There was a time when I was the King of the Bundt Cakes. My venerable Bundt pan was the very first cake pan I purchased when I was outfitting my post-college apartment. I remember baking a luscious, slightly tipsy sherry cake for a Christmas Tea. That impossibly tall and beautifully sculpted creation made for one festive holiday cake.
The Bundt pan is a post-modern work of art and engineering. The concentric design of wide and slender scallops creates a buxom mountain range of sheer confectionary delight. Let’s be blunt about the Bundt – it requires very little talent to achieve success. Be it a scratch cake, a boozy delight, the renowned “Tunnel of Fudge” or an otherwise pedestrian cake mix, the Bundt pan delivers perfect results every time.
Some traditionalists scoff at the non-stick surface, but I reveled in the results. Imagine the sheer delight hearing that inverted cake effortlessly “thump” onto the cooling rack.
In thirty years, my Bundt pan got a lot of mileage – family dinners, church events, holiday celebrations, birthdays, and potluck suppers. It was the perfect contribution cake - easily portable, and serving hundreds, or so it seemed. For anyone with even a slightly unsteady hand, those lovely ridges delineated both a slim line and super-sized portion.
Then one day, the magic died. There was no effortless “thump” onto the cooling rack. The cake split in two, and I had to scrape the remains from the pan. It happened again, severely challenging my “Bundt cake for Dummies” theory. Here’s the distressing truth – a non-stick surface does not last forever.
It took me some time to come to grips with the fact that my beloved Bundt was just past its prime. Finally, I came to the grim realization that the Bundt pan would have to be retired. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, headed for Target, and shelled out 15 bucks for a spanking new non-stick Bundt pan.
And, for an added level of insurance, I picked up a can of Pam for Baking on the way home.
Now, we’re in the midst of a Bundt Cake renaissance. A blueberry buttermilk Bundt Cake was dense and delicious.
A Pumpkin Spice Cake towered at the Restoration Farm Pot Luck Dinner.
A Blood Orange Yogurt Pound Cake released from the pan in so stealth a manner that I didn’t even hear it drop.
I’m already debating the Christmas Cake. What will it be? An Eggnog Bundt Cake? A Pumpkin Pecan Cake? Or a Noel Fruit Cake? Whatever the recipe, I know the curvaceous lines will never fail to impress my guests.
Thanks to my new purchase, I’ve regained my title as the King of the Bundt Cakes again. But, I can’t seem to part with my original pan. I’ve considered donating it to the Smithsonian, but I’m not sure their curator is on the edge of his seat awaiting my call.
But, I think my original Bundt has earned a place of honor on my family room wall. There were an awful lot of sweet celebrations that rose from that old Bundt of mine.