Can someone explain the difference to me? Can I substitute one for another? Does it matter that the tube pan bottom comes out, and the bundt pan does not?
While technically I think they're the same thing (they both have a tube in the middle), a straight sided tube pan is not the same thing as a bundt pan. Bundt pans are rounded on the bottom and usually have some kind of design built into the pan. Straight sided tube pans are more for angel food cakes - no crevices - just straight sides for the angel food to climb up.
For pound cakes and regular cakes, they are definitely interchangeable. I think that some people have used a bundt pan for an angel food cake before, but I personally wouldn't do it. To me, angel food has to be done in a straight sided one. The straight sided ones are also good if you plan to slice the cake horizontally and fill it with something, put the top back on and then frost it. Bundt pans are more for frosting that gets drizzled on (or no frosting at all).
What Grace said.
My mother always made her cakes (pound cakes or anything that wasn't meant to be a layer cake) in a straight-sided tube pan with a removable bottom. Bundt pans were a new innovation she adopted in the mid-70s.
For anything other than angel food or other sponge cakes (where you really DO want a pan that separates), it just depends on if you want a design in the surface or not.
I've stopped using Bundt pans altogether since the cake would tend to get stuck in the crevices, and I'd get frustrated. The cakes are MUCH easier to remove from the tube pans.
To GoBlue...I just upgraded my bundt pan from a cheapo lightweight one to the Calphalon one. Bed Bath & Beyond had a 40% off clearance on Calphalon bakeware & I have been very happy with their other non stick professional bakeware. I am amazed at how well cakes turn out without breaking or sticking. Their claim that the suface does not get gummy from sprays is accurate too, cleans perfectly. I use a thin mayonnaise nylon "spatula" to loosen the sides a little. Anyway, I just made a bundt cake that had nuts & sugar dusted on the pan sides and no sticking at all.
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