How To Grease A Bundt Pan (& Keep Bundt Cakes From Sticking!)

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How To Grease A Bundt Pan – Learn the best way to grease your bundt pan and how to keep bundt cakes from sticking!

Front view of gluten-free bundt cake with chocolate glaze

I LOVE a good bundt cake. There’s something so beautiful about the presentation–the shapes are more intricate than most other cakes and cupcakes. I love what a statement they can make at the end of a meal, around a holiday, or at any kind of special event or celebration.

So there’s hardly anything more frustrating for me in the kitchen than losing a chunk of my bundt cake to the pan! Over the years, I’ve gotten better and better at keeping my bundt cakes from sticking to the pan, and today I’m going to share all of the best tips, tricks, and tools I’ve learned along the way.

Here’s everything I know about how to grease a bundt pan and keep bundt cakes from sticking to the pan…

Overhead view of how to grease a bundt pan

Start With A Quality Bundt Pan

Before you even get started, it’s important to ask yourself what condition is your bundt pan in? Is it gorgeously seasoned from years of loving use? Awesome! Keep enjoying it! Did it used to be nonstick, but now the coating is scratched, chipped, or caked with build-up? It’s probably time to replace it. Often when your bundt pan is damaged or scratched, no amount of greasing can save your bundt cake as the nonstick coating is compromised and any scratches or dents can create spots where your cake will stick.

Newer bundt pans often come with a great nonstick coating that helps them slide right out. We highly recommend Nordicware Bundt pans, like this fluted pan we used, or a pretty swirl pattern. (Though there are so many great ones to choose from!) Keep in mind that the more intricate the design, the more likely the cake is to stick.

What’s The Best Kind Of Bundt Pan?

That will definitely depend on what you’re looking for specifically, but in our experience, our favorite bundt pans are made by Nordicware. Their newer pans are fairly nonstick on their own, and if you choose one of the more simple designs (like this one or this one), the bundt pan is more likely to come out smoothly.

The simpler the design, the more easily your bundt cake will come out!

Grease Your Bundt Pan Right Before Filling

Most recipes recommend you prep your pans at the same time you preheat the oven, and usually, I’m ALL about that. But with a bundt, prepping your pans too far in advance can be a problem. Any oil you’ve greased the pan with can drip down those high sides and pool at the bottom (which means your sides are more likely to stick and the top of the cake is less likely to cook the way you want it to).

I recommend waiting to grease your bundt pan until your cake batter is mixed and the oven is preheated. That way you can add the cake batter right away and put it directly into the oven as soon as the bundt pan is greased. Speaking of which…

Overhead view of how to grease a bundt pan

Spray Or Brush Bundt Pans With Oil (Not Butter!)

We recommend greasing your bundt pan generously with spray oil (easiest) or use a pastry brush to brush oil or melted shortening into every nook and cranny. The milk solids in butter can actually exacerbate sticking, especially with the more intricate details of bundt pans, so it’s not the best choice for this job.

Also important to note: I use 100% oil spray (without propellants or additives) rather than nonstick baking sprays since nonstick sprays can create build-up on your pans that degrade the nonstick coating. (Melted shortening is another option!)

I’ll say it again: I don’t recommend baking sprays (like PAM) or any sprays that contain flour. They have a tendency to create build-up on the pan, which degrades the nonstick coating over time.

Overhead view of a small sieve with cocoa powder for greasing a bundt pan

Consider Adding A Barrier, Like Sugar, Cocoa Powder, or Almond Flour

Sprinkling something into the greased bundt pan can help give the cake something to stick to, instead of it sticking to the pan. The most common options here are sugar (which works great for most cakes and makes a pretty finish), almond flour (which works best in lighter-colored cakes), or unsweetened cocoa powder (great for chocolate cakes). 

I do NOT recommend regular flour or gluten-free flour, since it can increase sticking and create a patchy appearance or gummy exterior on the cake. (I’ll note here that some folks love using flour, and if it’s been working for you–keep on doing it! But if you’re just getting started, I recommend using our oil/shortening + sugar or cocoa powder method for greasing a bundt pan results.)

Front view of gluten-free bundt cake with chocolate glaze

Treat Your Pan Right

Lastly, to keep that bundt pan in prime shape, don’t wash your bundt pans in the dishwasher. Use simple dish soap & warm water and dry the pan thoroughly, getting into all those detailed parts of the design. (A bundt cleaning brush can make this even easier, but it’s not necessary) 

Avoid using any metal utensils on a bundt pan as they can scratch and damage the coating. If you must use something to help get the cake out of the pan or clean the bundt pan, choose plastic, silicone, or cloths (like microfiber). NEVER use anything sharp or metal.

Bundt Pan Icon

Make sure to baby the pan–wash and hand dry every nook and cranny! The better you invest in maintaining your bundt pan, the more likely your bundt cakes are to come out perfectly!

How To Grease A Bundt Pan, Step By Step:

  1. Preheat the oven and make your cake batter BEFORE you grease the bundt pan.
  2. When the oven is preheated and the cake batter is mixed, mist the bundt pan with 100% oil spray or use a pastry brush or paper towel to grease the pan with oil or melted shortening.
  3. Pay extra attention to any curves, dips, indents, or designs in the bundt pan and make sure to grease the center column generously as well.
  4. Sprinkle the freshly greased sides of the bundt pan and the center tube generously with granulated sugar (or use a sieve to lightly dust with cocoa powder for chocolate cakes!).
  5. Tap the sides of the pan to distribute the sugar or cocoa powder, then tap out any excess by turning the pan upside down to let any excess fall out.
  6. Immediately add your cake batter and put the cake into the oven to bake as directed.

Our Favorite Tools For Greasing a Bundt Pan:

Front view of pouring chocolate glaze on a chocolate bundt cake

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About How To Grease A Bundt Cake:

Can I Use Vegetable Oil To Grease A Bundt Pan? Yep! Use a pastry brush or a paper towel that’s been dipped in oil to get the oil into every curve, crease, nook, and cranny of the pan. (Remember any place you miss can mean your cake will stick!)

Can I Use PAM or Baking Sprays To Grease A Bundt Pan? I don’t like baking sprays for greasing bundt pans. They’re m0re likely to create build-up on the pan (which degrades the coating and makes it less nonstick in the future), and can sometimes add a subtle taste to the cake. I use 100% spray oils (no added propellants) or melted shortening or oil to grease bundt pans.

Is Butter Good For Greasing Bundt Pans? NO. I do NOT recommend using butter. The milk solids can act “sticky” and cause the bundt cake to stick MORE to the pan. I recommend 100% spray oil, oil, or melted shortening instead.

What Shape Bundt Pan Is Easiest To Use? This simple bundt pan is consistently our easiest to use. It’s slightly smaller than some other pans, but you can fill it all but 1″ full and it bakes beautiful bundt cakes!

How Do You Get A Bundt Cake Out Of The Pan When It’s Stuck?

Sometimes, even if you do all the things, your bundt cake might stick. (Sometimes it’s the specific recipe, sometimes you accidentally missed a spot when greasing the pan, the pan has build up, the cake wasn’t sufficiently baked, etc.) So, it’s always great to have a back-up plan for getting the bundt out of the pan if it does stick. In those cases, we follow these tips for a stuck bundt cake from King Arthur. (Our favorite is the steaming trick!)

Front view of a chocolate bundt cake with a slice out of it, revealing a tender, perfectly cooked center

Gluten-Free Bundt Cake Recipes To Try:


  1. Hi I’ve never made a Bundt cake before and I’m excited for my attempt. Can I use a coconut oil spray n sugar to grease my Bundt cake pan? Thank you so much

    1. Hi Stephanie! I usually use a neutral-tasting oil so it doesn’t impact the flavor of my cake (avocado oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, etc.) but coconut oil should work! Make sure you get all the nooks and crannies of your pan with the oil before adding the sugar! I’m cheering you on!

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