Bundt Pan Feature and Free Recipes!
Ever wonder how the Bundt (C) Pan got its start? Read all about it in this super feature and free Bundt (C) Cake recipes!
Okay, time for Food Jeopardy - score five points for every correct answer and make sure you answer in a question form.
Question 1: What piece of bakeware, commonly found in a North
American kitchen, became a phenom of domestic life?
Answer:" The Bundt Pan".
Question 2: What was the inspiration behind the original Bundt ©
Question 3: Nordic Ware (a division of Northland Aluminum
Products) first introduced their trademark Bundt © pans in l949 but what another event helped send this popular pan over the top.
And you thought a Bundt © pan was something ordinary! Well, it's a pan that has alot of history in every one of its eight, fluted edges and is a true success story that originates in the kitchen of the American heartland. To get to the "Bundt cake pan in every pantry" penetration is a marketing tale that bears recounting because the bundt cake pan success began in a most unassuming way.
In l946, David Dalquist Sr. returned from his naval duties of WW II and founded the Nordic Ware company. One day, about 18 months after opening, a trio of "very nice ladies, one a Mrs. Jacobs" Dalquist recalled when I interviewed him a while back by phone, came by to visit him. They were from the local Hadassah chapter of Minneapolis, a charitable organization with strong roots in the Jewish community throughout the United States and Canada. They were known to a large extent, much like Junior League organizations, for their fund raising cookbooks, brimful of easy, tasty, traditional recipes. The Hadassah ‘trio’ approached Dalquist with a request to produce a "bund" (no "t" yet - see Sidebar on What's In A Name) pan similar to a hand-made mold that the chapter's president had inherited from her European grandmother. Eager for opportunities to get his then-fledgling shop bustling with work, the young engineer was happy to accommodate the request. Currently, Nordic Ware is some 270,000 square foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility but with a maze of moulding equipment, forming presses and conveyorized high-production coating lines, but the original Nordic Ware was a small hands-on shop. Upon examination, Dalquist determined it was definitely a "pan from the old country", likely made in tinned steel, with a seam, indicated hand manufacturing". How to reproduce this in an industrialized setting? Nordicware had two options : one, an aluminum cast pan and the other, a formed aluminum pan. A cast pan is one wherein molten metal, predominately aluminum in this case, is poured into a mold and "cast" in a form. The formed pan is made of almost-pure aluminum sheeting which is put into a dye and press and spun into shape.
For a couple of years, the pan did fairly well as homemakers found the fluted, elegant pan suited to a variety of quick breads and pound cakes. Increasingly, homemakers baked with it and magazine editors used the pan in many stylized food shots. But when several of entries in the Pillsbury Bake Off contest began using the pan for their entries, another era in the life of the bundt pan began. Finalist, Texan Ella Helfrich's famed Tunnel of Fudge Cake proved just the ticket to put Bundt on the map. In l966, her winning Tunnel of Fudge Cake took Second Grand Prize place honors and launched an unquenchable thirst for the pan it was baked in. Suddenly, the demand for the original Bundt cake escalated through the roof.
Realizing their incredible popularity, Pillsbury created an entire line of bundt cake mixes - Chocolate Macaroon, Chocolate Eclair, and Black Forest Cherry and Chocolate Caramel Nut Bundt were some - that used this pan, tying in their promotions and cake mix product with Nordic Ware. The mix was a great hit – as it used only five ingredients, one of which was an instant icing mix, no longer on the market as consumer preference segued to canned frostings. The Tunnel of Fudge version the company now sports at its web site (http:///www.pillsbury.com) calls for common pantry baking ingredients to garner the same effect. Nordicware relaunched the mixes, by all accounts. They also have a great cookbook with many unique Bundt cake recipes to try.
The launch and success of the Bundt Cake Mixes eventually wound up on the cover of the Wall Street Journal. Around the end of l972, Pillsbury occupied about 9% of the market share in its category; a little over two years later, after the inception of the bundt cake mixes that called for Nordic Ware's original Bundt pan, sales skyrocketed and Pillsbury became number one, occupying 51% of the market share."No matter how many pans Pillsbury ordered" (often the pans were sold in "combination paks" of a pan and a Bundt pan cake mix), the amount was underestimated", recalls Dalquist. For about 18 months, in bundt mix mania, Nordic Ware was working to capacity, manufacturing 30,000 (!) Bundt pans daily to keep up with the demand - hard to imagine these days, in an era that is the antithesis of scratch baking! According to Pillsbury, the company got some 200,000 requests at one point for the elusive pans, as houseware departments nationwide were gleaned of their stock.
These days, Nordicware estimates they are over 40 million original Bundt pans in use (I own at least four of them) - the type of product penetration marketing men and women fantasize about - almost a "bundt pan in every pantry".
A Pillsbury spokesperson speculates that the Bundt cake mixes, once so popular in the l970's, declined as the company saw the consumer shift from large, family style cakes to smaller, convenience mixes that were "snakier", such as the myriad cookie and brownie mixes on the market. "Consumers perceived a bundt cake as a large cake - and unless they are entertaining, they are looking for smaller items when considering baking up something. Bundt cakes became more regulated to a special occasion"…or if you just check out the cakes in the coffee house and café scene, regulated to their new incarnation as coffee house cakes. For the home bundt-er, Nordicware manufactured a while line of alternate sized Bundt cake pans. There are 6 cup Bundt pans, 12 cup ones, minis and light, as well as extra heavy duty, and non stick ones.
The original Bundt (C) cake was a pound cake, "heavy and quite buttery", says Nordicware, but these days, the cake in question could be almost any sort of coffee cake derivative (pound cake, sweet yeasted cake, basic butter cake, or popularized carrot cake) - the common element is its form. The appeal of the bundtis that it immediately makes a homespun, scratch cake elegant just by virtue of the unique mold. Furthermore, its fluted design makes for easy portion control, as the fluted indentures result in clear lines of where to cut a slice. (Just make sure, even if it is non-stick, you grease it thoroughly!)
You can use a Bundt (c) OR a tube or angel cake pan pretty well interchangably in recipes calling for one or another.
There are a variety of Bundt cake pans on the market - made by Nordicware as well as what are referred to as fluted tube pans (FTP) by companies who make a similar pan but are not permitted the use of the trademark name of Bundt.
Just remember: even if the fluted pan you purchase says ‘non stick’, make sure you grease it very, very well to ensure baked cake does not get stuck in the fluted groves. I do this by brushing in a very thick coat of Crisco. If you still have a problem getting your cake out of the pan, set the cooled, baked cake on a burner set on low. The heat will warm up the pan grease and cake release should result.
Original Tunnel of Fudge Cake
N.B. - Since this cake has a "tunnel" of fudge, an ordinary doneness test cannot be used.
Cream Cheese Russian Style Coffee Cake
Coffee & Banana Blueberry Bundt
New Wave Tunnel of Fudge Cake Dramatic, elegant, easy and a real crowd pleaser. Cake:
© This is a Marcy Goldman/BetterBaking.com original recipe
This recipe is for sole, personal use of visitors of BetterBaking.Com Online Magazine. Marcy Goldman/ BetterBaking.com recipes are for your enjoyment but not to be posted or reprinted without express permission of the author/baker. Thank you kindly for respecting my copyright and happy baking. BetterBaking.Com, established 1997.