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Can you substitute a bundt pan for a cake pan?

Quick Answer

Yes, in most cases you can substitute a bundt pan for a cake pan. Bundt pans and cake pans are both designed for baking cakes, so they can be used interchangeably for many cake recipes. The main difference is that a bundt pan has a fluted or sculpted design, while a cake pan is smooth. As long as you account for differences in capacity and baking time, substituting a bundt pan should yield successful results.

Bundt Pans vs. Cake Pans

Bundt pans and cake pans share a lot of similarities, but there are some key differences to keep in mind:


The most noticeable difference is that bundt pans have an intricate, fluted shape with a center tube, while cake pans have straight sides and a flat bottom.


Standard round cake pans are generally 8 or 9 inches wide and hold 6-8 cups of batter. Bundt pans come in many sizes, but common capacities are 10-15 cups.

Baking Time

With their sculpted design, bundt pans require a slightly longer baking time than smooth cake pans. Bundt cakes often take 5-15 minutes longer to fully bake.


The shaped design also makes bundt cakes a bit trickier to remove from the pan without breaking. Thorough greasing and flouring is a must for clean release.


Cake pans are extremely versatile and can be used for layered cakes, sheet cakes, and cupcakes. Bundt pans are ideal for making sculpted ceremonial cakes or coffee cakes.

Substitution Considerations

When substituting a bundt pan for a cake pan in baking, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

Adjust Batter Amount

Make sure to adjust the recipe batter amount to fit the bundt pan properly. Too little batter will bake unevenly. Too much could cause overflow.

Grease and Flour Well

Thoroughly grease the inside of the bundt pan, making sure to coat all crevices. Dust with flour to prevent sticking.

Check Bake Time

Increase baking time by 5-15 minutes to account for the thicker, denser shape of a bundt cake. Watch closely near end of bake time.

Cool Completely Before Removing

Allow bundt cakes to cool completely before inverting onto a rack. This allows them to set up and release cleanly from the pan.

Use a Knife to Loosen

If the cake doesn’t fall out of the pan on its own, run a knife gently around the edges to help release it before turning over.

Tips for Baking in a Bundt Pan

Follow these tips to ensure cake baking success when using a bundt pan:

  • Use softened butter and sugar to thoroughly grease the pan, coating every spot. Flour the buttered pan.
  • Adjust batter amount based on bundt pan capacity. Fill 2/3 to 3/4 full for best results.
  • Tap the pan lightly on the counter to release air bubbles before baking.
  • Bake at the lower end of the oven for even heating. Use an oven thermometer.
  • Check for doneness early to prevent overbaking. Test with a toothpick.
  • Cool upright on a wire rack completely before removing cake from pan.
  • To remove, place rack over pan and flip. Lightly use knife to loosen if needed.

Common Bundt Pan Sizes

Here are some of the most common bundt pan capacities that can be used as cake pan substitutes:

Bundt Pan Size Approximate Capacity
Mini/Micro Bundt Pan 1-2 cups
Small Bundt Pan 6-8 cups
Medium Bundt Pan 10-12 cups
Large Bundt Pan 14-16 cups
Giant Bundt Pan 18+ cups

Recipe Adjustments

When substituting with a different size bundt pan, you’ll need to adjust the ingredient amounts. Here are some tips:

Smaller Bundt Pan

– Reduce batter by 1/3 to 1/2
– Shorten bake time by 5-10 minutes

Larger Bundt Pan

– Increase batter by 1/3 to 1/2
– Lengthen bake time by 10-15 minutes

Test baked cakes early for doneness regardless of pan size. It’s better to slightly underbake and then finish baking outside of the pan if needed. Cool completely before frosting or glazing.

Ideal Cake Recipes for Bundt Pans

Dense, sturdy cake batters work best for bundt pans. Cakes that are light and fluffy or need to rise significantly tend to not bake as evenly. Here are some ideal cake recipes to bake in a bundt pan:

  • Pound Cake
  • Marble Cake
  • Carrot Cake
  • Spice Cake
  • Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Coffee Cake

Rich butter cakes or oil-based cakes fill in the fluted design nicely. Stay away from delicate sponge or angel food cakes which require more space to rise fully.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make a layered cake in a bundt pan?

No, bundt pans are not suitable for making layered cakes. Their fluted shape makes it difficult to split and stack evenly. Stick with smooth, straight-sided cake pans for layered cakes.

What size bundt pan replaces a 9-inch round cake pan?

A medium 10-12 cup bundt pan is the closest substitution in capacity for a standard 9-inch round cake pan that holds 6-8 cups of batter.

Should you grease and flour a bundt pan?

Yes, it is highly recommended to thoroughly grease and flour a bundt pan before baking. This prevents sticking and allows even browning. Avoid non-stick sprays which can leave spots uncovered.

How do you get a cake out of a bundt pan?

After cooling completely, run a knife around the edges and invert onto a rack. Give the pan a gentle shake. If needed, use the knife to loosen the sides and help release. Do not force or slice pieces off.

Can I turn a bundt cake out onto a plate instead?

You can carefully turn out a cooled bundt cake onto a plate, but it risks breaking apart, especially if not loosened well. It’s safer to release onto a rack and then transfer to a plate. Use caution.

The Bottom Line

Bundt pans make a great substitute for standard cake pans in most recipes. With some simple adjustments to batter volume, bake times, and release methods, you can successfully bake delicious sculpted cakes. Grease and flour the pan well, allow proper cooling before removing, and adjust baking as needed for best results. With the right adjustments, your cakes will release beautifully every time.