Ever wonder how the infamous Bundt® pan got its start?
I did and was always curious about the odd shape. So, read on for the back story of this easily recognizable and very unique cake pan.
History of the Bundt® Pan
The bundt cake got its name in the early 1900s from another European cake known as Gugelhupf. It was a favorite of the Jewish communities in Germany, Austria, and Poland. Gugelhupf was also called Bundkuchen, a type of bundled or banded cake.
The distinctive ring shape was popularized in the United States in the 1950s. Nordic Ware was the original manufacturer in the US and trademarked the name “Bundt” which was a nod to Bundkuchen.
Similar pans are sold as “fluted tube pans.” The characterizing feature is the shape: grooved/fluted sides with a central tube that leaves a cylindrical hole through the center. This design allows more of the mixture to touch the surface, which provides faster, more even heat distribution during baking.
The Rise to Fame
Despite its popularity today, the Bundt® pan had a rocky start. While Nordic Ware contemplated discontinuing it, the pan got a shot of publicity from Good Housekeeping magazine in 1963.
This boosted sales a bit, but real fame came three years later when Ella Helfrich won second place in the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. She won $5,000 for her “Tunnel of Fudge” cake which was made in a Bundt®.
That notoriety prompted 200,000 requests for the unusual pan and surpassed the tin Jell-O mold as the best-seller. To date, Nordic Ware has sold more than 60 million Bundt® pans throughout North America.
As an example of iconic 1950s kitchenware and a quintessentially American dessert, several original Bundt® pans now reside in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
The Anniversary pans are the original style from 1950. There are a variety of other designs and we’ll feature the ones we carry on the next blog post.
NOTE: The Bundt® pans are cast aluminum which produces a sharper, crisper shape. The ProForm line is made of aluminum and thus has a lower price point.
Please let us know if you have any questions by calling the shop at 724.347.2030
Anniversary Bundt® Cake pan (10 – 15 Cup)
Anniversary Bundt® Cake pan (6 Cup)
ProForm Anniversary Bundt® Cake pan (12 Cups)