With so many variations of cakes, you may already have a favorite. Here are a few of the best cake types you may want to try baking.
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- Angel Food Cake
- Biscuit Cake
- Bundt Cake
- Charlotte Cake
- Chiffon Cake
- Coffee Cake
- Devil’s Food Cake
- Flourless Cake
- Gateau Cake
- Genoise Cake
- Meringue Cake
- Panforte Cake
- Petit Four Cake
- Pound Cake
- Swiss Roll Cake
- Sponge Cake
- Tea Cake
- Tiramisu Cake
- Torte Cake
- Trifle Cake
- Upside-Down Cake
- Yeast Cake
1. Angel Food Cake
Airy and light and described by some Angel Food Cake as the “food of the angels.” Angel Food cake is made with no fat, is cholesterol-free, and has a light, fluffy, delicate texture that almost melts in your mouth.
Stiffly beaten egg whites provide the leavening agent, gently folded into the other ingredients.
Angel Food Cake is baked in an ungreased tube-shaped pan, allowing the cake to rise high by clinging to the sides of the pan, and then turned upside down after baking so the cake does not collapse while cooling.
You will love this cake served plain with fresh fruit and whipped cream, but you can also split it into layers to add a filling or cover it with light icing.
See the Angel Food Cake recipe.
2. Biscuit Cake
A biscuit is a classic sponge cake that contains no butter or fats but a large number of separated eggs, initially making a biscuit lighter, drier, and tougher than a regular sponge-type cake.
However, once soaking syrup is added to the cooled cake, it becomes tender, moist, and the most ethereal of cakes.
See the Strawberries & Cream Layered Sponge recipe.
3. Bundt Cake
Pronounced “bunt” Chocolate Zucchini Cake with the “d” being silent. This cake is baked in a special pan called a Bundt pan, a ring-shaped pan with fluted sides, originally created to prepare German Kugelhopf cake.
National Bundt Pan Day is November 15th. The modern Bundt pan was developed by the Nordic Ware company in 1950, and its fame rose after a Pillsbury-sponsored baking contest in 1966.
See the Bundt Cake recipe.
4. Charlotte Cake
A Charlotte is made by lining a mold with a biscuit or sponge-type cake, then filling the mold with a Bavarian or whipped cream mixture, a fruit mixture, a mousse, or sometimes a gelatin mixture.
A Charlotte Royale is made with multi-layers of sponge cake and jam. Charlotte Russe is surrounded by ladyfingers. A Charlotte should be made at least 4 hours in advance and is served chilled.
Several decorative molds are available in kitchen stores, but a springform pan with a removable bottom may also be used.
See the Raspberry Charlotte recipe.
Cheesecake is a rich, creamy, smooth New York Cheesecake and dense chilled dessert, generally made with a mixture of cream cheese, sugar, eggs, cream, and flavorings.
Cheesecakes are usually baked in a springform pan, in a water or steam bath to keep the cake creamy and un-molded before serving. Cheesecakes are made with a pastry, cookie, or graham cracker-type crust but can also be baked without a crust.
Classic cheesecake is a deliciously creamy vanilla flavor with the added tartness of lemon and sour cream, such as found in New York Cheesecake, and served plain or with a topping of whipped cream and berries.
There are unlimited cheesecake flavors ranging from chocolate, coffee, lemon, and berry to fruit.
See the Cheesecake recipe.
6. Chiffon Cake
A tender, moist, and rich-tasting cake made with vegetable oil, eggs, flour, sugar, and flavoring, is lovely served with fresh fruit or covered with a creamy frosting.
The stiffly beaten egg whites and baking soda or baking powder provide the leavening agent. Chiffon cakes are typically baked in a tube pan; however, other shaped pans, such as a heart-shaped pan, may be substituted.
See the Walnut Chiffon Cake recipe.
7. Coffee Cake
Served warmly from the ovenCranberry Coffee Cake with a hot cup of coffee or tea, coffee cake can provide a relaxing respite from a busy day.
A coffee cake does not necessarily contain coffee but is typically flavored with cinnamon, apple, nuts, and fruits. Coffee cakes are simple yet rich and delicious, perfect for family dinners or when friends drop by.
Most coffee cakes have a crumb or streusel topping made with variations of sugar, nuts, spices, butter, flour, and oats.
See the Coffee Cake recipe.
Who can resist a cupcake? Sometimes called “fairy cakes,” these small and delightful cakes are made to serve one person. Almost any butter cake recipe can be used to bake cupcakes.
Before the modern cupcake pans were developed, small cakes were often baked in individual pottery cups, leading to the popular term “cupcake.”
Today’s modern baker has the advantage of using a muffin or cupcake pan with or without a paper liner or even the more recent innovation of silicone baking cups.
See the Cupcakes recipe.
A Dacquoise is a light, crispy nut meringue made with no flour and is baked slowly until crisp and dry.
The meringue is usually piped in discs and sandwiched together with whipped cream, mousse, or Buttercream fillings.
A Dacquoise is normally made with ground almonds or hazelnuts to provide a delicious nutty flavor.
10. Devil’s Food Cake
Devil’s Food cake is a chocolate cake. Devil’s Food Cake is moister and airier than other chocolate cakes and often uses cocoa for the chocolate flavor.
Devil’s Food cake incorporates butter, egg whites, flour, and less whole egg than other chocolate cakes and is made using hot or boiling water as the cake’s main liquid instead of milk.
This cake is usually baked in layers and filled and frosted with a rich chocolate frosting.
See the Devil’s Food Cake recipe.
11. Flourless Cake
Is a European style cake, also known as a torte. Made with either little or no flour, these cakes are normally made with ground nuts or cookie crumbs plus eggs and butter to produce a cake with such a rich and delicious flavor that you usually want to serve it in small slices.
See the Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake recipe.
These colorful cakes are a wonderful treat associated with the winter holidays that most people love or hate.
Fruitcake is generally dense and heavily laden with dried or candied fruit and nuts, possibly rum or brandy, and flavorful spices. Because fruitcake is rich, it is usually served in small pieces.
The proportion of fruit and nuts to the cake batter is normally high, having just enough batter to hold the mixture together.
Fruitcakes can be eaten immediately but are better when allowed to age by first wrapping in a cloth soaked in rum, brandy, bourbon, wine, or even fruit juice to preserve the cakes, wrapped tightly, then stored in a cool dark place.
Light fruitcake is made with lighter-colored ingredients such as granulated sugar, light corn syrup, almonds, golden raisins, pineapple orange, or lemon peels.
Dark fruitcakes include darker ingredients such as brown sugar, molasses, walnuts, pecans, mincemeat, dates, and dark raisins or currants.
See the Walnut Fruitcake and Golden Fruitcake recipe.
13. Gateau Cake
Gâteau is a French cake, often a sponge-type cake, and often made with ground almonds.
Gateaux cakes tend to be fancier, often served after a special dinner. It is typically made in layers; the cake is sometimes soaked with flavored syrup to provide extra moistness, layered with a rich filling, and then frosted with a smooth Buttercream frosting.
See the Almond Apple Gateau recipe.
14. Genoise Cake
Black Forest Cherry TorteGenoise is a classic European sponge-type cake that is less sweet than other sponge cakes and may also contain butter to provide tenderness plus a richer and more flavorful taste.
Genoise is a dry sponge cake and is usually soaked with flavored syrup to provide extra moisture.
To make Genoise cakes, whole eggs are beaten with sugar while heating over a pan of simmering water to dissolve the sugar and allow the mixture to whip higher, holding more air bubbles.
After warming, the egg and sugar mixture is whipped until it is thick, light in color, and billowy like whipped cream.
Lastly, flour is folded in, and butter may be added. Sponge cakes must be unmolded as soon as baked; otherwise, the steam will soften and collapse the cake.
See the Black Forest Cherry Torte recipe.
Kuchen is the German word for cake, and different recipe versions are available with different fillings and crusts used.
Typically Kuchen uses a sweet dough crust with a topping of fruit or fruit and custard combined, making Kuchen similar to a pie or a tart.
Kuchens may also have a cinnamon sugar crumb topping. The fruit used in Kuchen is varied, but apple, plum, prune, apricot, peach, and rhubarb are common.
Some Kuchen recipes are similar to an upside-down cake, but the fruit and sugar mixture goes on top of the cake batter instead of the bottom and is served directly from the pan.
Kuchen was declared to be the official state dessert of South Dakota on July 1, 2000.
See the Cherry Kuchen recipe.
A European cakeKugelhopf baked in a special Kugelhopf pan, which is a deep, round tube pan with ornate fluting.
The cake is a sweet yeast cake studded with raisins, nuts, and candied fruits and has a round pyramid shape when the cake is un-molded.
See recipes for Kugelhopf, Fruit, and Walnut Kugelhopf.
A small and tender French cake that is baked in a special pan called a Madeleine pan that has deep shell-shaped imprints.
The pan must be generously greased and floured to prevent the delicate cakes from sticking to the pan.
Madeleine’s are sometimes thought of as a cookie but are actually little buttery spongy cakes, sometimes delicately flavored with lemon, orange, or almond.
18. Meringue Cake
Made from stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar, meringues can be added to a cake batter to make it lighter or baked alone until it is crisp and dry.
Meringue is wonderful sandwiched between butter cake or sponge cake layers to produce a cake full of texture and crunchiness.
Meringues are made by beating egg whites and sugar until stiff, then either spread or piped onto a baking sheet in the desired shape, normally round.
Meringue can also be baked like a pastry shell, making a delightful container to fill with whipped cream, ice cream, or fruit.
See recipes for Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Cake, Mini Pavlovas with Lemon and Blueberries.
19. Panforte Cake
This is a traditional Italian dessert containing fruits and nuts, resembling fruitcake. Panforte is also considered a confection. Panforte means “strong bread,” which refers to the spicy flavor.
The original name of panforte was “panpepato” (peppered bread) due to the strong pepper used in the cake.
Most versions contain sugar, honey, chocolate, nuts, fruit, and spices, with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top.
This candy-like cake is usually made in a round shape. Serve a thin slice with coffee or a dessert wine after a meal, or enjoy it with your breakfast coffee or afternoon tea.
See the recipe for Panforte di Siena.
20. Petit Four Cake
These are tantalizingly small cakes, approximately 1-inch square, although the cake may be cut into various shapes such as square, round, oval, or triangular.
Petits fours are traditionally covered with a fondant or Buttercream icing and decorated with icing flowers or other embellishments. When displayed on a serving tray, they are pretty to look at and challenging to resist.
21. Pound Cake
Original pound cake recipes called for either one pound each of eggs, butter, sugar, and flour, or the batter was made using proportions of one-fourth eggs, one-fourth butter, one-fourth sugar, and one-fourth flour.
Today’s pound cakes may use different proportions with the addition of baking powder or baking soda and fruit or nuts and optional flavorings.
Pound cakes are typically dense, rich, buttery, and flavorful, ideally served with tea or coffee.
Pound cake may be topped with a powdered sugar glaze, dusted with powdered sugar, served plain, or served with whipped cream, ice cream, or fresh fruit topping.
See recipes for Pound Cakes: Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Whipped Cream Pound Cake, Blueberry Pound Cake, Southern Pecan Pound Cake, Old Fashioned Pound Cake.
22. Swiss Roll Cake
Jelly roll, Roll Cake, Strawberry Roulade Biscuit, Roulade, Roll Cake, and Buche de Noel are other names and all included in the Roll Cake recipes and may be as straightforward or as elaborate as you want to make them.
Start with a sponge cake recipe, bake it in a jelly roll pan, immediately turn it upside down onto a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar, and then roll it up to cool.
When cooled, gently unroll the cake and fill it with your favorite filling, such as fruit jams, ice cream, sweetened cream cheese, or whipped cream.
See recipes for Swiss roll cake: Pumpkin Nut Cake Roll, Vanilla Cream Roll, Strawberry Roulade, and Gingerbread Cake Roll.
A pastry or biscuit with a high-fat ratio to flour results in a rich, crumbly, and tender cake.
Strawberry Shortcake is a simple and delicious dessert, made with some type of cake such as a sponge cake, biscuit, or cream scone, then layered with lots of fresh sweet strawberries and sweetened whipped cream.
This is a time-honored summer dessert and as all-American as Mom’s apple pie.
See the recipes for Shortcake.
24. Sponge Cake
Sponge cakes are moist and light. Vanilla Cream Rollwith, a bit of a spongy texture, is easily eaten plain without any frosting. Sponges are versatile cakes made with a minimum of simple ingredients; eggs, sugar, flour, and flavoring.
The egg yolks and egg whites are added separately with a typical sponge-type cake. The egg yolks and sugar are beaten together until thick and light to incorporate air; the egg whites are beaten separately to stiff peaks and air, and then the egg whites and flour mixture are gently folded into the egg yolk mixture.
Folding the ingredients in helps retain the batter’s light and airy texture.
Most sponge cakes are made with no butter; depending on the recipe, a small amount of baking powder may be added to the flour.
A sponge cake recipe is generally used for making jelly roll-type cakes, baked using a jelly roll pan; the cake, being light, airy, spongy, and springy, is flexible while still warm and easily rolled.
A sponge cake, whether baked in a jelly roll pan or regular round or square cake pans, must be turned out of the pan as soon as it is baked. Otherwise, the cake will easily collapse from the steam.
See the Vanilla Cream Roll recipe.
25. Tea Cake
Tea cakes are pretty and elegant, traditionally served for afternoon tea, and especially pretty for special occasions such as Mother’s Day.
Teacake is a kind of sturdy cake, enough to be picked up with your fingers.
Lemon Tea Cakes are a butter cake recipe, cut into small squares with sweet icing drizzled over the top and then garnished with fresh fruit or Candied Edible Flowers.
See the Lemon Tea Cakes recipe.
26. Tiramisu Cake
Tiramisu means “pick me up” in Italian, and because it’s so luscious, you will feel picked up and carried away with bliss. Traditional Tiramisu consists of sponge cake, sweet mascarpone cheese filling, coffee liqueur, espresso, and chocolate.
27. Torte Cake
Torte is the German word for cake; Chocolate Pecan Torte, though it is typically used to describe a moist cake made with many eggs and often made with ground nuts or bread crumbs.
Tortes may be either a multi-layered cake or a single layer.
See the Torte recipe.
28. Trifle Cake
A trifle is a dessert made in a deep glass bowl with straight sides. Trifles are typically made with a sponge cake or ladyfingers that are soaked in syrup or liqueur and layered with custard, cream, fresh fruit, or preserves.
29. Upside-Down Cake
This old-fashioned type of cake features a beautiful arrangement of the fruit on top of a butter-type cake. The fruit is placed in the bottom of the pan before baking; once the cake is baked, the pan is turned upside down to reveal the glistening fruit.
Upside-down cakes have traditionally been baked in a heavy-duty cast iron skillet. With a cast-iron skillet, the butter and sugar for the topping can be heated on top of the stove, helping to butter and sugar to caramelize while baking.
A round baking pan may also be used in place of a cast-iron skillet. Almost any fruit used in baking can be used for an upside-down cake.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake is traditional, but apples, pears, pineapple, rhubarb, peaches, plums, and bananas also make a delicious variation.
See the recipes for Upside-Down Cake.
30. Yeast Cake
Yeast cakes have a bread-like Panettone texture and use yeast as a leavener. Several holiday cakes are yeast cakes, many made with fruit and nuts.
See the Yeast Cake recipe.
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