Ever tried searching for a recipe and the search engine returns you with a hoard of cake recipes you have absolutely no clue about? In this article, we show you the different types of cake, how they are made, and the difference between them! With a better understanding of cakes, building your own dessert will be as easy as pie.
Sponge / Foam Cakes
Foam and sponge cakes have little to no fat in them, and are leavened primarily using whipped egg whites. This gives them a light, airy, and spongy texture. They are different from butter cakes which contain butter/oil/shortening, and use baking powder or baking soda for leavening.
Bakestarters' Pandan Chiffon Cake by Sophie
Containing no fat, egg yolks, or artificial leaveners, an Angel Food Cake is leavened solely using the air whipped into egg whites. The whites are whipped until very firm, before flour is gently folded in. The higher ratio of sugar in such cakes is required to stabilize the whipped egg whites. The result is a cake that’s light, fluffy and delicate, a great accompaniment to fresh fruit and whipped cream.
A genoise cake is different from an angel food cake due to the addition of egg yolks, giving it a richer flavour. Whole eggs are beaten together with sugar over a pot of simmering water until very thick, before flour is folded in. Some recipes call for melted butter. Genoises are usually use as a base for many desserts, as it can be flavoured with various extracts, essences, and liqueurs.
Chiffon cakes rely on whipped egg whites and baking powder for leavening. Vegetable oil is used as fat. Dry ingredients are mixed together, before the wet ingredients such as egg yolks, oil, water, and flavouring are beaten in. The batter is then aerated with beaten egg whites and baked. This gives it the light and airy texture of sponge cake, with a moist and tender crumb characteristic of butter cakes.
Butter / Oil Cakes
These are made with either butter or oil as the fat, and leavened with baking powder. If using butter, the butter is often left at room temperature to soften before being creamed with sugar until light and fluffy. Creaming will help to dissolve the sugar partially and aerate the batter. Next, the dry ingredients such as flour, baking powder, and salt are mixed together in one bowl and added in alternating doses to the butter mixture, along with the wet ingredients. This results in a rich and moist cake, with a light and airy crumb.
Bakestarters' Classic Butter Cake
Pound Cakes are a type of butter cake. Rich, buttery, and dense, a classic pound cake contains one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, resulting in a tender cake. Pound cakes are typically not used for layer cakes as they are heavier. These are usually baked in a loaf pan and served plain, or with a frosting and glaze.
The exact opposite of an Angel’s Food Cake, a Devil’s Food Cake is a dense, rich, and moist chocolate cake. An American classic, it has a more intense chocolate flavour as compared to the usual chocolate cake due to the addition of coffee, which enhances and brings out the chocolate flavour. It is typically baked as a layer cake, and covered with chocolate frosting.
A type of butter cake in which only egg yolks are used. The egg yolks give the cake a richness and beautiful golden colour.
A type of butter cake flavoured with vanilla, it gets its characteristic yellowish hue from the use of whole eggs. It has a thicker batter than white cake, and tends to be more moist, dense, and sturdy.
Also flavoured with vanilla, a white cake is made with only egg whites. It is sometimes combined with shortening and butter to obtain a purer white colour, and is less tender due to the lack of fat and emulsifiers from yolks. Texture-wise, they are lighter and more delicate as compared to a yellow cake.
Cakes with little to no flour
Cakes with little to no flour have a rich, dense, and creamy texture in general.
Bakestarters' Cheesecake Bites
Cheesecakes can be made with either a little bit of flour, or flourless. They typically contain a layer of sweetened cream cheese filling on top of a base layer of crushed graham crackers, digestives, or oreos. Baked in a springform pan using a water bath, cheesecakes have a silky smooth texture.
Made sans flour, these cakes are aerated using whipped egg whites, and sink after baking. They are typically very rich and fudgy.