The Bundt cake is a recent innovation. While ring-shaped cakes probably go all the way back to the origin of cakeries, the Bundt itself was only introduced in 1950s when a bakeware company coined the term to market their new line of aluminum pans.
This made the Bundt something a frontier to be won by amateur bakers. Who knows how many people tried baking Bundts only to devise something blah, and wished they’d just stuck to cherries jubilee or baked Alaska instead.
The perfection of the Bundt ultimately proved a team effort. Dena Tripp and Debbie Shwetz combined their respective masteries of batter and frosting to create a Bundt the likes of which the world had never seen before. So confident were they in their sublime Bundts that they opened a bakery devoted solely to them. The entrepreneurs cut the ribbon on their inaugural Nothing Bundt Cakes in Las Vegas in 1997.
The desert wasn’t big enough for this dessert. Over the next couple of decades Dena and Debbie would open over 400 Nothing Bundt Cakes franchises across the United States, including the one that Rinda Norberg would eventually visit with her sister in Texas.
“Once you taste the cake, you automatically go crazy for it,” said Rinda. “That’s why I was so disappointed to discover we didn’t have a Nothing Bundt Cakes back home in Fargo. But then I realized the opportunity – I had always dreamed of opening a business one day, and what could be better than this?”
Rinda drove her husband all the way to the nearest location in Maple Grove, Minnesota so she could get him onboard with the idea. She lobbied Nothing Bundt Cakes’ corporate office until they appreciated the virtues of the North Dakota market. She only needed a business partner. Serenity delivered.
“I used to be a nurse,” said Jenna Larson, long-time friend and eventual business partner of Rinda. “One day I was in a particular funk at work, so I vented to Rinda that we should start a business together. I was only joking, but she texted back that she had just the business in mind. I think I would have been up for anything she could have suggested at that point, but something about Bundt cake sounded particularly promising while I was sitting there in my scrubs.”
With the significant others won over, corporate swayed, and the partners partnered, the Nothing Bundt Cakes of West Fargo came to be. There Rinda and Jenna bake Bundts according to the founders’ original recipes – delicious, moist and fluffy things available in 11 delightful flavors including white chocolate raspberry, chocolate chocolate chip, red velvet and lemon.
“We fill a nice niche,” said Jenna, “and feel our cakes are competitively priced. That way people can choose Nothing Bundt Cakes for all kinds of celebrations, and we love being a part of all of that! At the end of the day we’re not really in the cake business – we’re in the joy business.”
“During the pandemic we were still able to accommodate our guests.” said Rinda. “A lot of people had to cancel their wedding plans in favor of smaller backyard gatherings, and our fast turnaround meant they could place last-minute orders with us and still have plenty of cake to go around. Our miniature ‘Bundtinis’ also let everyone’s guests enjoy their favorite flavors.”
“We’ve also become increasingly popular for fundraisers. We love helping out schools with programs like Books for Bundts, where kids get cake for reaching their reading goals, as well as dance teams and church groups that are raising money for travel. If you have a group that can grow with Jenna’s and my help, then we really hope you’ll come and visit us in our Bundtique!”
The Bundtique, which is located at 816 24th Ave E in West Fargo, also offers the plates, candles, napkins, balloons and gifts you need to throw a proper party. You can order cakes in advance by calling (701) 404-1999, or visit nothingbundtcakes.com to learn more about what is probably the most specialized bakery in North Dakota.
By David Scheller