This post has been in my draft folder for quite sometime…
Let me start by saying that the purpose of this post is not to offend anyone, but to share about cakes and how they are different based on the way they are made or the ingredients used. Thus, it’s not fair to compare cakes that are not similar in nature. It’s like blindly comparing net worth of Amazon to a retailer such as Macy’s, Walmart, or Target.
Who can blame one when they grew up eating their grand mother’s butter cake and no other butter cake can be compared to it. I’m guilty of this with Christmas cake. Only one person that I know can make a similar cake to my grand mother’s Christmas cake. It’s a different story if one thinks that every sponge, chiffon, vanilla, or yellow looking cake should taste and feel like a butter cake. Let me explain why…
The texture of cake can be different due to two things:
1) Type of Fat. i.e. oil, butter, or eggs
2) The Mixing Method
The Creaming Method (Butter/Pound Cake) – The primary fat in these cakes come from butter. Butter and sugar are ‘creamed’ together to create a ribbon like texture. This ribbon batter is what defines the butter/pound cakes. The fat and sugar molecules snuggle together in the beating process. Don’t ask me what type of bond they form. Then with the heating process, the sugar melts and creates steam. Which result in the cake to rise. This creaming method creates a more densely (closely) packed crumb.
Foaming Method (Sponge Cake, Yule Logs, Bûche de Noël) – The fat in these cakes comes from the eggs. The eggs are beaten until a frothy. The air gets trapped in the eggs in the beating process. This trapped air helps the cake to rise. Unlike to pound or butter cake, sponge cakes are lighter and dryer in texture.
Muffin Method aka 2-Step Method (Muffins, Yellow Cake) – The wet ingredients (i.e. eggs, oil/soften butter, vanilla, milk) and dry ingredients (i.e. sugar, flour, salt, leavening) are mixed together separately. Then both of those two mixes are mixed together. The texture is in between a sponge and a pound cake.
For the purpose of this post, I didn’t even consider vegan or eggless cakes. I happen to like both these types of cakes and encourage people to try them. Again, accept the texture of these cakes and don’t try to compare them to other cakes with animal
So in conclusion “All cakes are not created equal”. Pick your poison, but don’t compare apples to oranges!
Tip(s) of the day:
1. If you’re thinking of putting your cake in the fridge, give ample time for it to thaw. Especially, cakes that are made with butter. Think about sticks of butter that comes out of the fridge. They are hard as bricks. On the other hand, cakes that are made with oils thaw much faster.
If your cake is decorated, pay attention to the temperature inside the fridge and the temperature in the room. If there is a big difference in those two temperatures, your cake will start to sweat. If your cake has decorations that are painted/drawn they will be ruined. So pay attention!