Life can be a piece of cake—more often when there is a real cake in front of you. For some, the mention of cake can bring sweet memories such as birthdays and weddings, while for others, it is culinary most scrumptious creations.
There are many types of cakes to choose from but essentially, they are sliced into two categories: butter cakes and foam cakes. As the name suggests, butter cake's main ingredient is butter along with eggs, flour, sugar, vegetable shortening, and leavening agents like baking powder, giving them a denser and moist feel. Meanwhile, foam cakes have a larger portion of eggs, smaller fat content (due to little or no addition of butter), and are leavened with air beaten into the eggs, which is why they are lighter and spongier than butter cakes.
What are the types of cakes based on these two categories? Here are some of the popular ones.
A seemingly no-hassle way in baking a cake due to its simple measurement of a pound of each ingredient: butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. The pound cake is an English export that inspired the American butter cake and is denser in texture (baked in loaf form or a Bundt pan), lighter in flavors, and served either plain or with a simple glaze topping. There are now many twists on pound cakes, such as the Chocolate Pound Cake with chocolate powder in its batter, Key Lime Pound Cake, and Strawberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake.
Angel Food Cake
A light and fluffy confection fit for an angel. The Angel Food Cake is a type of foam cake (and a variation of sponge cake) that has less to zero fat content since it doesn’t use butter and instead of shortening uses whipped egg whites as a leavening agent. It is a dessert treat that has a chewy and spongy texture and is often topped with fresh fruits and whipped cream, also at times drizzled with chocolate syrup.
Red Velvet Cake
The fiery red cake everybody loves. The sweet-and-sour Red Velvet Cake is a type of butter cake though some bakers might substitute the butter for oil instead to give a softer texture. The cake goes way back to the early 19th century from which the red hue comes from boiled beetroot, but today a mixture of buttermilk and raw cocoa is commonly used. The velvety flavor itself derives from added cocoa powder. Top them off with cream cheese frosting and you got yourself a Classic Red Velvet!
A type of foam cake popular in Italy and France. It’s also a variety of sponge cake that has a more tender and moist texture, the latter because some bakers might add a little butter to them. Genoise cake is made from both yolk and egg white beaten together with sugar until it’s very smooth and creamy.
One of the main fixtures in every patisserie—who would’ve thought that carrots go well in cakes! In the beginning, carrots were used as a substitute for sugar which was considered expensive. These days carrot cakes are frosted with cream cheese and infused with warm spices such as cinnamon and ginger. Though it is a form of butter cake, giving it a denser and crumbly texture, some bakers use oil to make the cake softer.
Whether you are an aspiring pastry chef or a humble home-baker, it’s always important to know the types of cakes available. And you can experiment with the recipes for butter cakes and foam cakes to make them your own.
Want to give these cakes a chocolate twist? We have a wide range of choices on our product page to find out more high-quality chocolate products that will pair perfectly with your pastry creation.
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