Isn’t cake just cake? Both yes and no. There are several sorts of cake, including birthday, angel food, pound cake, and many more. Yet, all of these cakes are just variants on a few fundamental varieties. Learn the difference between these classic cakes so you know what you’re baking.
Two Main Types of Cake
Cakes are classified into two types: butter cakes (also known as shortening cakes) and foam cakes. The fat content distinguishes these two major groups of cake. Foam cakes feature little to no fat and a higher amount of egg. This gives them their lighter, airy feel (think angel food and sponge cake). Butter cakes, on the other hand, are made with butter, margarine, or vegetable shortening, and are thick and moist. Each of these primary kinds has several variants; continue reading to discover more about them.
Type: Butter or Shortened Cakes
Here’s a tip: if the recipe calls for “cream butter and sugar,” it’s a butter cake. Once the creaming is done, you’ll typically add egg, flour, and baking powder or baking soda for leavening.
Butter cakes are available in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, white, yellow, and marble. Other cakes in this category may be “shortened” with oil, such as carrot cake or red velvet cake.
American-Style Butter Cake
Despite its name, this type of cake wasn’t invented in the U.S., but it has gained lots of popularity here. These dense cakes are sturdy enough to hold thick icing and fillings and are perfect for rolled fondant. Oil may also be used to shorten them.
Dark Chocolate Cake I
“I am a pastry chef, and this is the only chocolate cake that I will make from now on.”
Popular Butter Cake Recipes:
- Heavenly White Cake
- David’s Yellow Cake
- German Marble Cake
Carrot Cake, like American-style butter cake, uses baking soda or baking powder for leavening. Carrot cake, on the other hand, substitutes oil for butter as a shortening. This prolongs the life of the cake but also makes it oily. The combination of the rich cream cheese icing and the warm spices makes for an irresistible dessert.
Isaac’s Carrot Cake
“A less-dense and wonderfully moist carrot cake with canned mandarin oranges rather than pineapple,” says Kali Peacock. “Let it rest in the refrigerator overnight for the finest flavor.”
Popular Carrot Cake Recipes:
- Grandma’s Carrot Cake
- Carrot Cake
- Mom’s Pineapple-Carrot Cake
- More Carrot Cake Recipes
Type: Foam Cakes
These light and airy cakes lend themselves to an infinite number of modifications. Apart from the fat given by eggs, foam cakes generally contain no fat or leavening. While making foam cakes, keep in mind that the batter must be placed in the oven as soon as it is ready to avoid the egg whites from deflating. They must also be cooked in a tall pan owing to the rise provided by the egg whites. These cakes are not going to hold up well against heavy frosting, so it’s best to give them a light glaze or a dollop of whipped cream.
A sponge cake is technically any recipe that involves no baking powder or baking soda but a lot of whipped eggs or egg whites. A classic sponge cake has just three ingredients: flour, sugar, and eggs. This cake, as the name implies, responds nicely to syrup soaking. They are several different types of sponge cakes, and they may go by different names depending on where you are in the world.
“Without a doubt, this is a 10-star dish!” exclaims Kim. “You get a lovely nutty taste with a dash of vanilla and just the right amount of sweetness! Excellent dish that is also very simple to prepare!”
Popular Sponge Cake Recipes:
- Strawberry Cream Roll
- Victoria Sponge Cake
- Nannie’s Hot Milk Sponge Cake
- More Sponge Cake Recipes
Genoise Sponge Cake
In Italy and France, a sponge cake is known as a génoise. In this type of cake, the eggs are beaten with both yolk and white together, along with sugar until they are mousse-like. The flour is then combined with some oil or butter to enhance moisture. This sponge cake is more moist and soft than its sponge cake siblings due to the use of butter.
Popular Genoise Cake Recipes:
- Genoese Sponge
Biscuit Sponge Cake
In a biscuit sponge cake, the egg is divided and the whites and yolks are beaten separately with sugar. The two ingredients are then combined with flour. As a consequence, the batter is lighter and drier than genoise, but it keeps its form better. This is why biscuit cake batter is often used for piping forms like ladyfingers. In a slightly different variation, the flour is replaced with matzoh cake meal and potato starch to make the classic Passover sponge cake.
Popular Biscuit Cake Recipes:
- Passover Chocolate Sponge Cake
- Passover Sponge Cake
- Glorious Sponge Cake
Angel Food Cake
Angel food cake is created with egg whites exclusively, without yolks. The beaten egg whites act as a leavening agent, and there is no added shortening in the recipe. Angel food cake is now a fantastic low-fat treat. Since the egg whites make such a dramatic rise, these cakes must be cooked in a tall pan. Because of the high sugar content, the texture of these cakes is somewhat chewy and spongy. For the ultimate taste combination, top this dainty treat with berries and whipped cream.
Angel Food Cake I
“Homemade angel food cake is well worth the effort,” Syd explains. “It’s moist, unlike the sweet styrofoam offered in supermarket bakeries. It is strongly advised to use a tube pan with a detachable bottom.”
Popular Angel Food Cake Recipes:
- High-Altitude Angel Food Cake
- Homemade Angel Food Cake
- Angel Food Cake III
- More Angel Food Cake Recipes
This traditional American cake is a hybrid between an oil-shortened cake and a sponge cake. The recipe includes both baking powder and vegetable oil, but like many types of sponge cake, the eggs are separated and beaten before being folded into the batter. All of this gives you the rich flavor of an oil cake, but a lighter feel of a sponge cake. It is often glazed or frosted with a lighter icing.
Mocha Chiffon Cake
“This light and fluffy cake has a lovely coffee flavor and is ideal for dessert or an afternoon snack,” lola comments.
Popular Chiffon Cake Recipes:
- Chiffon Cake
- Lemon Chiffon Cake
- Banana Chiffon Cake
Baked Flourless Cake
Baked flourless cake includes baked cheesecakes, flourless chocolate cakes, and any other kind of flourless cake. A flourless chocolate cake is a kind of foam cake. Because of the chocolate, egg yolk, and fat content, these cakes are often exceedingly rich. These cakes are often cooked in a “water bath” to prevent the bottom from burning. This means that the cake is made in a springform pan, that is then placed in a larger pan that is partially filled with water, helping to give the cake its silky texture.
Flourless Chocolate Cake I
This gluten-free chocolate cake recipe is deep and delicious while remaining gluten-free.
Popular Flourless Cake Recipes:
- Hungarian Flourless Hazelnut Cake
- Perfect Flourless Orange Cake
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
Unbaked Flourless Cake
This includes unbaked cheesecakes, mousse cakes, or any type of cake that is typically molded in a dessert ring or springform pan before chilling and unmolding. These cakes often have a baked crust before the filling is added. Layer them with genoise or biscuit for a delicious dessert great for summer.
Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Cake
Eggless chocolate mousse is poured onto a cookie crumb crust and topped with fresh strawberries and cream for a gorgeous but simple dessert.
Popular Unbaked Flourless Cake Recipes:
- Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Cake
- No Bake Lemon Cheesecake
- No Bake Lime Mousse Torte
What are the types of low fat cakes?
Fortunately, there are low fat options such as angel food or sponge cakes as well as fat-trimmed versions of carrot and spice cakes or other teatime favorites. Angel food cake seems to be what angels consume, at least those on a diet and avoiding more immoral diversions.
What is the healthiest cake to eat?
Healthiest: Angel Food Cake
Angel Food Cake is made with egg whites and no butter, which gives it a fluffy, sponge-like consistency. This cake has just approximately 70 calories per piece. Finish with fresh strawberries and you’re set!
What are the 3 types of cake?
Thus, cakes are either: SHORTENED (BUTTER OR OIL) CAKES or UNSHORTENED (FOAM) CAKES. Chiffon cakes are combined with unshortened (foam) cakes in the third category.
What is the name for a cake made with fat?
Oil cakes are moister, denser cakes that may be made stacked, in a loaf pan, or as cupcakes (cup cake). The fat and sugar are not “creamed”, but rather oil is the added fat used for moistness and density.