Monday, May 14, 2012

The Great Bundt Pan Debate (feel free to chime in)

It all started last week.

It all started when Kim Ode and I went on a date to the Nordic Ware factory outlet.

The state I live in....Minnesota, well it often likes to give off this vibe that it's progressive.

But when you think about it, and I mean think really hard....

The only 2 things worth a rats a** that have come out of this state are Bob Dylan and the Bundt Pan.

Now when your city or state is the mecca or HQ for an important idea, don't you usually assume that the envirement that surrounds it will be impressive?

As I steered the bread truck into the Nordic Ware parking lot, Kim started pointing to a cluster of signs.

"The Geese can't read these stay off the grass."

And yes, sure enough....a gaggle of geese were waddling to and fro, as we did our best to stay on the narrow side walk that lead us into the show room.

Let's face it, Klecko's a guy, maybe even a "Guy's guy", but you would think that by definition that he'd have to be a little underwhelmed, or reserved entering a space filled with kitchen trinkets.

But was like the scene in Wizard of Oz when everything switched from black & white to color.

Everything was all metallic and new looking.

Ode looks at me, and the both of us chuckled as we started off by looking at the pans we'd never buy.....

Battle Ship Pan

Butterfly Pan

Caterpillar Pan

Ice Cream Cone Pan


But then we headed over to the standard fare, and Klecko is wearing his baking uniform, while Ode is talking "industry gossip", so the rooms soul employee started stalking us to catch an inside scoop.

There was a 1/2 dozen wealthy looking old people, but the lady left them alone. I think she wanted dirt LOL, as you can imagine....this made me like her all the more.

Anyways, I bought the "Anniversary and Bavarian" pans, and Ode got the Bavarian as well.

A couple days later, when I opened my Bundt bag, the people from Nordic Ware were kind enough to give me a "Helpful Hints For Using Your Bundt Pan" handout.

So as I started reading this, one paragraph is written in bold letters.....



Klecko's not buying it.

The handout goes on telling us to use "Wondra" or any cooking spray that also contains flour in it as well. I guess this is the modern version of hand greasing, or painting and then splashing some flour inside the pan.

I have never had problems using regular baking spray.

It works perfect if you know how to use it, but who am I to argue with the Bundt Pan moguls.

So I called Ode and told her of what the hand out was saying, and she sat in silence for a second before replying....

"Oh....I don't think I agree with that at all. Every time I use that flour/spray my can seizes."

I chimed in by agreeing, and noting that I have thrown away a dozen cans of "Wondra" for the same reason. In fact.....I'm not sure I've ever drained more than 1/2 the can before pitching it.

Well then a couple days pass, Klecko is sitting at home and Googles some combination of words like "Baking Spray / Flour", or some such thing and Sweet Lord of Warsaw.........

You would have thought I Googled how to dissolve the national debt, or asked if there was a God.

Dude.....people were getting all crazy defending how to prep their Bundt Pans, and it was like there simply couldn't be more than one had to do it "Exactly" like the woman on the thread told you, or your cake would die...or at least taste like crap.

Some people swore by buttering by hand and splashing with flour (as is Hennessy's fave method), while others splashed sugar or....get this, semolina flour.

Really, chocolate cake with semolina?


Then there was people who used paint brushes, people who used shortening, people that used cocoa....

I started to lament that Dr. Suess was dead, he could of so made a sequel to "Green Eggs and Ham" from this Bundt Cake controversy.

At first I considered that these Bundt Pan Prep Wars would just surface on the front Google pages, but that wasn't the case.

There was like a billion opinions, but a lot of those people were nimrods, you are not though, so if you would be so kind...

How do you L.A.B. Rats prep your Bundt Pans?

Oh yeah....if you want to tell us about what Nordic Ware products you use, shout at me.

*Don't forget, Klecko has another Blog hosted on Blogger entitled....POETS ARE LAME (and other things Mike Finley has taught me), if you have a moment....check it out.


  1. I grease and flour by hand - never tried the spray, it's just not something I find necessary in my house.

    1. Thanks Sarah, I think there is something therapeutic about greasing by hand.

  2. Mostly, coat the cool pan (using a paint brush) with warm (liquid) clarified butter, then sprinkle with Wondra (the cake flour in a tube.) Shake the flour about until it's all covered.

    For a non-stick traditional pan, I'll use Baker's Joy but I see the new ones have that sticky soy product included so that's out.

    Someday I'm going to put clarified butter in a squirt bottle and see if that works.

    1. Give us a report when you try that Htom.

    2. Give us a report when you try that Htom.

  3. I'm a bit too scientifically minded to think that adding flour is a great idea. Flour begets gluten which is glue. At higher temperatures it breaks down to sugars and they do not make a great lubricant. When you line it with butter and flour, it's the butter that's doing the job, not the flour. The cake mix has plenty of flour in it. The little bit of flour stuck to the grease isn't going to make a big difference.

    Moreover I don't think it's so much that butter is slippery, it is that it leads to the outside of the cake having a higher fat:other_stuff ratio and so forms more of a hard shell that shrinks back away from the pan. So it's the effect of the grease on the cake, not the pan that matters most.

    Monstrosities like hydrogenated oils will never make it into my food. So I slather on the butter. Seems to work.

    1. Make sense, well spoken David!

    2. Make sense, well spoken David!

    3. Now that's an easy experiment. Come, Octopus pan! I suppose that's not really a Bundt pan, having no central hole.

    4. Well ... coated with clarified butter, no powder of any sort. Interesting effect. Baking goes as usual. Cool for ten minutes, shake. Normal feeling and sound. Cover with cooling grid, invert, smack down on counter. Lift.

      Now that's different.

      The crust layer has stuck to the pan and detached from the cake. For the entire cake, there is about the area of a postage stamp (near the top of the center tube) that has crust (well, the top has crust, but not the rest of the cake.) It's a nude cake! If this works consistently, it could be great with a colored batter, especially if layered ... but it looks odd otherwise. Tasted great.

      12 cup non-stick black Bundt pan, not a fancy shape. Maybe it was the heating, there were odd things happening there.

  4. For chocolate cakes, I use shortening and cocoa powder. No white streaks on my cake!

    1. Excellent Lee, thank. I have a chocolate one soon....I will try this. Thanks again.

    2. Or powdered instant coffee.

  5. I use Bak-Klene Spray I get from my supplier. Works like a charm - never had any sticking problem, only if some egg-wash found its way between bread and pan. Or it was some old cheapo dinged and scratched up pan that should have been put to rest long time ago.

  6. I rarely dust with flour. Why does one do that? Who wants a flour-y coating on the cake, clumping in spots like a mob of moody teenagers? I've used a spray, I've rubbed oil by hand (pain in the arse, with all those damn grooves in a bundt pan) and I can't see the diff. Really. My cakes come out of the pan like they can't wait to get devoured.