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National Bundt Day

Kicking off the holiday baking season, National Bundt Day celebrates Bundt cake pans and the Bundt cake that's made in them. Nordic Ware, the maker of Bundt cake pans, started National Bundt Day in 2006 to mark their 60th anniversary. That year, they organized a "60th anniversary Bundts Across America contest" to find the best Bundt cake recipes from each state. The names of the cakes and the ingredients used in them were to represent and reflect the state from which they were submitted. The top 10 state recipes were picked, and then an overall winner was chosen on The Martha Stewart Show on National Bundt Day and was given $1,000 worth of Nordic Ware products and a family reunion for 50 people.

In the years since, Nordic Ware has offered special promos on National Bundt Day. For some years they've had a theme, such as Show us Your Bundt Collection, Most Beautiful Bundt Cakes, and Alternative Uses for Bundt Pans. Some bakeries give out personal-sized Bundt cakes on the day. The bakery chain Nothing Bundt Cakes has also gotten involved in the day and has given out their mini Bundt cakes on the day.

In 1950, three women from the Hadassah Society of Minnesota went to H. David Dalquist, the founder and owner of Nordic Ware (Northland Aluminum Products), a maker of die-cast aluminum kitchen products, asked him to make a pan based on the Gugelhupf, a ring cake pan that one of their family's had brought from Germany. The group wanted pans so they could bake cakes for one of their fundraisers, which they often organized to pay for schools and hospitals in Israel.

Dalquist came up with and trademarked the name "Bundt." It comes from the German word Bund, which means "a gathering of people." He added a "t" so that he could trademark it, and so that it wouldn't be associated with the German American Bund, an American organization that had supported Nazis before World War II. By the mid-1950s, Dalquist's die-cast aluminum Bundt pan was being sold in department stores. The hole in its middle allowed the cake to bake evenly and made cutting and serving easier too.

The Bundt pan came to national prominence when the seventeenth annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest was held in 1966. A Bundt pan was used to make the cake that won second prize, the Tunnel of Fudge cake, baked by Ella Rita Helfrich of Houston, Texas. She made the cake with five ingredients and Pillsbury dry frosting mix. The recipe became popular, and Pillsbury received over 200,000 letters from people asking where they could get a Bundt pan.

In 1971, Pillsbury debuted a line of boxed Bundt cake mixes, developed from recipes created by Dotty Dalquist, H. David's wife, which were sold for the next 15 years. In 1972, Nordic Ware and Pillsbury organized a promotion and sold the Bundt pan and cake mix together at stores for $1.98. This further increased the popularity of Bundt pans and cakes around the United States.

Today, Nordic Ware is still a family-owned company based out of Minnesota. They make a variety of sizes of Bundt pans and many other products, ninety percent of which are still manufactured in Minneapolis. As of 2016, there had been more than 100 unique Bundt pan designs and more than 70 million Bundt pans sold. Bundt pans are even preserved in the Smithsonian Institution, the United States' foremost museums, at the National Museum of American History. Just as impressive, Bundt cake pans and cakes are celebrated today with National Bundt Day!

How to Observe National Bundt Day

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