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Aug 23, 2011 10:09 PM

A BundtTM Pan?

OK, so I'm at a garage sale last weekend. No copper, but there's this *really* heavy-gauge aluminum Bundt pan. Like 3mm thick all over. I'm looking at it, and it has cast on the outside "BUNDT* Pan", and below that, "*Trademark".

I'm wondering: Is the term (or pan) "Bundt" proprietary? Or is this a great example of how a trademark gets abused, or lost because it wasn't defended?

The manufacturer was also cast on the bottom: Northland Aluminum Products, Inc., Minneapolis Minn. USA"

Help me out here... Is there an *official* Bundt, or what?


PS If it helps, the pan was in the "Free" pile at the garage sale, and is now in my kitchen.

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  1. The word bundt comes from bundkuchen. In American cookbooks it was sometimes spelled bundt, probably because in German the 'd' was pronounced more like a 't' and maybe because the authors thought the 'dt' looked more German. H. David Dalquist was a metallurgist who is credited with inventing the modern bundt pan in 1950. He designed in the creases to make it easier to cut and made the pan from cast aluminum instead of the traditional ceramic. Dalquist trademarked the name Bundt through his company NordicWare. After a bundt cake made in a NordicWare-style pan won the Pillsbury bake-off in 1966, the bundt cake became a big craze in the US, and sales of these pans took off. Pillsbury jumped on the bandwagon and started producing bundt cake mixes with fillings and so on, and licensed the use of the Bundt name from NordicWare. If your pan is an original 1950's Dalquist cast aluminum pan, who knows, it might be worth something.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ninrn

      What was amazing is that the Tunnel of Fudge cake did not even win the Pillsbury Bake-off, it took second place. Pillsbury started to sell cake mixes for the Tunnel of Fudge cake. It was a great success and the Pillsbury executive responsible for the effort was Roger Headrick. That was Headrick's main claim to fame ubtil he became president and part-owner of the Minnesota Vikings.

      1. re: John E.

        Bundt rip-offs have been around for a very long time. I bought one just about 40 yrs ago when the tunnel cake mixes were popular. I assume, since it is very thin and very lightweight, that mine is aluminum, but it is copper-colored. I know it was very cheap at the time, but it works fine and I have never seen the need to upgrade.

    2. That's BUNDT with the circle-R in the US at least. First used in 1951, trademark filed 1966, renewed in 2007. Nordic Ware owns the company that owns the trademark.

      record from US Trademark database
      Word Mark BUNDT
      Goods and Services IC 021. US 013. G & S: CAKE PANS. FIRST USE: 19510000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19510000
      Serial Number 72241796
      Filing Date March 24, 1966
      Current Filing Basis 1A
      Original Filing Basis 1A
      Registration Number 0826340
      Registration Date March 28, 1967
      Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
      Attorney of Record JAMES T NIKOLAI
      Type of Mark TRADEMARK
      Register PRINCIPAL
      Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECTION 8(10-YR) 20070406.
      Renewal 2ND RENEWAL 20070406
      Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

      1. I have encountered aluminum Bundt pans that were not cast aluminum, but a thinner weight of aluminum. I prefer the heavier cast aluminum pan. Many of the pans made in the late '70s and '80s had a non-stick coating that made getting the cake out of the pan slightly easier. You have to thoroughly grease and flour the pan for best removal; at least that was my experience. An old recipe for Hummingbird cake was often made in this pan.

        1. I saw a Bundt pan like you described in a thrift store today. It was heavy guage aluminum and from the avocado green color it was from the late 60's or early 70's. It was priced at $4. I did not buy it because we already have one that is used infrequently (I made a 7up cake in it last year).

          3 Replies
          1. re: John E.

            Here is a link to Doktor (Doctor) Bird, or Hummingbird cake. The linked recipe is just like my old recipe from the '70s except it lacks the 1 1/2 t. vanilla my recipe has, and adds chopped walnuts. Some of the online sources treat this as a layer cake (Hummingbird Cake) but I have only known it as a cake baked in a tube or Bundt pan, which is how I baked it.

            If I were baking this now, I'd decrease the oil and sugar, which is how I have baked for years. I don't care for an overly oily cake.

            Here is the note on my recipe about the name: A moist fruity cake named for the hummingbird, symbol of Air Jamaica airlines.

            1. re: sueatmo

              Link missing!

              I love hummingbird cake, and by adding oatmeal and using coconut oil, I adapted it for the Healthy Hummingbird Muffins recipe (see CHOW recipes) that was a finalist in the recent muffin contest.

              1. re: greygarious


                Oops, sorry. Here it is. Hey thanks for telling about your Healthy Hummingbird Muffins. Way to go!