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Remembering the Era of the Bundt Cake

The recent death of H. David Dalquist, inventor of the bundt cake pan, has reminded many cooks of the beautiful, easy cakes that quietly fell from fashion. Essayist and food afficianado Bonny Wolf has fond memories of the days of the bundt cake.

Bundt Cake Recipes:

Tunnel of Fudge Cake

This is the recipe Pillsbury offers for the prize-winning cake that started the bundt pan revolution. It is not exactly the same as Ella Helfrich’s because Pillsbury stopped making the double dutch fudge buttercream frosting mix she used in the original. Now you have to make the whole cake from scratch. Nuts are essential to the cake’s success. A "tunnel of fudge" mysteriously appears in the finished cake. This does make it tough to use the usual toothpick method of determining doneness


1 ¾ cups sugar

1 ¾ cups butter or margarine, softened

6 eggs

2 cups powdered sugar

2 ¼ cups all purpose or unbleached flour

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa

2 cups chopped walnuts


¾ cup powdered sugar

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa

4-6 tsp. milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan (or a 10-inch tube pan). In a large bowl, combine sugar and butter or margarine; beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar; blend well. By hand, stir in flour and remaining cake ingredients until well blended. Spoon batter into greased and floured pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until top is set and edges are beginning to pull away from sides of pan. Cool upright in pan on wire rack 1 ½ hours. Invert onto serving plate and cool at least 2 hours.

In small bowl, combine glaze ingredients, adding enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Spoon over top of cake, allowing some to run down sides. Store tightly covered.

Chocolate Pistachio Pudding Cake

This cake is incredibly easy and really good.

1 box white or yellow cake mix

1 box pistachio instant pudding mix

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup water

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 tsp. almond extract

3/4 cup chocolate syrup

Confectioners sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cake mix, pudding, orange juice, water, eggs, oil and almond extract. Blend at low speed to moisten. Beat for additional 3 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until well blended.

Pour about 2/3 of batter into well-greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan (or 10-inch tube pan.) Add chocolate syrup to remaining 1/3 of the batter. Mix well. Pour over batter in pan. Run a knife throught the batter to marble it.

Bake 1 hour. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with confectioners sugar, if desired.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR commentator Bonny Wolf grew up in Minnesota and has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in New Jersey and Texas. She taught journalism at Texas A&M University where she encouraged her student, Lyle Lovett, to give up music and get a real job. Wolf gives better advice about cooking and eating, and contributes her monthly food essay to NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday. She is also a contributing editor to "Kitchen Window," NPR's Web-only, weekly food column.