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Foolproof method for "unmolding" bundt cake?


SusanGiff
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Okay, I've just seen one too many bundt cakes rendered completely useless by my inability to get it out of the pan. The last one, a tasty ginger cake with stout from a Claudia Fleming recipe I saw in the newspaper, broke clear in half horizontally. I buttered the pan as generously as I could, then floured it. I may have been a little impatient during the cooling, but the recipe gave no instructions regarding how long to leave the cake in there before turning it out onto the cooling rack, and I didn't want to let it go too long.

Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong, and more important, what I can do right? This cake tastes great, but I can't serve it to anyone but my immediate family (and myself)!

Thanks.

Susan

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Have you tried flour-added Pam? It's also called "Pam for Baking". I have been using it for quite a while now and haven't had one failure. Unlike some other baking sprays, the taste and smell is not objectionable. Performance-wise, it's been better than any other method -- including greasing with shortening or flouring.

If you are determined not to use spray, you might want to try using shortening instead of butter for greasing. I don't know the scientific reason why shortening seems to work better, but in my experience, it always has. Just melt it, paint it own with a brush, then flour the surface.

Oh, and don't be impatient with your cooling ;).

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Okay, I've just seen one too many bundt cakes rendered completely useless by my inability to get it out of the pan. The last one, a tasty ginger cake with stout from a Claudia Fleming recipe I saw in the newspaper, broke clear in half horizontally. I buttered the pan as generously as I could, then floured it. I may have been a little impatient during the cooling, but the recipe gave no instructions regarding how long to leave the cake in there before turning it out onto the cooling rack, and I didn't want to let it go too long.

Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong, and more important, what I can do right? This cake tastes great, but I can't serve it to anyone but my immediate family (and myself)!

Thanks.

Susan

Try solid shortening rather than butter, and apply it with a pastry brush.

Also, when a cake breaks horizontally I just glue it back together with a layer of frosting and pretend that's the way I intended it to be.

SB (Like Julia said; only the cook knows for sure? :rolleyes: )

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The other methods are probably very good, any maybe even easier, but my own has always worked for me: butter and flour. Works every time.

Butter is okay, but use as little as possible.

Shortening is 100% fat, butter around 80%. The other 20% is milk solids and water, both of which have opposite the intended effect.

The "butter-flavor" shortening is good if you want some flavor.

SB (remember, water + flour = paste :shock: )

edited to add link

Edited by srhcb (log)
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I find only a few of my recipes work better when the pan is greased (I use a spray) and floured. Most work better when just greased. Butter has water - could interfere with the release.

eta: Ah.. yah. What Steve said about the butter :wink:

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I like to let my bundt cakes cool in the pan about 15 minutes. It seems to steam the crust off the pan and they just drop out nicely. Every time I try to get them out sooner they break just like you described.

check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

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Here's another little detail type thing also. Y'know how stuff shrinks a little bit when baking? Well use that plus gravity to your advantage and make the cake even a bundt type slide a bit in the pan. Hold the pan at a great enough angle to make it move or slide in the pan. I bop the side of the pan with the heal of my hand too to encourage the movement. You can see which parts of the product are being naughty and nice. Take a flexible skinny knife and encourage any areas that are resistent. That's what I do. I turn the pan all the way around like 12-3-6-9 on the clock and smack the side to be sure everything is loose before turning it over.

You need to let stuff cool sufficiently as has been mentioned. If it cools too much re-heat the pan on the burner for several seconds--I keep the pan revolving on the burner or slide it back and forth so it evenly heats and loosens the fat which releases the cake from the pan.

And of course nothing works like pan goop, equal parts shortening, oil and flour combined. Brush on or use paper towel to apply. Store in frige so it doesn't separate.

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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Here's another little detail type thing also. Y'know how stuff shrinks a little bit when baking? Well use that plus gravity to your advantage and make the cake even a bundt type slide a bit in the pan. Hold the pan at a great enough angle to make it move or slide in the pan. I bop the side of the pan with the heal of my hand too to encourage the movement. You can see which parts of the product are being naughty and nice. Take a flexible skinny knife and encourage any areas that are resistent. That's what I do. I turn the pan all the way around like 12-3-6-9 on the clock and smack the side to be sure everything is loose before turning it over.

You know, I actually tried that, as well as all kinds of tapping and knocking. That baby was just stuck. I even had some trouble cleaning the pan this morning (after soaking all night, just because I was too tired to clean), although the cake definitely didn't burn or even overcook.

The recipe uses a cup of molasses, in addition to half a cup of brown sugar (and some white). Any chance that made it extra sticky after being heated and cooled? Just wondering.

In any case, thanks for all the suggestions. Does the Pam with flour alter the taste? I used Baker's Joy once and hated the way it made the cake look and taste.

I'd love to get this to work, because the part of the cake I got to eat tasted great!

Susan

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What kid of pan is this Susan??? Has the inside surface been scratched or anything like that??? Has it ever been put in the dishwasher? Maybe switch to clarified butter.

I mean yes I'd totally consider a new formula if it's that resistant to cleaning after soaking all night. How well did you incorporate the ingredients? They should not be separating. One cup of molasses is a lot. What else is in the recipe???

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Well, we all perceive taste differently, but no one I know has said they thought the Pam With Flour tasted objectionable. As for the smell, it has a vanilla scent to it so it's actually quite nice (unlike Baker's Joy or No-Flour Pam). I rarely use cooking spray, but the flour-added Pam is an exception. It's worked perfectly in many situations with extremely sticky cakes, so I'm a fan.

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What kid of pan is this Susan??? Has the inside surface been scratched or anything like that??? Has it ever been put in the dishwasher? Maybe switch to clarified butter.

I mean yes I'd totally consider a new formula if it's that resistant to cleaning after soaking all night. How well did you incorporate the ingredients? They should not be separating. One cup of molasses is a lot. What else is in the recipe???

Just a regular non-stick Bundt, unscratched, never dishwashed I don't think. It wasn't THAT resistant to cleaning, just tougher than I would have expected after soaking it all night. By tougher, I mean it didn't simply pour out with the water.

I can only assume I mixed the ingredients well, because it tasted fine, and the texture was good--very moist, an even crumb, etc. The recipe also has a cup of stout and 3/4 c. vegetable oil. You know how newspapers sometimes run recipes in advertorials, and they're a little sketchier than they would be if a newspaper or magazine food editor had been scrutinizing them and forcing the celeb chef to adapt for the home kitchen? That's what it was. All kinds of odd measurements (1 1/2 T. of cinnamon, eg). So I'm wondering if some instruction or other was missing.

Thanks for your detective work. It might just be me (or my pan). I had this problem wth one of Dorie Greenspan's bundt cakes, too. It came out more easily on my second try, but didn't taste as good. Or maybe I just enjoy cakes more when I have the license to dig in with my fingers because the cake's a goner anyway!

Susan

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I bought a silicon bundt cake pan which is rather nifty. Save more cakes than I can count. They're widely available. Tip: make sure the pan is thoroughly dry before adding any fat or flour.

~C

Edited by C_Ruark (log)
"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com
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What kid of pan is this Susan??? Has the inside surface been scratched or anything like that??? Has it ever been put in the dishwasher? Maybe switch to clarified butter.

I mean yes I'd totally consider a new formula if it's that resistant to cleaning after soaking all night. How well did you incorporate the ingredients? They should not be separating. One cup of molasses is a lot. What else is in the recipe???

Just a regular non-stick Bundt, unscratched, never dishwashed I don't think. It wasn't THAT resistant to cleaning, just tougher than I would have expected after soaking it all night. By tougher, I mean it didn't simply pour out with the water.

I can only assume I mixed the ingredients well, because it tasted fine, and the texture was good--very moist, an even crumb, etc. The recipe also has a cup of stout and 3/4 c. vegetable oil. You know how newspapers sometimes run recipes in advertorials, and they're a little sketchier than they would be if a newspaper or magazine food editor had been scrutinizing them and forcing the celeb chef to adapt for the home kitchen? That's what it was. All kinds of odd measurements (1 1/2 T. of cinnamon, eg). So I'm wondering if some instruction or other was missing.

Thanks for your detective work. It might just be me (or my pan). I had this problem wth one of Dorie Greenspan's bundt cakes, too. It came out more easily on my second try, but didn't taste as good. Or maybe I just enjoy cakes more when I have the license to dig in with my fingers because the cake's a goner anyway!

Susan

I have a new Nordic Bundt pan which I've used only twice (on Dorie's recipes). I melted butter and brushed it in. I let both cakes rest til they pulled away from the sides of the pan. They plopped out nicely when turned over. Hope this helps.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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i have always loved bundt cakes, however, i now have come to the realisation (very stubbornly) that not all cake recipes suit the bundt pan - some are better than others; i guess you can go by trail and error, but i'm sure if you look at the recipe, you should get some idea of how sticky it may be. i have also found that if i over bake, rather than underbake the cake, the crust becomes more golden and will release better. as to when to turn the cake out, 10-15 minutes is good, bearing in mind that you don't want the cake to become completely cool in the pan, since there will be trapped steam which will ruin the crust of the cake. i have found release sprays are far superior to butter or oil, and i tend not to flour the tin.

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So so true about the recipe, Whisks. I make those little rose shaped like mega muffin little dealies in the rose mini-bundt pans. I just think they are so pretty and so effortless. Some recipes stick like glue and others pop out like magic. I quess you're right it is trial and error.

Susan, maybe use that particular recipe with a parchment lined loaf pan.

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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As a coincidence, I am planning to make the very gingerbread SusanGiff had a hard time unmolding. This recipe is from Gramercy Tavern and I found it in epicurious.com: Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread

Here, Reviews, are all the reviews of people that made this gingerbread (all the unmolding issues and flavor tweakings and how it's better the next day).

After becoming an egulleteer, I am so hooked on getting reviews about a recipe before I make it. My baking time is limited :angry: and I don't want to repeat mistakes already made.

I hope this helps, Susan.

I'm planning to use the Pam with flour, and lots of it.

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Wow! Didn't realize the recipe was over there. FYI, there are some significant differences between that one and the one she provided the newspaper. PM me if you're interested (and haven't made it yet). She cut the sugar a lot, and added grated fresh ginger.

I'm relieved to see it wasn't just me! Thanks.

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Wow! Didn't realize the recipe was over there. FYI, there are some significant differences between that one and the one she provided the newspaper. PM me if you're interested (and haven't made it yet). She cut the sugar a lot, and added grated fresh ginger.

I'm relieved to see it wasn't just me! Thanks.

Susan,

I have also made the Guiness Stout Ginger Cake from her cookbook The Last Course. I made it in a bundt pan and used the Pam baking spray. I didn't have any problems with sticking. However, I did feel that my cake was slightly overdone even when I took it out of the oven before the suggested baking time of 1 hour. Also, the book's recipe may be different:

1 c. molasses

3 eggs

2 c. flour

3/4 c. oil

1 c. stout

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

fresh ginger, spices (not in odd measurments like you noted)

Does this look like your recipe?

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Now I'm not sure which one to make.

There are indeed 2 recipes from Claudia Fleming. They are both on epicurious.com: Guiness Stout Ginger Cake and Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread. The "bread" has the extra sugar, baking soda and baking powder and the "cake" has less sugar, fresh ginger and more baking soda, but no baking powder.

That there are 2 different recipes was explained on this egullet thread: Best of Ginger cakes, me want me want.

Both bread and cake have good reviews but I can't find anyone who has made both and compared.

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  • 2 months later...

I, too, used to have a lot of problem with bundt cakes sticking, especially in the fancy/elaborate bundt pans i seem to be collecting lately...i tried a tip off the label of one of the pans I got from Williams-Sonoma...butter/PAM spray the bundt pan, then instead of just plain-old flouring the pan...use Wondra.

Worked a treat. Hope it works for you, too.

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I've made the Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread many times and despite every variation of butter, shortening, PAM, flour, no flour, or dry crumbs...it sticks! One of the best things about that cake is its yummy, sugary crust. I've given up baking it in a Bundt pan but instead use a parchment lined springform pan. Don't pass this one up, it is a winner!

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  • 3 years later...

I'm going to go back and read everything I can about unmolding a bundt cake, but in the meantime, I am throwing out my current bundt pan. It's second hand, scratched Teflon inner surface and I've ruined yet another cake. :sad:

The first one...OK...it had a streusel topping and this is asking for trouble. But this one was untopped with extras...simply the Lemon Bliss cake. Ruined.

However, after passing the night it came to me...don't toss the cake and don't give it to your neighbors who get your disasters (happily too).

Put a chocolate ganache over the top. Voila, a presentable cake which will go to this morning's ladies event.

So all's well which ends well. :smile: :smile:

And I am buying a brand new bundt pan. SO there. :raz:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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