain. It is really a heavy duty pan and releasing is pretty easy.

                    2. re: jzerocsk

                      " I've always greased them with "bakers grease" of equal parts vegetable oil, flour and shortening."

                      Mind telling us more? Is this a preparation you have on hand? Equal parts of oil, flour and shortening? How do you get it into crevices and then remove excess that would distort detail? Does it need to be stored in the fridge? Warmed, perhaps, to be malleable enough for use?

                      Thanks in advance for details. It sounds like it could be a useful thing to have at hand. I would sooooo like to abandon those pressurized sprays and the flurocarbons, etc but they're just so perfect for the job of greasing these intricate shapes.

                      1. re: rainey

                        I've begun using a similar product that I get at a kitchen supply store (sorry the name escapes me, but I believe it's made by the same company that makes all the cake decorating tips -- Wilton maybe?), and I find that it works better than the spray. I always have an issue with an apple cake that I make in a bundt pan, and this allows the cake to release better. Not perfect, but better. You brush it on, and although it doesn't say to do this, I always flour it afterwards.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          Probably Wilton Cake Release. In Ontario, they usually have it at Bulk Barn, if anyone is looking for it.


                        2. re: rainey

                          The first time my wife went to use one of these pans, I went Googling to see if there was a good way to ensure that the cake would come out of the pan without being a complete disaster and found a number of references to it.

                          I don't bake a lot of cakes, so I just throw it together when I need it...a tablespoon of each gives me plenty. I believe you can mix it in larger quantities. I think a lot of people that do so refrigerate it but considering the ingredients, it may not be necessary.

                          Anyway, mix them all together...you'll end up with a pasty consistency, and then just brush it on. It will probably be more labor intensive than a spray since you do have to get the brush in all the little nooks. My wife always delegates this task to me :-)

                          1. re: jzerocsk

                            Thanks so much for the tip. I'm going to try it on my next bundt. Might as well try it on some muffins as well.

                      2. I had to replace my basic bundt pan after 25-30 years. I chose this one 'cause it looked classic and I'm only going to store one. http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details...

                        Despite the sharp angles all over it, I haven't had it fail to release yet. I use one of those sprays that contain flour.

                        Are you a Costco member? For the last 2 holiday seasons they've stocked a choice of several of the fancier Nordicware pans. The price is a little better than internet prices and it's included a serving plate that interlocks with a cloche for storage.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rainey

                          I think that Bavarian design is very appealing, too, rainey. It actually made my "top five" list, but barely got beat out for the "top four" list. ;-)

                          I like the Cathedral and Tree pan simply because I think they're more fun (read: less boring) than anything I have, plus the Tree pan reminds me of home here in New England, but honestly, at least to start out if I'm only going to purchase one or two, I think the crystanthemum and fleur-de-lis molds would be more practical--like the Bavarian, suitable to more occasions, whether formal, informal, so on.

                          I'm not a Costco member. Some of my friends are, but although I've considered memberships like that on various occasions, when I had the chance either to look at the invetories (food and otherwise) online, or through trial visits, or in talking to friends, I just never seemed to buy enough of anything to make it worthwhile. I know in particular though that two of my friends who don't care to bake but who entertain larger groups a lot use their Costco membership a lot to buy (what seem to me) to be massive desserts and cookie trays, etc.

                          I'd like to know what it's that Nordic Ware cookbook cutleryandmore is offering for those who buy two pans.

                        2. I have (and like) the fleur de Lis style. http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details...

                          For another idea, here's a variation I saw recently--

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: blue room

                            On that second one...then the springform side works with the bundt base? Am I understanding that correctly? That's a great idea, although the design is more standard.

                            Re the Nordic Ware, blue, I think the fleur-de-lis is *very* pretty and yet classic. I like the shapes of the fleur-de-lis, Bavarian and crysanthemum because it looks like it would easier to cut narrower slices than it might be with the holiday tree form.

                            1. re: Normandie

                              Yes, the idea is you get 2 bases, one is plain and one is a bundt shape. It would take some of the worry out of the releasing process, but the cake would be less awesome too..

                              As for Nordicware, let's face it, I want ALL of them--doesn't everybody--and this company will continue with new designs each year to keep us drooling!

                              1. re: blue room

                                They're all very pretty but they take a lot of storage space. One is enough for me. But you guys may have more storage space.

                                1. re: blue room

                                  I want that Fleur D'Lis and will never see my hand me down and almost worn out classic bundt the same again.

                                2. re: Normandie

                                  I have that Kaiser pan. Works great, It's easier to prepare for batter and it's more versatile. It's also smaller capacity than most bundt pans.

                                  1. re: rainey

                                    I have a number of them and I find that I have to grease the pans very, very well and wait 30 minutes until I gently release the cakes. I have had about 3 disasters with the cake coming out in pieces. It takes a long time to clean the pans. I end up using a tooth pick and a Q tip a lot.
                                    I have had the pumpkin pan for almost 8 years. When buying be sure to buy only the Platinium series for best results (browning).

                                    My favourite pan is the Quartet Mini Bundt Pan. I use it a lot for gifts and church bazaars.

                                    The 6-cup Bundt Pan is perfect for quickbread recipes.

                                    The Heart Bundt Pan (10 cups) is lovely with berries in the centre.

                                    10-cup Bavaria Bundt Pan is nice too.

                                    The 10-cup Holiday Wreath Bundt Pan is nice for Christmas parties. I went online and read some bad reviews of the other Nordic Ware Christmas pans. Avoid the
                                    10-cup Holiday Tree Bundt Pan. It got very bad reviews and seems impossible to get out of the pan (tree tips).
                                    There were also complaints about the Igloo Nordic Ware pan: the entrance to the igloo (which is smaller) buring. There used to be another version of the castle (Sand Castle) that came out in 2005 that was another disaster. Also the octopus is to be avoided.

                                    1. re: Smachnoho

                                      It takes a long time to clean the pans in general (with toothpicks etc.) or just when you've had a disaster? I'm considering one of the minis, but don't want to if, as a matter of routine, I'm going to have to clean with a toothpick...


                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        I just fill the pan with water when the cake comes out. By the time they've soaked an hour or two a brush with stiff bristles or even the water pressure in the dishwasher is enough to get all the bits. ...but then I don't have any of the very intricate shapes.

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          TDQ, I don't know what Smachnoho's experience is, but I have the rose mini (6 cakes in the pan), and I haven't had any real problems. I do use the baking spray, and the cakes release just fine (I can see that the release might be more problematic with the big cake in full-size pan), and cleaning the pan isn't much more work than with a standard bundt.

                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                            Oh, good! Thanks for that info! Are the roses 1 cup or 3/4 cup?


                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              They are 1 cup exactly when filled to the rim, so the pan accomodates a recipe meant for a 6-cup bundt pan, or half a recipe meant for a standard 12-cup bundt pan.

                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            The specific pan that I have a problem with is the Bavarian mould in the Quartet Mini Bundt Pan. I find that I don't see the bits of dried dough in the fine lines until I am drying the pan. One of my aunts who was over pointed this out to me. She took it up close to the light and showed me. Now I am careful to run a fingernail along the fine lines when drying to make sure I get everything out. If I can't get it out with my fingernail then I use a toothpick. And yes, this is genral for this pan. I don't have the same problem with the large 8-10 cup Bavarian Bundt pan.

                                            The design on the pumpkin loaf pan is also quite fine and I always have to use a Q-tip on it when drying the tiny lines on the leaves of the pumpkin.

                                          3. re: Smachnoho

                                            Re the Quartet Mini Bundt Pan--are the finished cakes appropriate for a single sized serving, or are they too big?

                                            1. re: Normandie

                                              I think they are too big for a single size serving. I think the heart shape one is just perfect for two but I have taken cakes of the other moulds to a dinner and the hostess cut it up into 4 small pieces. Once I took 2 different cakelets (chocolate & white) and the hostess gave each of the guest 2 pieces of cake.

                                              For a single size serving I would advise you to buy this pan:

                                              They make a large size single serving. I also own it. I just wish they made the heart shape molds in that size.
                                              Also I have never had any problems with cleaning the Garland pan.

                                            2. re: Smachnoho

                                              why do you say to avoid the Octopus pan? I use it a lot and it comes out great!

                                      2. This site http://www.baking911.com/cakes/bundt.htm explains the 3 part mixture you can use to coat the pans, also has some bundt history, and useful info about batter amounts. Also some advice about unmolding, which might make all the difference.
                                        I've wondered in the past if I could simply use cool old Jello molds as cake pans--it might be fun to experiment with this shortening/oil/flour mix as insurance.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: blue room

                                          OK, I went to the site:
                                          "Part of the trick is to prepare the pans in a certain way: with equal parts of shortening, oil and flour, and use a pastry brush to apply it; get every nook and cranny but not so much that when the cake comes out it has white flour on it in spots."
                                          Do you make a paste with the shortening, oil and flour? What I do is use my fingers to get the shortening in all parts of the design. Then I shake flour over the inside and finally turn the pan upside down to shake off the excess flour.

                                        2. I use them for rum cake and any type of pound cake. The designs show up nicely and I have no problem turning out cakes, provided they are sprayed well with a non stick spray.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: rettoc

                                            rettoc, were you replying to my comment about old Jello molds here, or just bundt pans?

                                          2. I'd like to try lining a bundt pan with phyllo--in this recipe from the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/15/din...
                                            the photo shows that it takes the shape beautifully-- and browns. (I think you have to register for the NYT.) This is a feta torte, looks good! A simple bundt pan would be best, the detail would be limited.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: blue room

                                              The Cathedral Bundt pan is another one to avoid. See the reviews here:

                                              I would like to buy the Heritage Bundt pan but after my bad experiences with the Cathedral I am hesitant.

                                              1. re: LidaK

                                                I have the tree cake, made several of them and have not had problems if I carefully greased it and used wondra flour. I have also used Bakers Secret (the flour) spray successfully. I also have many of the two sided pans (Turkey and Rabbit). Just haven't had any problems. Cooks Illustrated did a check on the platimum series and gave it a thumbs up....

                                                1. re: LidaK

                                                  I know this is a really old post, but I just happened upon this thread, and I would like to relate that the Heritage Bundt is the first NordicWare bundt pan I have that I have had no problems whatsoever with. And I have quite a few (Rose, Cathedral, Castle, Bavarian, Sunflower, Chrysanthemum, Fleur-de-Lys, and possibly one or two more that I'm forgetting . . . I know--I'm a bit of a hoarder in this area.) Anyway, the Heritage is my absolute favorite . . . not only does it release really well, but I think the design is absolutely gorgeous. Everyone comments on how beautiful the cakes made in it are.

                                              2. Two more questions, sorry:

                                                For those of you who have used the mini-bundt pans, have you had success baking other things in them? Meatloafs and such? I'm just curious how that went.

                                                Also, has any one tried baking in the tea cakes and candies pan? http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details...


                                                1. I have the Nordic seashell pan. Each sea shell takes only about a tablespoon or less of batter and is very intricate.

                                                  Do not use oil sprays on them. The sprays have lecithin and cause a build up that will eventually cause the cakes to stick. I use a homemade mixture of crisco and flour or for chocolate cakes cocoa powder and crisco. You can store it almost indefinitely in the refrig. Even the smallest details come out clean but cleaning is best done with a pastry brush to get down in the crevices. I use this pan for madeleines.

                                                  Example of the seashell pan

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: kayakado

                                                    kayakado, could you please post the recipe (or a link) to the madeleines you use with the Nordic pan? I have the pan and would love to try it with madeleines but have not made them before.

                                                  2. I have at least a half dozen specialty cake pans but the best are the gold pans from William-Sonoma. The Nordic pans work great too and they are also non-stick. I use either Baker's Joy or the Wilton cake release but make sure they cool for the exact time specified by the pan label. Cleaning is easy if you soak the pan in warm soapy water for a bit then finish with a brush. I use a small brush for the pans with tiny cavities. My favorite is the rose pan as I also have the little rose pan. Very pretty to make the large rose surrounded by small roses. I make a lemon pound cake and glaze with lemon zest, juice and powdered sugar glaze. Yum!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Brown Rabbit Mom

                                                      I purchased this "Snowy Village" discontined at WS and loves it. Baked several times for gifts over holidays.


                                                    2. I realize this is an older post but just had a question can you bake two of these quartet pans in the oven at the same time? I have an older electric oven that works well but just wondering if thats a big No/No or not?? Not a Baker except at Xmas more of a cook...

                                                      1. Just baked first time - softened butter and flour ( shake excess) released but pans need to be washed before next batch ...

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. I just saw the Nordic Honeycomb pan and am lusting for it.
                                                          Has anyone used it? Are you happy with it?


                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                            Yes, I have it (I actually got TWO a couple of Christmases ago, and I really like it though I have not used it that frequently. I made the recipe that came with the pan, which was delicious.