Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here


Leaving Website

You are now leaving and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

4 Great Bundt Cake Recipes That Won’t Bore You

These creative hole-in-the-middle desserts are crowd-pleasers

spinner image Beautiful mini chocolate bundt cake with chocolate ganache and raspberries
stphillips/Getty Images

Is there a cake pan more up for anything than a Bundt?

The ring-shaped pan’s history dates to 1950, when David Dalquist, founder of the Nordic Ware kitchenware company, dreamed it up for a society of Jewish women in Minnesota who wanted to make kugelhopf (a yeasted cake with a hole in the center). 

Dalquist cast his design for the ladies and, voilà, the Bundt pan was born. Today there are thousands of recipes that take you beyond kugelhopf; for that matter, there are recipes that take you beyond cake. (Meatloaf in a Bundt, anyone?) 

spinner image Image Alt Attribute

AARP Membership— $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.

Join Now

And not only can you get creative with ingredients, but Bundt pans now come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and materials — from the basic (Nordic Ware’s cast aluminum pinwheel design) to glass and silicon pans that produce cakes resembling a pine forest, a holiday wreath or an elaborate sandcastle. There are even mini Bundt pans for individual-sized treats.  

Once you’ve selected a pan, the pros know that the key to Bundt cake perfection is properly preparing your pan so the unmolding process comes off without a hitch, says Brian Hart Hoffman, author of The Bundt Collection, a cookbook with more than 100 recipes and tips for baking your best Bundt.

Never use ordinary cooking spray, Hoffman says, since it will cause your cake to stick. Instead, use a baking spray that contains flour — the secret weapon for a quick and easy Bundt release. (You could also try greasing and flouring the inside of the pan yourself, but the intricate designs may have you reaching for a spray the next time.)

Then, says Hoffman, let your Bundt pan do all the work.  

“Bakers can make banana bread, pound cakes and quick breads easily without worrying about decorating after they are baked,” he says. “The pan shape is the work of art.”

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake With Chocolate Ganache

Recipe developer Janice Lawandi of The Bake School, a popular baking recipe blog, credits sour cream with giving this Bundt its smooth texture and delightful crumb. The result is a dessert that’s chocolatey without being too intense.

“The chocolate ganache drizzled thick on the top brings the chocolate flavor to a whole other level,” Lawandi says. Try to use the best chocolate you have on hand for this recipe


  • 3 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream (14 percent fat)
  • 1 2/3 cups dark chocolate chips

Chocolate ganache

  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 325°F and prepare Bundt pan by greasing and lightly flouring or by using baking spray containing flour.

2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

3. In bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Batter should be light and fluffy.

4. Add sour cream and vanilla, and beat again to mix well.

5. Add dry ingredients and stir on low to incorporate. Don’t mix completely. When there’s still some flour not yet incorporated, finish stirring with a spatula or a big wooden spoon, being sure to scrape up what’s stuck to the bottom of the bowl. Fold in chocolate chips.

6. Dollop batter into prepared pan and swirl and smooth with a small offset spatula. Bang the pan on the counter several times to make sure batter settles into all the grooves of pan. You can push a knife through the batter to force it into place.

7. Bake for 75 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let Bundt cool 25 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.​​

Prepare chocolate ganache

1. In medium bowl, melt chocolate with butter. Do this gently over double boiler or in microwave at power level 5, making sure to stir every so often to avoid burning.

2. Add sour cream and stir. Let ganache get thick enough to spread on top of cooled Bundt without flowing off the sides.

Bundt Cake With Browned Butter Strawberry Syrup

Brian Hart Hoffman, author of The Bundt Collection, says you’ll never go wrong baking a butter cake in your favorite Bundt pan, because it provides a delicious flavor base that’s endlessly customizable. For spring, Hoffman tops this cake with strawberry syrup (see below), and he whips up an apple cinnamon version in the fall. 

Hoffman has a tip for the brown butter strawberry syrup that gives this recipe its X factor: “Use the leftover syrup on ice cream, French toast, waffles or pancakes.”


  • 3 cups unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk, room temperature  


  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed and quartered
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup  


1. Preheat oven to 325°F and prepare Bundt pan by greasing and lightly flouring or by using baking spray containing flour.

2. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat 2 cups butter and 3 cups sugar at medium speed until fluffy (roughly 3 to 4 minutes), stopping to scrape down sides of bowl.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

4. In large bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and beating until just combined. Do this in three parts for best results and to allow ingredients to properly combine without overworking batter.

5. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 90 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean.

6. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack and let cool completely.  

Prepare syrup 

1. In small bowl, stir together strawberries, cardamom and remaining half cup sugar. Let stand at room temperature for roughly one hour or until strawberries have softened.

2. Drain strawberries, reserving half cup of juice.

3. In medium saucepan, melt remaining cup of butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until butter turns medium-brown and has nutty aroma, about 10 minutes.

4. Remove from heat; whisk in corn syrup and reserved strawberry juice.   

To serve

Slice cake into individual servings, top with large spoonful of strawberries and drizzle with syrup. 

Lemon Poppy Bundt Cake With Cream Cheese Icing

spinner image Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
VeselovaElena/Getty Images

It’s hard to beat this classic recipe with a twist from Summer Schott, pastry chef for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants who created this recipe for the Barn at Rocky Fork Creek in Columbus, Ohio. Instead of using eggs as a base, Schott uses buttermilk, which she says “really boosts the flavor” of this tangy, sweet, lemony cake. 

Serve the Bundt with cream cheese icing, as outlined below, or sprinkle it with powdered sugar and pair with fresh berries. For yet another variation, suggests Schott, “add some whipped cream and you have a unique play on a shortcake.”   


  • 6 ounces cream cheese 
  • 3 ounces sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 ounces lemon juice 
  • 9 ounces blended oil
  • 2 cups buttermilk  

Cream cheese icing 

  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract   


1. Preheat oven to 325°F and prepare Bundt pan by greasing and lightly flouring or by using baking spray containing flour. 

2. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add egg to combine and set aside.

3. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, poppy seeds, and lemon zest and make a well in center.

4. Whisk together wet ingredients. Pour half of wet ingredients into well and begin to stir. Gradually add rest of wet ingredients and mix until combined.

5. Pour slightly less than half the batter into prepared Bundt pan. Carefully spoon cream cheese mixture into center of batter, forming a circle around center of pan.

6. Pour remaining batter to cover cream cheese mixture. Use butter knife to distribute and swirl through cream cheese mixture.

7. Bake for one hour, or until cake springs back to the touch and inserted wooden toothpick comes out clean.  

8. Let cake sit on cooling rack for about 30 minutes and then flip to unmold.  

Prepare cream cheese icing

1. Using hand or stand mixer, cream softened butter until fluffy. Add one-third powdered sugar and mix until smooth.

2. Add cream cheese and mix until creamy, scraping down sides of bowl.

3. Add remaining powdered sugar in two batches, mixing until fully incorporated.

4. Add vanilla extract and blend until smooth.

If serving immediately, pour icing on top of unmolded Bundt cake. If not, refrigerate icing and then return to room temperature and cream again before serving. Icing can also be lightly heated in microwave until it reaches desired consistency. 

Ginger Sticky Date Bundt Cake With Feta Caramel

Hedy Goldsmith, executive pastry chef at Miami Beach’s Abbalé Telavivian Kitchen and author of Baking Out Loud, says this British dessert has been part of her repertoire forever. “It’s always a crowd-pleaser, because it’s super moist,” Goldsmith says, noting that since Bundt pans have an extra side (thanks to the central hole), they tend to bake more evenly than traditional round cake pans.

After this cake emerges from the oven, douse it with hot toffee sauce, a step Goldsmith says decadently merges cake and sauce. The recipe calls for a full pound of dates, and be sure to use the Medjool variety, she advises, as they soften nicely in hot water, becoming pliable and easy to work with. Medjools also have a richer, more caramel-like flavor than other dates.


  • 1 pound fresh Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 ounces candied ginger, finely chopped  

Feta caramel 

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese (reserve 1 ounce for garnish)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare Bundt pan by greasing and lightly flouring or by using baking spray containing flour.

2. In small bowl, combine dates and baking soda. Pour hot water over dates and mix with fork until they break down and turn pulpy, about 5 minutes. 

3. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into large bowl. Whisk in sugar, egg and egg yolk until mixture turns pale yellow and falls into bowl in smooth ribbons.

4. Stir in date mixture, incorporating completely. In another small bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Gently fold flour mixture into date mixture, adding candied ginger until just incorporated. 

5. Pour batter into Bundt pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  

Prepare feta caramel 

1. In large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar. As soon as sugar has dissolved, gradually add cream, pouring steadily while whisking constantly. 

2. Remove from heat. Whisk in 5 ounces of crumbled feta.

3. Use immersion blender or transfer to regular blender and blend at low speed to completely incorporate cheese. 

4. Poke holes in Bundt cake’s surface using fork or thin skewer.

5. Reserve half of feta caramel for serving. Ladle other half over top of still-warm cake, directing it into holes. Repeat several times, allowing caramel to soak in.

6. Allow cake to rest in pan until cool enough to touch.   

To serve

Unmold cake by tilting onto platter. Cut individual slices and top with reserved caramel and crumbled feta cheese. 

Note: If not serving right away, cake can be stored in pan at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for one day or in the refrigerator for up to three days. Make sure to allow it to warm up to room temperature before serving. 

Terry Ward is a contributing writer who covers food, drink and travel. Her work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, The Washington Post and on CNN.

Discover AARP Members Only Access

Join AARP to Continue

Already a Member?