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Making Perfect Bundt® Cakes

Making Perfect Bundt® Cakes
Bundt® is the American name for a German coffee cake that is traditionally baked in an elaborate mold with a center tube. This tube conducts extra heat to the middle of the cake, allowing it to bake more evenly.

Beautiful to look at and delicious to eat, these cakes are easy to make and don't require elaborate frostings or decorations. Simply embellish with a simple glaze or a dusting of confectioners' sugar to highlight the cake's sculpted design.

Whether you bake your cake from scratch or use one of our premium Bundt® cake mixes, these tips will help ensure your desserts turn out perfectly every time.

Preparing the pan
Using a pastry brush, grease the pan thoroughly with solid shortening. Sprinkle some flour in the pan, hold it over a sink, and turn and tilt the pan to distribute the flour evenly. Then invert the pan and tap out the excess flour to prevent a buildup of grease and flour on the finished cake. When greasing and flouring, be sure to coat all the crevices in the pan so the cake will release easily and the design will be sharply defined.

Filling the pan
To prevent the formation of air bubbles, spoon the batter into the pan somewhat slowly. If you pour the batter in quickly, air pockets are likely to form, which can produce holes in the finished cake. To release any bubbles that may have developed, tap the pan gently on a work surface.

Using a rubber or silicone spatula, spread the batter so the sides are slightly higher than the center. The cake will bake more evenly and be less likely to form peaks.

Baking the cake
Preheat the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at the temperature specified in the recipe. We suggest lining the bottom of your oven with a piece of aluminum foil to facilitate cleanup in case any batter overflows. Place the pan on the lower oven rack, making sure the pan sits level on the rack. Otherwise, the cake may bake unevenly, and the design will be less sharply defined on the finished cake.

Don't open the oven door until it's time to check the cake for doneness because a considerable amount of heat escapes each time you open the door. This will prolong the baking time, and the cake may become too dark on the outside while the center is not yet done. Begin checking for doneness 8 to 10 minutes before the total baking time is reached.

Removing the cake from the pan
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes. Then tap the pan firmly a few times and shake it gently to help loosen the cake. Invert the pan onto the rack, lift it off and let the cake continue to cool on the rack.

Glazing
To protect your countertop from drips, place the cake (still on the cooling rack) over a sheet of waxed paper. Glaze the cake while it is still warm so the flavors will better penetrate the cake. Apply the glaze with a pastry brush, rather than pouring it over the cake. This allows you to cover the cake more evenly, and the cake will absorb the glaze more effectively.

Dusting with confectioners' sugar
Use a fine-mesh sieve or flour sifter to dust the cake with confectioners' sugar. Do this just before serving as the sugar tends to melt into the cake as it sits. When it comes to dusting, remember that less is more. A light coating of sugar shows off the details of the cake's design more effectively than a heavy dusting.

Storing the cake
Let the cake cool completely, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or place inside a cake keeper and store at room temperature.