I was driving down the road in Eden Prairie the other day when what to my wondering eyes should appear? A Bundt cake bakery.
Its name: Nothing Bundt Cakes.
Wait . . . Why—when it could have been called, oh, Bundts of Steel!? Or I Like Big Bundts!? Or even: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Bundt-er?
Even though I nearly choked myself on the possibilities for awful puns, I did manage to park my car and and get through the strip mall doors to something that looked a heck of a lot like a fancy cupcake bakery—except it was not cupcakes. It was Bundt cakes.
Now, in case any Martians have happened upon this here blog, let us now review what constitutes a true and proper Bundt cake. They are cakes made in Bundt pans, which were invented in America at Nordicware, the great American cookware company over on Minneapolis’ west side, just off Highway 7. Since their invention, Bundt cakes have become American icons—they’re kitschy and good when you’re making one time Pillsbury Bake-Off champion Tunnel of Fudge cakes, and they’re cheffy and good when former pastry chef Lauren Chattman is making them. And they’re just plain fool-proof and good when all us Minnesotans make them with good local butter and cream. (That’s the cake I make every Christmas, in my Bundt castle pan.) But could they be the new cupcakes?
Nothing Bundt Cakes co-owner, Jill Tullemans, was at the door greeting folks, and she explained that the bakery is a franchise founded in Las Vegas in 1997. And that, yes, they had to license the name from Nordicware. She also said that while the Eden Prairie location is the first local outpost, more are coming soon, including one expected in Roseville. Still, it’s one thing to sell Bundt cakes in Las Vegas, and quite another to sell them in the birthplace and most fiercely devoted Bundt cake territory in—yes, I will go this far— the world . Is this not the cake equivalent of bringing coals to Newcastle or , bringing Bundts to Minnesota?
So I brought back a box to the office and let some real Minnesotans weigh in. First thing: These Bundts come in three sizes, like Goldilocks’ bears, big daddy bear cakes to serve 10, little mama cakes for two, or tiny individual baby Bundts, which look to the untrained eye just like cupcakes. There are a bunch of flavors: Red velvet (with extra chocolate chips), carrot cake, marble cake, lemon cake—and more.
We tried red velvet, carrot cake, and white chocolate raspberry. The verdict: We like them! I mean, I like my own local butter, local cream version better. (It’s my best cake, I’m not giving that up.) But my co-foodie Steph March thought they were authentically weighty, not too sweet, tasty, and hit enough of the right taste-of-childhood emotional markers to make them a hit. And then everyone else in the office thought they were just right: Not too sweet, not too precious frou-frou, novel, traditional—score!
So are Bundt cakes the new cupcakes? We’ll have to wait and find out, but if they are, I have a few names in mind for your Bundt cake projects: Kick Bundt. Bundt in the Oven. Beavis and Bundthead. But get moving! I Googled Big Bundts and what do you know, it’s already a bakery in North Carolina.
What? Are we going to let the South steal our noble heritage? So get on out there and assert your punning and Bundt cake eating noble heritage, like the Energizer Bundties I know you can be.
Nothing Bundt Cakes, 8435 Joiner Way, Eden Prairie, 952-512-2500, nothingbundtcakes.com