Summer baking may consist of fruit pies, cobblers, and strawberry shortcake, if you bake at all. But the seasonal bakeware options from Nordic Ware — the company that makes sturdy, caste aluminum fluted Bundt pans to ones with elaborate designs — might tempt you to use your oven more often in the steamy weather, and could even inspire the kids to help. There are several fun and whimsical pans in the collection, and a new one is the Seashell Bites Pan, which makes 23 cute little cakes in the shapes of seashells, starfish, and seahorses. Another, with a seaworthy theme is the Octopus Cake Pan, with curling limbs and splashy details. And then there’s the intricate Castle Bundt Pan, which creates a dramatic sandcastle centerpiece perfect for a summer backyard party or birthday celebration. Sprinkle brown sugar on the structure to look like sand. The shapes are so appealing they will impress even with minimum amount of decoration (pans run $36 to $44). Available at Williams Sonoma locations, or at nordicware.com.
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.