Bundt pan size: Which Bundt pan is best for a 9" x 13" cake recipe?

Our magazine, Sift, is filled with stunning photography and delicious recipes. But it’s also a great educational resource for bakers. From time to time we pick out a reader’s question from Sift to feature here in our blog — like this one from our upcoming Fall issue:

Q: I’m looking at a recipe that calls for a 9˝ x 13˝ pan, or two 9˝ layers, but I really want to bake it in a Bundt pan. What would be the right size Bundt pan, a 10-cup or 12-cup? And how long do I bake it for? – Joanne Rosenbluth

A. Joanne, bake your recipe calling for a 9″ x 13″ pan (or two 9″ round pans) in either a 10-cup or 12-cup Bundt pan. Increase the baking time by about 30% in the 10-cup pan, somewhat less in the 12-cup.

Now, how did we arrive at this answer? Inquiring bakers want to know!

First, let’s talk about Bundt pan size: what’s really meant by a 10-cup or 12-cup Bundt pan?

What those measurements DON’T mean is that you can bake 10 or 12 cups of cake batter in a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan. Capacity — the amount of liquid the pan will hold, right up to its rim — is different than bakeable capacity, which is the amount of cake batter the pan can hold and bake, without the batter overflowing the pan as it rises.

So while your Bundt pan size/capacity may be 10 cups, it’s bakeable capacity is more like 6 cups.

Note: Don’t know the capacity of your Bundt pan? Fill the pan with water right to its rim, then measure the water; that’s its capacity. Now fill the pan with water to 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″ below the rim. Measure the water; that’s its bakeable capacity.

Bundt pan size via @kingarthurflour

A typical cake recipe — one that makes a 9″ x 13″ cake, or a couple of 9″ rounds, or 2 dozen cupcakes — yields just about 6 cups of batter, making it perfect for a 10-cup Bundt pan. (Pictured here is the batter for Chef Zeb’s Hot Milk Cake.)

Bundt pan size via @kingarthurflour

When baking a cake, be sure not to fill your pan any fuller than its bakeable capacity, as measured by how deep it fills the pan. Your batter should be at least 1 1/4″ below the rim of the pan.

Yes, I did overfill the pan a bit here. Let’s see what happens—

Bundt pan size via @kingarthurflour

Whew! I’d say the 6 1/4 cups of batter I used was at the top limits of this 10-cup pan’s bakeable capacity.

Now, how about baking time? When switching from a 9″ x 13″ pan or 9″ round cake pans to a Bundt pan, you’ll need to increase the cake’s baking time — by about 30%, in my experience. Best bet? Start checking the cake for doneness once it’s reached the maximum baking time called for in your recipe.

And if you choose a pan whose capacity is larger than necessary for your recipe (e.g., Joanne’s 12-cup Bundt pan, whose bakeable capacity would be about 7 1/4 cups), you can still get good results. The batter won’t fill a larger pan all the way, but will nevertheless yield an attractive cake. You won’t need to increase the baking time quite as much as you did when using a smaller Bundt pan.

Feeling inspired to bake a cake? Check out our hundreds of baker-tested cake recipes, and our cake and cupcakes baking guide.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Linda Thomson

    I bought a regular size bundt pan from you but I don’t remember if it stated the size. Do you sell both the 10 and 12 inch sizes?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Linda, we sell Bundt pans of both 10 and 12 cup capacity. The good news is that you can find details for all of the pans we sell right on each product page. They’re all made by Nordic Ware, and while they’ve recently changed the color of the coating, the dimensions are still the same. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

  2. Jan Degan

    I have a great banana bread recipe – made in a standard loaf pan. I just purchased a 10 cup Nordic bundt pan. Can I bake the banana bread in it? I know it would not be as tall, but would it turn out ok?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jan, if you banana bread recipe nicely filled a 9″ by 5″ pan (a standard quick bread pan) then it should be fine to bake in your new Bundt pan. If the banana bread recipe calls for a smaller 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ loaf pan, then it will likely result in a shot, squat cake. As long as you grease the pan well, it should turn out OK! Kye@KAF

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Sure, Eleanor. You might miss some of the design since the cake won’t fill the pan as well; and you’ll have to bake it for a shorter amount of time, so start testing it when the top feels set. Good luck — PJH

  3. Frank

    Excellent information and this was information that needed to be shared as I have made a number of baked goods in bunds pans before, but never really felt that I had a solid understanding of their capacity. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  4. linda

    great information concerning the capacity and baking capacity of the bundt pan, which should also apply to other baking pans. thanks king arthur for the helpful baking tips.

    Reply
  5. Diane Rice

    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BUNDT cake but I just wanted to let you know I had quite baking, especially my cookies since I moved to Vermont I’m living in an apt. Now I lost my home after my husband passed well I was reading about burning bake goods on your page and I have good pans but you mention checking the temp of my oven I went to your place and got a good thermapen. To read my oven and it’s off by 100 deg. So if I cook at 350 I turn my oven temp at 250 and I don’t burn my bake goods I’m so happy thank you so much to get me baking again and my grandkids thank you too….Diane

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It can be challenging to adequately prepare a Bundt pan because of all the nooks and crannies of the design. We’ve had the best results either using a high-quality non-stick spray like our Everbake Pan Spray or brushing the pan with shortening using a clean pastry brush. Once you have this first layer, you can sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour into the pan and shake it round to make sure it’s evenly distributed. Turn the pan upside down to discard any excess, and then it’s ready for batter. Fingers crossed! Kye@KAF

  6. Lenore

    Good info PJ. I wish bundt pan makers would put the volume per pan on the pan ie the base so we would know at a glance.
    I have a question for you: just installed the range of my dreams and the ovens are regular bake or convection. How do I convert baking time from a regular electric oven to a convection oven?
    Many Thanks

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sounds like you’re looking for our “Convection or No” blog post, where we review the types of baked goods that bake up particularly well using the convection setting, and which should be baked sans convection. The post also covers adjusting the temperature by reducing it 25°F and checking for doneness 5 minutes early. Check out the post for full details. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Nina,
      A standard-size Bundt usually ranges from 10-15 cups (about 6-8 cups of bakeable capacity), which will be just fine for your pound cake recipe. We recommend following the technique described in this blog post, where you pour the batter so that it reaches no higher than 1 1/4″ below the rim. This will ensure your batter doesn’t overflow in the oven, but if you choose at least a 10-cup pan, you should be just fine. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  7. Louise

    Thank you for posting these tips!!!! I too, learned something valuable reading your blog. I will make sure I save this. Now, I have a question. Does the same rule of thumb apply when baking in those miniature pans, like the 3×5, and the 5×7 pans? I don’t bake in them very often, just at the holidays, and it’s hard to remember how much goes in these little pans.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Louise,
      Those cute little bread pans are perfect for gift-giving around the holidays. You use use the 1 1/4″ below the rim as a general guideline for filling these pans too. They’ll need less time to bake since they’re smaller too, so adjust the recipe accordingly. Start with half the amount of baking time and then check for doneness every five minutes or so. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    2. Louise

      How many oz. of dough would you put in those mini pans to make a real pretty domed loaf. I have the 3×5, and the 5×7, I think that’s what they are. When I bake bread, I save enough for one of those little loaves, hubby likes them. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

    3. PJ Hamel, post author

      Louise, the weight of the dough or batter totally depends on what type of bread you’re making; a quick bread (e.g., banana bread) would be different than a yeast loaf. I think if you fill the pan about 2/3 full with quick bread batter, or half full with yeast dough, you should make a nice-looking loaf. PJH

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