Bundt Pan Inventor H. David Dalquist, Who Had a Little Help From Hadassah

Published January 14, 2005, issue of January 14, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

H. David Dalquist, who died last Sunday at age 86, will be remembered as the inventor of the Bundt pan.

But the rounded, circular baking pan was actually the brainchild of several women from Hadassah’s Minneapolis chapter who approached Dalquist with the idea in 1950.

Fannie Schanfield, 87, a lifetime Minneapolis resident who joined Hadassah in 1935, said that cooking and baking were a big part of her life, and of those of her peers, at the time. She recalled in a 2002 phone interview that the Hadassah women were learning how to prepare a “light and fluffy” sponge cake when a fellow member decided that she wanted to bake the heavier cakes that she remembered from her native Germany.

Schanfield said that Rose Joshua, then in her early 30s, announced, “Germans are used to heavy cakes.”

It takes a heavy pan to turn out heavy cakes, but no such pans were to be found in America. So Joshua brought her heavy iron pan to Dalquist, chairman, owner and founder of Northland Aluminum, which sells the Nordic Ware line of baking pans, and asked if he could fashion a similar one for her.

Dalquist set out to make a mold of the heavy, curvaceous pan Joshua had in mind. It was the first time he’d ever been approached to make a pan, he said in an interview two years before his death.

The Hadassah women liked Dalquist’s creation so much that his company started out making several hundred. It then began marketing the pans to major department stores, and Dalquist brought the seconds to the Jewish women.

“I personally delivered the pans — 300 or 400 I think — to them,” Dalquist said.

The Hadassah women turned around and sold the pans they didn’t keep, at between $7 and $10 apiece. Schanfield said the Bundt pans — originally spelled Bund, German for “association” —- were a source of funds for Hadassah for many years.

“I can’t think of any Hadassah members who didn’t have a Bundt pan,” Schanfield said.

Although the pan didn’t catch on in national circles until more than a decade after its initial manufacture, eventually it became much sought after.

“Bundt was our first success,” Dalquist later said.

In the 1960s, Dalquist caught the attention of the president of Pillsbury, who agreed that his company would make a cake mix especially for the Bundt pan. And in 1966, the winner of the Pillsbury Grand National Bake-off used a Bundt pan. Nordic Ware claims there are now more than 45 million Bundt pans in use, making it “the most popular baking mold in America.”

Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.