Basic Categories of Cakes

We see so many cakes in the bakeries and on the websites with different names and textures. Most of us may not bother to know which cake is what type as long as it is sweet, fluffy, and just yum. But, seasoned bakers would know the difference between two cakes. They can differentiate between the cakes by the cakes’ texture, taste, density, and flavor. I am giving a very basic categorization of the cakes based on their preparation and ingredients used. The cakes in each category can further be modified into many different cakes by altering some of the ingredients or mixing steps.

Tea Cakes/Butter Cakes

Mango Tea Cake

These cakes are dense and crumbly in texture and are usually served at tea time. Tea cakes can be served with or without any icing or frosting. You can make these cakes using different fruits and condiments. These are the most basic type of cakes with lots of varieties and flavors. The recipe of Tea cakes follows the sequence of – mixing butter and sugar, adding whisked eggs and flour to it alternatively. Some of the common tea cakes are Plain Vanilla cake, Marble cake, Carrot cake, Banana-walnut loaf, Red-Velvet cake, etc.

Pound Cakes

Basic Pound Cake

Pound cakes are similar to tea cakes except that they are more dense and their main four ingredients are measured in pounds like a pound of flour, sugar, butter and eggs each. These cakes are popular in the U.K and are usually served plain or with light frosting during tea time. These cakes are usually made in loaf or Bundt pans.

Sponge Cakes

Basic Vanilla Sponge Cake

Sponge cakes are light and fluffy in texture and very soft to hold. These cakes are commonly made as birthday cakes base and are very mildly flavored. The flavor and taste of these cakes are supported with different types of icing, frosting, or fondants. while making the batter of these cakes, we use lots of eggs for the aeration – Egg whites are whisked separately with sugar until peaks are formed and then the egg yolks and flour are added. Some of the most common sponge cakes are Vanilla-pineapple sponge cake, chocolate sponge cake, etc.

Cheese Cakes

Cream Cheese Cake

Cheese cakes are often called as wet cakes. As the name suggests, the main ingredient of these cakes is cheese. These cakes can be with flour or flourless and with eggs or eggless. The other usual ingredients of cheese cake are gelatin, sour cream, and fruits squash or extracts. Almost all cheese cakes have the crumbly layer of butter and Graham crackers at the bottom. Some recipes of cheese cakes call for baking and some preparations are kept in the refrigerator overnight to set.