Converting Layer Cakes to Bundt | Cook's Illustrated
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Converting Layer Cakes to Bundt

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2014

Do adjustments need to be made if you want to bake a layer cake recipe in a Bundt cake pan?

Creating a picture-perfect layer cake takes time and effort, while a Bundt cake doesn’t require much more than a simple glaze or dusting of powdered sugar once it’s out of the pan. We baked the batters for three types of 9-inch round layer cake—yellow, chocolate, and carrot—in 15-cup Bundt pans and compared each to its original layer cake version.

We were happy to discover that all three worked well, though none were identical to their original counterparts. Because the batter wasn’t divided into multiple thinner layers, the leavener had more work to do in the deeper Bundt pan and wasn’t as effective. All three came out denser than their light and fluffy layer-cake counterparts, though the crumbs were still lighter than a classic Bundt cake’s. Also, because they all required a longer baking time in the deeper Bundt pan (twice as long for the yellow and chocolate and three times as long for the carrot), they were all slightly drier toward the edges, though still acceptable. The cakes baked in Bundt pans also developed a thicker crust—just as you’d expect to find on a classic Bundt cake.

In sum, baking layer cake recipes in a Bundt pan will work fine. Just keep in mind that the cake will need to bake for considerably longer (the cake is done when a skewer inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached), and the resulting texture will be a bit denser than the original, though not as heavy as a classic Bundt cake.

NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED: You can successfully bake the batter for two 9-inch layer cakes in a 15-cup Bundt pan—and you won’t have to spend a lot of time assembling and frosting.