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Chapter 13. Cakes and Icings. Cakes. Are created from liquid batters with high fat and sugar contents. Ingredients are classified by function: Tougheners Tenderizers Moisteners Driers Leaveners Flavorings. Cake Mixing Methods. The goal of mixing cake batter is:

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Chapter 13

Chapter 13

Cakes and Icings


  • Are created from liquid batters with high fat and sugar contents.

  • Ingredients are classified by function:

    • Tougheners

    • Tenderizers

    • Moisteners

    • Driers

    • Leaveners

    • Flavorings

Cake mixing methods
Cake Mixing Methods

  • The goal of mixing cake batter is:

    • to combine ingredients uniformly

    • incorporate air cells

    • develop proper texture

  • Cake Mixing Methods are divided into two categories:

    • High fat, whose structure relies on creamed fat and includes butter cakes and high-ratio cakes

    • Egg foam, whose structure relies on whipped eggs and includes genoise, spongecakes, angel food and chiffon cakes


  • Used for butter cakes & pound cakes.

  • The ingredients should be room temperature, approx 70°F (21°C).

  • Fat must be beaten until light & fluffy.

  • The eggs must be added in small portions, with each one fully absorbed before the next one is added.

  • The dry & liquid ingredients should be added alternatively to ensure the batter can absorb all of the liquid.

Two stage
Two Stage

  • Used when = higher proportion of of sugar than flour by weight.

  • High-ratio emulsified shortening is used to help absorb the liquid.

  • Leavened by a chemical agent rather than use of whip.

Genoise egg foam
Genoise Egg Foam

  • Whole eggs are whipped until light and fluffy with sugar.

  • No chemical leaveners.

  • Slightly warming the egg mixture helps improve the volume

  • Genoise with melted butter, will be more tender because they shorten gluten strands.

  • Dry and usually soaked with flavor: liqueur, sugar syrup.


  • Whip egg yolks and other ingredients.

  • Egg whites are whipped with portion of sugar to form stiff peaks & fold into batter.

  • Leavened with air but chemical leaveners can be added.

  • As a genoise, oil or melted butter can be added.

Angel food
Angel Food

  • Made with a large quantity of egg whites.

  • Made in ungreased pans.

  • Does not have chemical leavener.

  • Contain no fat = low in calories.

  • Not frosted typically.

  • Topped with fruit, chocolate glaze or simple icing, whipped cream, etc.


  • Contains egg yolks and vegetable oil, increasing richness.

  • Baked in an ungreased pan.

  • Can be frosted with light butter cream or whip cream or topped with glaze.

  • Lemon and orange = most traditional.

  • Common to contain chocolate, nuts and other flavors.

Specific gravity
Specific Gravity

  • The amount of air incorporated into a batter relates to the quality, volume and appearance of the finished cake.

    • Too little air make a cake with tight grain and low volume. Too much air and the grain may be coarse.

  • Specific gravity will indicate if a cake batter is properly mixed.

  • It is a measurement of the weight of a mixture in relation to the weight of water.

    • Weight of ingredient / weight of water = specific gravity

Panning cake batter
Panning Cake Batter

  • Most pans must be greased or lined to prevent cakes from sticking.

  • Fill pans no more than one half to two thirds full.

Baking and cooling
Baking and Cooling

  • Always preheat the oven before preparing the batter.

  • Test for doneness:

    • Appearance – light golden brown; edges pull away from sides of the pan.

    • Touch – Springs back when lightly pressed

    • Cake tester – Comes out clean when inserted in center of cake.

  • Generally allow a cake 10 to 15 minutes in its pan set on a cooling rack after taking it out of the oven.

  • All cakes should be left to cool away from drafts or air currents that might cause them to collapse.


  • Or frostings, are sweet decorative coatings used as filling between layers or, as coating over the top and sides of the cake.

  • There are several types:

    • Buttercream

    • Foam

    • Fudge

    • Fondant

    • Glaze

    • Royal icing

    • Ganache

Assembling and decorating cakes
Assembling and Decorating Cakes

  • Before a cake can be decorated it must be assembled and coated with icing or frosting.

  • The goal is to fill and stack the cake layers evenly and apply an even coating of icing that is smooth and free of crumbs.

  • Consider the flavor, texture and color of the components used as well as the number of guests served when designing a cake and selecting the filling and icing.

Cake decorating techniques
Cake Decorating Techniques

  • Side masking with nuts, crumbs or crushed cookies

  • Stencils – creating a design on top of a cake with confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder.

  • Piping on icing in decorative patterns

    • Learning how to make a disposable icing cone from parchment-paper is a great time saver.

  • Covering cake with rolled fondant

Storing cakes
Storing Cakes

  • Plain cake layers or sheets can be stored for 2 or 3 days at room temperature when well wrapped.

  • Iced or chilled cakes are usually refrigerated.

  • Any cake containing custard filling, mousse or whipped cream must be refrigerated.

  • Although cakes can be frozen with great success, icings and fillings do not freeze particularly well.

Convenience products
Convenience Products

  • Packaged cake mixes are tremendous time savers.

  • Results are consistent, although usually softer and more cottony than scratch cakes.

  • Flavor also tends to be more artificial than scratch cakes.

  • Icings, glazing and toppings are available.

  • Icings are often exceedingly sweet and overpowered by artificial flavors and chemical preservatives.

  • The products save time and have consistent results but are more costly than scratch products.