16 best Bundt cake recipes for a mesmerizing dessert

A Bundt cake is not just a cake. A Bundt is a doughnut-shaped, festive dessert, easy enough to whip up on a weeknight, but special enough to serve at the end of a celebratory meal.

Similar to pound cakes, Bundt cakes are typically a bit more lofty, thanks to the special pans they’re baked in, giving the cake its signature doughnut-esque hole in the middle, and plenty of decorative edges all around. And yes, that hole has a purpose. The special pan makes sure the cake bakes evenly through (no gooey middles here) and that negative space doesn’t need to be filled when you flip the cake out of the pan to serve it. Plus, it looks pretty and that doesn’t hurt either.

Traditional Bundt cakes may be smooth or have simple ridges, but new kitchenware lets home cooks bake their Bundt in pans creating a plethora of elaborate designs — from pumpkins to snowflakes to trees, the possibilities are nearly endless.

Whatever the pan, Bundt cakes are also fantastic to decorate, particularly if your cake icing skills are lacking. The round, crisp exterior of the cake makes it a wonderful canvas to drizzle icings on, dress up with sprinkles, douse in syrup, dust with powdered sugar or adorn with candied fruits. The result is always admirable, particularly with a less-is-more mentality.

Bundts work as well for birthdays as any other cake. A circle of candles crowning the top is photo-worthy. But the cakes can also be everyday loaves, sliceable right off the counter for breakfast or a snack.

Here are some of the best Bundt cake recipes to bake.

Top-Secret Chocolate Cake by Ree Drummond

Secret’s out. This decadent chocolate cake is superb. Like the best desserts, it looks just as good as it tastes. A smattering of colorful sprinkles on top of this Bundt make it extra festive for a birthday party.

Aperol Spritz Bundt Cake by Emily Connor

Spritzes are just as fun to eat as they are to drink. This Bundt cake takes all the flavors of summer’s most popular drink and turns them into a dessert that’s easy to enjoy at happy hour and around the clock. Pair with the Italian cocktail, if you like.

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake by Elizabeth Heiskell

Like a giant chocolate chip cookie, this Bundt is super comforting. And it’s an easy way to dress up boxed cake mix to look indistinguishable from a homemade treat. A box of instant chocolate pudding makes it extra moist.

Mint Julep Bundt Cake by Emily Connor

This cake is almost too pretty to slice into, thanks to the fresh mint leaves on top. Inspired by the timeless Kentucky Derby cocktail, this recipe calls for bourbon in the batter for a bold addition to the treat. A mint-bourbon syrup to finish is an added nod to the boozy beverage.

Pecan Bundt Cake by Vallery Lomas

This festive pecan cake is a nice addition to any winter meal. It’s studded with pecans, golden raisins and canned crushed pineapple for a sweet bite. Dress this cake up with candied pecans for a sugary garnish.

Gingerbread Bundt Cake by Jocelyn Delk Adams

Move aside, gingerbread men. Straight out of TODAY’s kitchen, this gingerbread Bundt cake ushers in the holiday season with the warm aroma and flavors of the season. Better yet, it’s just as delicious for dessert as it is for breakfast the next day. Garnished with maple glaze and decorative, edible snowflakes makes this cake gift-worthy.

Carrot-Ginger Bundt Cake by Carrie Parente

Carrot cake doesn’t have to be sliced into squares and smothered with thick cream cheese frosting. Spice it up with freshly grated ginger and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar for a lighter take on this classic treat. Another trick? Carrot purée, which adds sweetness and an intense orange hue. It’s so smooth that you’ll forget you’re eating veggies.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Bundt Cake by Shay Shull

Good morning, gorgeous Bundt. This Bundt cake recipe transforms a box of cake mix and a can of pumpkin purée into a one-of-a-kind autumnal treat. Homemade cinnamon frosting is the cherry on top.

Spiced Gingerbread Bundt Cake by Alejandra Ramos

For an even more indulgent gingerbread treat, enjoy a slice of this spiced gingerbread cake. A festive Bundt pan can elevate this recipe, which uses fresh ginger and crystallized ginger for extra spice. Serve with powdered sugar and whipped cream.

Brown Butter-Maple Bundt Cake with Maple Glaze by Jocelyn Delk Adams

Browning butter takes a few extra minutes but is worth the toasty results. You can do this on the stovetop in less than five minutes. The maple flavor in this cake isn’t subtle, which is just how we like it, and the golden-hued glaze enhances the autumnal notes. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or warm cider.

Spiced Apple Coffee Cake by Riley Wofford

Digging into this cake is like a big, warm hug. The batter is lush with tart apples, cinnamon and cardamom. And the streusel topping is so good, you may want to double the batch.

Mama's Lemon-Lime Soda Cake by Jocelyn Delk Adams

This retro recipe transforms lemon-lime soda into a sweet and tangy cake. A lemony glaze using soda, sugar and lemon juice adds to the zingy flavor. Garnish with lemon peels or candied lemons for extra flare.

Sweet Potato Coffee Cake by Jocelyn Delk Adams

If you love pumpkin, you’ll probably want to dig into this sweet potato cake. Mashed sweet potatoes add soft sweetness and a nice hue to this Bundt that’s enriched with a cinnamon swirl. The maple glaze on top makes this cake extra autumnal.

Honey and Apple Cake by Jamie Geller

Apples and honey make a wonderful pairing, especially in a cake. Pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar add another element of coziness, while olive oil keeps the batter super moist. Splurge for high-quality olive oil and honey and you’ll taste the difference.

Spiced Apple Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Icing by Giada De Laurentiis

This sweet recipe from Giada De Laurentiis tastes sophisticated but is easy to execute. Tart apples such as Granny Smiths work well in this recipe alongside chopped walnuts. The homemade cream cheese-based icing brings it all together and looks professional to boot.

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Bread by Ashton Keefe

Is it bread? Is it cake? Does it matter? This morning loaf-inspired cake baked in a Bundt pan is so special, and pops in your mouth with each bite of zingy lemons and seeds. Evaporated milk adds a subtle sweetness and richness to the cake.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com