Prepare the Pan
- The most important part of bundt cake preparation happens before you even mix your cake batter. Begin with a non-stick bundt pan, if possible. The basic preparation is to coat the bundt pan with a fat, such as butter, vegetable shortening or cooking spray, and then dust it with a powder, such as flour or cocoa powder. Rub a paper towel dabbed in vegetable shortening over the inside of the pan and use your fingers to rub the shortening into the crevices, brush butter onto the pan using a pastry brush or thoroughly spray each wall of the pan with cooking spray. Although cooking spray is the easiest fat to apply, avoid using spray that contains lecithin, as it will leave a gummy residue on your pan. After dusting the pan with the powder indicated by your recipe, tap the pan against your hand to evenly distribute the powder and turn it upside down to remove the excess.
Don't Get Bubbles in the Batter
- Bubbles in the cake batter can cause empty pockets in the final cake. Pour your batter into the bundt pan slowly, pouring only from one corner and allowing the batter to fill in around the mold on its own. Generally, you should only fill the pan three quarters of the way full so the cake has room to rise, but follow your recipe if it indicates otherwise. Gently tap the bottom of the filled bundt pan against a table or counter top so any bubbles rise to the surface.
Bake at the Correct Temperature
- There is a lot of room for variation in the proper cooking time and temperature for your bundt cake, depending on your location, oven and pan. If you are located at a high elevation, check the recipe for high-elevation baking times and temperatures or use an online conversion chart. When baking in a black or dark colored pan, reduce the oven temperature in the recipe by 25 degrees. Bundt cake is dense and needs significant time to cook through, so always check if the cake is done before removing it from the oven; don't just pull it out at the time listed in your recipe. Insert a toothpick or skewer into the thickest part of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
Cool the Cake Before Unmolding
- Wrapped in plastic and kept at a cool room temperature, a bundt cake will keep for five days.Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
There is some division among bakers as to how long one should cool a bundt cake before removing it from the pan, but there is no question that you must let the cake set. Cool the cake, in its pan, on a wire rack for 20 minutes to two hours. Rock the pan back and forth and feel for the thud of the cake against the sides of the pan. If you don't feel any movement, carefully slide a butter knife -- or thin spatula if you are using a non-stick pan -- around the outside and inside edges of the cake to separate it from the pan. Flip the pan over on the wire rack, shake it from side to side and tap it on the rack until the cake slides out.