Classic Bundt Cake

updated May 8, 2024
Classic Bundt Cake Recipe
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angled shot of a bundt cake on a white plate, with a few slices missing and a two slices leaning on each other and the rest of the full cake.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

We all need a foolproof Bundt recipe that we love and trust. One that’s easy to whip up, bakes beautifully, and slides right out of the pan every single time. Investing in a Bundt cake pan is the easiest way I know to make a pretty cake with zero extra effort. I’d highly recommend you buy one if you don’t already own one to make this classic Bundt cake (and you can use the Bundt pan in other ways too!).

You’ll be rewarded with a tender, moist cake rich from eggs and sour cream that doesn’t skimp on the vanilla and is covered with an easy optional glaze for a pretty finish. And if you don’t have space for a Bundt pan, here’s a hack for making one out a cake pan instead — so you have no excuse not to make this delicious cake.

Why You’ll Love It

  • It’s moist, rich, and full of vanilla flavor.
  • A flour and butter paste guarantees that the cake won’t stick to the pan.
  • Baking this cake in a Bundt pan and coupling it with an optional easy glaze makes it look beautiful without the need for additional decoration.

Key Ingredients in Bundt Cake

  • Butter: You’ll need 2 sticks of unsalted butter for both the cake and greasing the Bundt pan.
  • Vanilla: The main flavoring here is vanilla. You can use just vanilla extract or a combination of the extract and the seeds from a vanilla bean for a bigger boost of vanilla flavor.
  • Sour cream: Full-fat sour cream adds richness and moisture to the Bundt cake.
  • Flour: You have a choice of flours here. Use all-purpose flour for a sturdier cake or cake flour for a softer, more delicate cake.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

How to Make Bundt Cake

  1. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the wet ingredients. Beat in vanilla extract and eggs.
  3. Beat in the sour cream and dry ingredients. Beat in the flour and leavenings, alternating it with sour cream.
  4. Bake until golden-brown. Bake until golden-brown. Let cool for 30 minutes in the pan before taking the cake out and cooling completely.
  5. Glaze the Bundt cake. If you’d like to glaze the cake, whisk powdered sugar and milk together before pouring it over the cake. Let sit until the glaze sets.

Helpful Swaps

  • You can use all-purpose or cake flour in this cake.
  • Use 2 teaspoons vanilla extract plus the seeds from a vanilla bean pod (here’s how to scrape the seeds out), or just use 5 teaspoons vanilla extract instead.
  • For an orange-flavored Bundt cake, add 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest and 1 tablespoon orange juice in with the vanilla extract.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips

  • Let the cake cool completely, then store under a cake dome or wrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • If you’d like to freeze the cake, it’s best to freeze it unglazed. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap again in aluminum foil before freezing. The day before you plan to eat it, thaw overnight at room temperature, and glaze when ready to serve.

More Bundt Cake Recipes

Classic Bundt Cake Recipe

A double dose of vanilla makes this extra delicious.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes to 50 minutes

Makes Makes 1 bundt cake

Serves 10 to 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 16 tablespoons

    (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 3/4 cup

    full-fat sour cream

  • 2 1/2 cups

    plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose or cake flour, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1

    vanilla bean (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups

    granulated sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 to 5 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

For the glaze (optional):

  • 1 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    milk, any fat percentage

  • 1

    pinch kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Place 15 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Place 3 large eggs and 3/4 cup sour cream on the counter. Let everything sit at room temperature until the butter is softened.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add 1 tablespoon of the all-purpose or cake flour to the butter and whisk until a smooth paste forms. Brush a 10-cup (around 9-inch) Bundt cake pan with all of the paste, making sure to brush the tube.

  3. Place the remaining 2 1/2 cups all-purpose or cake flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to combine. If using a vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds into a small bowl (save the pod for making vanilla extract), add 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, and rub together with your fingers until the seeds are evenly distributed in the sugar.

  4. Add 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the bowl of butter. Beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds. With the mixer still running, gradually beat in the sugar and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  5. Add the vanilla extract: 2 teaspoons if also using vanilla seeds, or 5 teaspoons if you are not using vanilla seeds. Beat on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through, until lightened in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes total. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.

  6. Turn the mixer on to medium speed. Gradually add the eggs one at a time, waiting until each one is incorporated before beating in the next. With the mixer on the lowest speed, beat in half of the flour mixture until just combined. Add the sour cream and beat until just combined. Add the remaining flour and beat until just combined.

  7. Transfer the batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top. Pick up the pan and gently tap on the work surface a few times to remove any air bubbles.

  8. Bake until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs, the cake bounces back when lightly pressed, and the top is golden-brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Place the Bundt pan on a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Flip the cake out onto the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour more.

  9. Place 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, and 1 pinch kosher salt in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Spoon evenly over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let sit until set, about 15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Use the right Bundt pan: The recipe calls for a 10-cup Bundt pan, which is the smaller size. If in doubt, measure the amount of water it takes to fill the pan.

Glaze options:

  • For a thicker glaze, use more powdered sugar. If you’d like to crisscross over the cracks and crevices of the cake, keep it runnier.
  • Orange juice could replace the milk or a splash of vanilla extract can be combined with the milk. Glaze made with orange juice will not be as white.
  • This makes about 1/2 cup of glaze. The glaze can easily be doubled if you want to go to town on the topping.

Storage: Once the Bundt has completely cooled, place under a cake dome, in an airtight container, or cover tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 4 days.