The Party Bundt Pan Returns: 3 Easy Ways to Decorate a Classic Bundt Cake

Bell-bottoms, leisure suits, and a shiny Bundt Pan were all you needed to have the most rockin’ party on the block in 1967.

The path for the pan itself wasn’t always easy, though.

Based on decorative European bread pans, the now-classic original Bundt pan HAD made its debut a few years earlier, but hadn’t really taken it’s rightful place as a kitchen icon yet.  Nordic Ware, the pan’s manufacturer, was considering pursuing other options  altogether when a baker named Ella Helfrich created the Tunnel of Fudge Cake – and promptly took second place in the Pillsbury Bake-off in 1966.

Within weeks Nordic Ware was flooded with requests for the pan. And the rest, as they say, is history. Bundt pans were here to stay!

Party Bundt Pan via @kingarthurflour

Ah, a pan of true beauty. For those geometry fans out there, a Bundt cake is a toroidal shape, or a circle around a circle. We bakers must find this shape pretty pleasing: it’s the same shape as doughnuts and bagels.

One of the joys of the Party Bundt is the pre-divided sections into which the cake bakes. It’s easy to cut, easy to serve, and with no real need for further decorations. The kind folks at Nordic Ware want you to know you don’t need to be a fancy baker to bake a fancy cake, the secret is in the pan.

Gingerbread Bundt Cake via @kingarthurflour

With deep-dark recipes such as our Gingerbread Bundt Cake you can dare to go bare – or rather your cake can.

Party Bundt via @kingarthurflour

For a very simple but sweet addition, try dusting your Bundt cake with confectioners’ sugar or glazing sugar,Non-melting sugar will stay fresh and white on your cakes for hours. Tiny antique sugar dusters are easy to find at yard sales or antique shops; or you can use one of our nifty tapered dusters.

This is a great way to top Tunnel-style bundts, like our Coconut-Filled Lemon Cake.

Party Bundt Pan via @kingarthurflour

If you’re looking to go a little further with your decoration, try a simple glaze. One cup of confectioners’ sugar plus a tablespoon or two of cream make a rich glaze that will pour easily over your cake. The bright white glaze will highlight the nooks and crannies of your Bundt cake – plus who can resist a tempting rivulet of sweet, creamy icing?

Adding a drop or two of your favorite flavor or extract will give you a lemon, orange, mint, berry, or butternut glaze in a flash. What a sweet surprise!

Party Bundt Pan via @kingarthurflour

Last but not least, to give your Bundts an over-the-top sparkling presentation, try sugared fruit. Sugared grapes and sugared cranberries are très élégant filling the center of the cake, and take zero special effort to boot.

Simply place a shallow bowl of well-washed grapes or berries in the freezer for about 15 minutes. You don’t want them to freeze solid, just to get well chilled.

Take the berries from the freezer and dump them into a bowl of white granulated or fine Demerara sugar. Toss until the berries are coated, then scoop them quickly and carefully into the center of the cake.

Depending on their size, you’ll need between 1 and 2 cups of berries. I always make a little extra because I can’t resist snitching a few for myself!

Simple and showy, perfect for the holiday dessert table.

We hope you get a chance to take time to make everyday baking a party with a beautiful Party Bundt Pan, or any of Nordic Ware’s lovely pans. Bundts make it better!

MaryJane Robbins

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...


  1. Annemarie

    Tunnel of fudge cake was good, but the tunnel of coconut cake was THE best! If pilsbury would bring that back…I’d buy a new bundt pan!

    1. sharon

      I do remember that cake mix. It was a family favorite. The filling was so good. i think Pillsbury had 3 bundt cake mixes (must have been about mid 1980s). The coconut was the favorite, i think there was tunnel of fudge, and i can’t remember the third. but I have looked for years and the only bundt mix Pillsbury has put on the market is tunnel of fudge. That combination of chocolate cake and coconut filling was so good. Perhaps, king arthur could work on a scratch version. I can’t remember if the glaze was vanilla or if it also had coconut flavoring.

    2. Beth

      Back when Pilsbury had the Tunnel of Fudge cake mix and began introducing some other flavor variations, they had one that was a deep chocolate with a coconut center. I remember making it with my mom as a kid and agree that was the best. My boys were never big on coconut, so I haven’t tried any of the scratch versions, but now I want to. LOL

  2. meedee

    I want to make the coconut -filled lemoncake in my bundt cake party pan new from KAF. Tea or coffee anyone!!! These blogs sure tempt me!!

  3. sonja

    Something I’ve always wondered is when recipes are specifically labeled as for a bundt cake. For me, I’ve baked all sorts of cakes in a bundt pan, it just depended on whether I wanted a layer cake with frosting or a more naked bundt cake (I just adjust the baking time). Is there some sort of baking “rule” I’m unaware of? Like your gingerbread bundt cake recipe linked in the post, is there something specific about it that makes the bundt pan necessary/preferable? Thanks!!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sonja, most bundt cakes are moist and dense, and benefit from the tube in the middle to allow them to bake more quickly and evenly, but there is no set rule for what makes a bundt cake a bundt cake, other than the pan itself. If you’ve had success baking other types of cakes in your bundt pan, by all means continue doing what works for you! Barb@KAF

  4. Cynthia

    Ok…2 questions: Is it a 10 or 12 cup pan – I’m looking for the bigger pan as most are 10 cup. Is it a different shape than what I consider the “traditional ” shape” ? Mine seems more pointy on top of the sections. Appreciate any help here, thank you!

  5. Diane

    I have a Heritage Bundt Pan and have wondered if I should make any adjustments in baking time considering the deep ridges in the swirl design. Thanks!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Diane, you shouldn’t have to make any adjustments, just make sure those detailed designs get a good amount of grease or spray to help preserve the beauty! Bryanna@KAF

    1. Susan Reid

      Joyce, simply pour water into the pan, one cup at a time, until it it’s about 2/3 full: that’s the bakeable capacity of the pan. For what it’s worth, most cake recipes that will give you two 9″ or three 8″ layers, or a 9″ x 5″ pound cake, are for 6 cups of batter. Many Bundt cake recipes are just a bit bigger. Susan

  6. JuliaJ

    Any tips on ensuring a clean release from the pan? I don’t like to flour the pan (after putting down a layer of oil or shortening) as I don’t like the oil/lour taste. I’ve heard about dusting with cocoa (for a chocolate cake) or sugaring the pan–do these work?

    Nordic Ware also makes a lightweight aluminum pan with a nonstick coating as well as their professional heavy (cast aluminum?) pans–I’ve had problems with cake release from both types. Lately, I’ve been making two cakes as at least one will release OK…

    Thank you!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Julia, The best applications for release of a cake from a bundt pan is spray the pan with Pam with flour or Ever Spray. I have heard of dusting with a dry cake mix batter but not with cocoa or sugar. Sugar will cause burning, so I would not recommend that option. What will help is almost over baking the cake, so that it comes away from the sides of the pan and letting the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Try these tips and see if they work for you. Happy baking! JoAnn@KAF

  7. Judy

    I made your Caribbean Rum Bundt cake, it was delicious. Making it one day ahead prior to serving allowed the rum syrup to marinate for a perfectly moist flavor in every bite. I sautéed pineapples with rum, brown sugar and butter just before serving in center of the cake. Decadent!

  8. Kim

    I live in MN, where the Nordicware factory is located, and recently went to the factory store for the first time. It was a treasure trove for those of us who like to bake! They sell factory seconds at cheaper prices which are just as good. I bought 2 mini pie tins and baked a sour cherry pie in one of them this weekend. It was fabulous and a single 9-inch pie crust recipe was enough for top and bottom of the tin. I’m debating making smaller pies for Thanksgiving as we always have so many pie leftovers as several just want slivers. That’s going to be a challenge for pumpkin pie, but maybe I can find a recipe online somewhere.

    For the first time in Nordicware history, they had a booth at the MN state fair this past summer and it was a real treat to see them there! I hope they return for years to come.

    I recently made the Tunnel of Fudge cake and it was quite divine, I must say. Mine had issues coming out of the pan – perhaps I missed a spot when I greased it.

  9. Karen

    I always loved the tunnel of fudge cake but the frosting package needed to make it disappeared from the shelves years ago – maybe y’all could come up with a new recipe for it that worked – I have tried numerous recipes but never have a fudgey enough center

  10. "Carol D."

    Glad to see the bundt pan featured! I have a wonderful recipe for a bundt cake given to me by my mother in law. It’s for Sand Torte, a pound cake she would take to all her potlucks. How would I go about sharing that recipe?

  11. barbara n

    I have 8 now, sunflower, octopus. ect. Hubby knows that a bundt pan is always a safe bet when it comes to gifts. Can you tell I love them?

  12. Lynn

    I just purchased your 6 cup bundt cake pan yesterday. I have a larger one just like it that is a 12 cup. I am wondering if you have any recipes for the 6 cup bundt..or advice as to how much cake mix or homemade cake batter it would take to make a bundt in the 6 cup pan so that it doesn’t overflow. Please help…I need this info for a wedding. I am doing a double bundt cake..larger bundt on bottom and the topper is the 6 cup. Hoping you can help me. Thank you so much!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Lynn,
      Wedding bakers is always exciting! The actual bakeable capacity of a 6-cup Bundt pan is 3 to 4 1/2 cups. A typical Bundt cake or sheet/layer cake recipe (one that makes two round layers or a 9″ x 13” cake) will fill TWO of these pans. Therefore, you can simply divide your favorite standard cake recipe in half to fill this pan adequately. The Tender White Cake is a great choice! Kye@KAF

  13. Mary Jane Segrist

    To make a good cake release that will keep
    6 months in small container. No refrigeration

    Cake release
    1 cup crisco
    1 cup flour
    1/4 cup oil
    Mix & keep for up to 6 months

    Very good for character cake pans or
    Bunds pans so you keep the design well.


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