Vickie offers some tips to avoid a stuck cake

Published 8:20 am Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Question: How can I keep my bundt cake from sticking to the pan?
Answer: There are few kitchen disasters as frustrating as a bundt cake that sticks to the pan. Almost everyone who bakes has had this problem and nearly every cook has a different idea on how to prevent it. First, if your method is working don’t change it! If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
On the other hand, if you keep having problems, here’s some suggestions to try:
1. Use a non-stick pan that’s in good condition. Sometimes the pan you used flawlessly for years, suddenly starts sticking. Over time the non-stick surface can get worn or scratched or develop a thin coating of residue. When put in the oven, this film heats up, and almost acts as glue, making the cake stick to the pan.
2. Generously grease the pan. This might be the most important step to no-stick! The traditional method is to grease and flour the pan by brushing a solid shortening over all surfaces and then sprinkling with flour. Some cooks prefer to use butter instead of shortening, while others prefer to use the non-stick vegetable oil spray.
3. Flour or coat the pan. Since flour can sometimes add a dry layer of “gunk” to the surfaces of the bundt design, some cooks recommend coating with sugar or finely ground nut flours instead of flour. Either will provide a barrier between batter and pan — which is what you’re seeking. Sugar becomes sticky as it cools; and it can act like glue when fully cooled. But while warm, sugar is still semi-liquid, so don’t let it cool too long.
4. My favorite method, is to coat the pan with a “pan release paste.” Mix 1 part vegetable oil and 1 part flour with a spoon until it’s a smooth paste. Use a pastry brush to generously coat every crevice in the design. It’s all one step — no extra coating needed. Left over “pan release paste” will keep covered in the refrigerator for several weeks.
5. Grease the pan just prior to adding the batter. Most recipes start out, “Preheat your oven. Grease your pan…” I’ve found that greasing a non-stick Bundt pan too far ahead of time allows the oil to slide down the inside of the pan and pool in the bottom.
6. About 2 minutes before your cake is ready to come out of the oven, place a kitchen towel in the sink. Pour steaming water until its completely soaked. As soon as your cake is out of the oven place the pan on top of the towel and let it sit for 10 minutes.
7. Let the hot cake rest for 10-15 minutes before turning it out of the pan. This allows the cake to become firm enough to remove from the pan without breaking apart. Cooling too long in the pan will cause the cake to be damp and stick to the pan.
Did you know? The space in the center of a Bundt pan isn’t just for decoration. The hole allows more surface area of the cake to be in contact with the oven’s heat. This means that very sugary or buttery cakes — like fruitcake or pound cake — can fully cook in the center without getting too brown on the outside.
Test Kitchen Tip: Bundts are often high in sugar, so they’d overbrown if baked at a typical oven temperature of 350 degrees. Some Bundts bake as low as 300 degrees
Good luck — and happy baking!
Vickie Clark is the Director of the Carter County UT Extension Office and also serves as the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent. If you have questions or need any information related to Family and Consumer Science contact her at the UT Extension Carter County, 824 East Elk Ave., Elizabethton, call 542-1818 or email at

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