Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Cake
There are many ways to make cakes and professional bakers know that depending on how the batter is prepared, the finished texture of the cake varies. Once you understand the basic types of cakes and the best way to mix up their batter, your cakes can go from so-so to spectacular.
So next time you’re making one of Our Deer’s cake recipes, think about what sort of cake you’re making so you’ll know best how to combine the ingredients into a superb cake.
This type of cake contains fat (usually butter or oil). Leavening (often in the form of baking powder) is also an essential ingredient, making the cake rise.
For this type of cake, the butter is usually softened. The sugar and butter are beaten together to add air to the mixture and to partly dissolve the sugar. Once this is done, dry ingredients and wet ingredients are alternately added. The end result is a light, crumbly cake.
Pound cakes are the most basic type of butter cake. Traditionally made with a pound of every ingredient (butter, sugar, flour, and eggs), the resulting cake is dense but not heavy. Most coffee cakes and fruit crumb cakes are variations on the classic pound cake. Layered cakes are usually butter cakes, also. Classic devil’s food cake and white cakes fall into this category.
Sponge or foam cakes typically don’t contain fat (butter or oil) or baking powder or other leaveners. What they do contain is whipped egg whites (or sometimes whole, whipped, eggs). Whipping the eggs first adds air pockets to them. The air pockets then expand when the cake is baked, making the cake quite light and spongy.
In order to avoid compressing the air in the whipped eggs, dry ingredients are usually sifted over, then folded into, the eggs.
Angel food cake is perhaps the best known sponge cake. In the best versions, egg whites are whipped with sugar, making the eggs quite firm. The high sugar content and the lack of egg yolks make the cake chewy.
Genoise is a sponge cake made with whole eggs. To make this cake’s flavor stronger, the eggs are stirred with sugar over simmering water. Later they are whipped, and flavored syrup is brushed over the cake.
Chiffon cake is usually classified as a sponge cake, but it’s really a mixture of sponge and butter cakes. It requires baking powder and oil, while egg whites are whipped into soft peaks before folding them into the batter and adding egg yolks.
No flour cakes (or cakes made with little or no flour) are usually creamy and can be baked or unbaked. The baked versions include flourless chocolate cakes and cheesecakes.
Unbaked varieties are usually chilled before serving and include mousse cakes and some cheesecakes.
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