Every monkey bread baker has most certainly seen and used a Bundt pan. Although Bundt cakes originated as a dessert in Eastern Europe centuries ago, the pan is a creation of modern times.
In 1949, a Minneapolis man by the name of H. David Dalquist Sr. set out to fashion a device based off of a ceramic mold given to him by members of a Minneapolis Hadassah chapter. Just 3 years prior, he had ended his stint in the navy and joined his brother in an entrepreneurial venture. They started Northland Aluminum Products for the purpose of industrial services. But, Dalquist formed the Bundt pan to help the women bake kugelhopf – a cake that is heavy and circular.
In 1966, the Bundt pan became increasingly popular and production of the product grew immensely. At the time, a Bundt cake had received a red ribbon at that year’s Pillsbury Bake-Off. Pillsbury began marketing a variety of Bundt cake mixes – from Chocolate Macaroon to Black Forest Cherry. Soon, Dalquist and Northland Aluminum Products were manufacturing 30K Bundt pans each day. The brothers included the Bundt pan in their Nordic Ware bakeware product line.
As consumers’ needs shifted away from a large family baking approach to a snack-focused frenzy, the need for Bundt pan cake mixes lessened from the 1970s on. Recently, Pillsbury removed its line of Bundt cake mixes, however, the company still include Bundt pan baking instructions on nearly every package of cake mix. Nordic Ware even crafted their own gourmet Bundt pan cake mixes.
Bundt pans remain a staple in family kitchens across the United States and around the world. And Nordic Ware continues to be the 300-pound gorilla in the space – and will be probably for the foreseeable future.