The Humble Bundt

This is the story behind one of my favorite kitchen staples, the Bundt pan. It would be best enjoyed over a slice of cake, but this will have to do.

In 1946, members of the Minneapolis Hadassah society, a Jewish women’s organization, wanted help creating a more modern version of the cake pans their grandmothers used in Europe. They turned to David Dalquist, founder and president of the Nordic Ware company, who created an aluminum mold that he sold to the members for $4 each.

In searching for a name for this new/old pan, Dalquist decided on the word Bund, the German word for community. Unfortunately, the German American Bund society was an organization in the US with a heavy dose of Nazi influence. Dalquist added a “t” to the end of the word, resulting in a non-Nazi, trademarkable name.

And so the Bundt was born.

The Bundt pan was relatively obscure for many years, sold in department stores and by Hadassah members as a fundraiser. It wasn’t until 1966 that the Bundt pan was put on the map when Ella Rita Helfrich won the Pillsbury bake off with a legendary Bundt recipe, the Tunnel of Fudge. Demand for the pans skyrocketed thanks to promotions from companies like Pillsbury and Land O’Lakes.

To date, Nordic Ware has sold more than 75 million Bundt pans around the world. General Mills, my employer who now owns Pillsbury, has sold countless boxes of cake mix to be made inside of those Bundt pans. And Hadassah has created an entire medical center in Israel with the proceeds of fundraisers like selling Bundt pans.

Who knew that the humble Bundt had such a story to tell?

Pictured here is the latest addition to my growing Bundt collection, the mini Bundt brownie pan. I love it because allows me to eat my very own cake without actually eating an entire cake. To use it, make your favorite brownie or cake recipe, pour each mold about half full, and bake at the recommended temp. In my experience so far, such as with my favorite pound cake recipe, it should take between 15-20 minutes.

Until We Eat Again,
Two happy cooks

LA Times, My Urban Kvetch, American Food Roots, Brooklyn Homemaker, and Cooks Info

One comment

  1. slicer99

    The story about the pans is great. I had never heard it. I love these pans, too. I remember the absolute “rage” these pans created for potlucks and church events.

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