Bundt cakes are some of the most visually appealing cakes that you can make. They come out of the pan ready to serve, with pretty swirling designs already set into your cake. At least, that is what you hope will happen when you bake a bundt cake. Unfortunately, bundt cakes have a tendency to get stuck in the pan, leaving you with a less-than-picture-perfect cake. There are many reasons that bundt cakes can get stuck inside the pans. The cake could include mix-ins that are likely to adhere to the inside of the pan, such as berries, toffee bits and butterscotch chips. The cake pan could have such an elaborate design that not every nook and cranny was properly filled with batter, creating air pockets and gaps in the finished pattern. Or, more commonly the cake pay may not have been prepared as well as it could have been.
Tip #1: Grease and flour your pan to ensure that your bundt cake comes out perfectly. Melted shortening or a liquid fat, such as vegetable oil or clarified butter, should be brushed into every nook and cranny of your pan using a pastry brush. Starting with a liquid, it will be much easier to ensure every bit of the pan is greased, especially if your pan has a lot of detail. Spray on oils can work well, as long as you get the corners and take care not to allow the spray to pool in the bottom of the pan. Softened butter is not ideal because it contains milk solids and water, both of which could potentially create a place for the cake to stick. Dust the pan with flour after greasing it, knocking the excess out over the trash can or the sink.
Tip #2: Know when to take your cake out of the pan. If your cake does not include any mix ins, such as a Lemon Pound Cake, you can allow it to cool completely in the pan before removing it. A cooled cake is much less likely to break if you need to jiggle the pan to loosen it. But if your cake includes mix-ins, such as chocolate chips, fruit or nuts, you will want to turn it out after about 20 minutes of cooling time (or as directed by your recipe). When the mix-ins are still warm from the oven, they will be less likely to try to adhere to the sides of the pan, but waiting until they are cold can result in a chocolate chip that would rather stay in the pan than go with the cake.
To get your bundt cake out of the pan as easily as possible, it is imperative that you take a minute to prepare the pan. While most bundt pans are nonstick, even nonstick surfaces wear out over time and it will not hurt to grease and flour your pans just to be on the safe side. Every time that picture-perfect bundt cake slides out onto the cooling rack, you’ll be glad you put a little extra effort into your preparation!