Let’s Ask Mrs. Twist — How to Keep Cakes from Sticking in the Pan

lets-ask-mrs-twistI have been wanting to start an “advice column” for a while.  My friend and follower Amy posted a question on my Face Book page today so it was just what I needed to launch Let’s Ask Mrs. Twist.  I may not know the answers to all your questions, but I can certainly do some research and give you my best assistance possible.  You might want to steer clear of math, geography or world history, although I am sure Mr. Bee would love to weigh-in on these topics.

Here is Amy’s question… 

Q.  Love reading your blog!  My Bundt cakes almost always stick.  I’ve tried spray flour and butter, but they stick.  Do you have any tricks or tips that you might share?  #bundtchallenged Amy

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First, Amy that cake looks amazing and while I am sure it’s disappointing for your baked good not be a 10 in appearance, it probably tasted like a 10!

Here’s my first blush at your question before consulting my resources.  I use butter flavored shortening, not butter, to grease my Bundt pans. Something else I do, especially when I am baking with a loaf pan, is use sugar instead of flour.  I like the crust it makes on the outside of the cake. Sometimes, I think, flour creates a build-up of pasty goo. You can also try cocoa instead of flour if you are making a chocolate cake.

You didn’t mention what kind of pan you use.  I like nonstick Nordic ware and I also like my Pampered Chef stoneware pan.  After my cake has cooled for about 10-15 minutes, I take a flexible off-set spatula and go around the edge of the pan to push the cake away from the sides and middle of the pan, then invert the cake onto a cooling rack.

martha-stewart-baking-bookI checked some resources on the web and my Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.

Several sites on the web including The Kitchn, suggest steaming the cake out of its pan.

Take a clean kitchen towel and place in your kitchen sink.  Very carefully take a kettle of boiling water and pour over the towel until damp, not dripping. Drape the towel over the cake for 15-20 minutes.  The steam is supposed to help release the cake from the pan when you invert it.

One source, Baker Street, called the area in the Bundt pan where the tube meets the base the Achilles Heel and to really make sure to focus on greasing and flouring this part of the pan.

There was debate over using butter versus shortening versus spray.  More sources like Food52 said sprays contain lecithin which can leave a sticky residue.  Martha always uses butter and applies it with a pastry brush, something I haven’t tried.  I just use a paper towel like Mother taught me to use as seen in this video from Nordic.

I hope these ideas help Amy.  We’ve all had this frustrating issue in baking, but don’t give up sugar!  I would try some of these suggested tips and compare them to what you are doing.  You may have to sacrifice time and ingredients for your trial and error, but I am sure your family won’t mind sampling the results all in the name of research.  Let me know what you find out.  For readers, if you have a trick to share with Amy, please comment below.

I am saving this Let’s Ask Mrs. Twist to my permanent menu under Other Swell Stuff.  I can’t wait for the next question! Either send me an email through my Contact Me tab on the menu above or to my Face Book page.

1 thought on “Let’s Ask Mrs. Twist — How to Keep Cakes from Sticking in the Pan”

  1. Thank you for the tips ! I will try them . I am using a non stick pan . I really appreciate your help ! It wasn’t pretty but sure was delish ! ❤️

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