A bundt pan is a staple piece of equipment for every baker. The pans make beautiful cakes that look impressive the moment you pop them out of the pan, as the fluted designs on the bakeware transfer directly onto the cake. I love bundt cakes and make them on a regular basis. This month, the test kitchen at Cook’s Illustrated took a look at bundt pans and decided to put several beands through their paces to see if one stood out from the rest. They baked their classic yellow bundt cake and yeasted monkey bread in every pan, looking for a pan that would release the cake easily and produce an attractive, evenly browned cake every time.
On the whole, the pans performed remarkably well. Despite slight differences in the pans – some were darker than others, some had a slightly larger or smaller capacity than others – they all produced consistent results for everything the test kitchen baked. The test kitchen also looked for ease of use and that was the one point where some of the pans stood out from the others. The testers preferred pans with handles, which made them easier to maneuver in and out of the oven, to pans without handles. In the end, the winning pan was the Nordic Ware Anniversary Bundt Pan, which claimed a “highly recommended” rating. With its large handles, it was easy to grip and maneuver. It also had well-defined ridges that produced a beautiful cake time after time.
Several pans received a “recommended” rating, including the Nordic Ware Anniversary 12 Cup Formed Bundt Pan, Wilton Perfect Results Fluted Tube Pan, Norpro Nonstick Fluted Tube Pan, Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware 10-in Bundt Pan and Baker’s Secret Essentials Fluted Bundt Tube Pan.