The first thing most probably you will learn in Kitchen and Culinary Arts in Introduction to Baking, and in baking- how to bake a cake. Baking cake is an art and science. We all get creative while making a cake, playing with ingredients to make it special every time. But a successful cake making is all about accurate measurements of ingredients and proper knowledge of cake baking methods. In each method different proportions of ingredients are used, hence each method produces different cakes with different textures. So, if you do not want to end up with a cake having a soggy bottom or sunken middle, there are 4 different classic baking methods to cake making. Once you understand these methods, there is no cake recipe that you cannot master.
Different Methods for Cake Baking
- The Creaming Method – The Creaming method is the traditional and most accomplished baking method. Creaming method is used as a base to make bread, cakes, and cookies. The creaming method requires thorough blending of fat(butter) and sugar before any other ingredient is added. Keep going with the blending process until the mix is light or pale in color, fluffy in texture and the sugar is completely dissolved. The blending process is followed by adding all the wet ingredients like eggs, essence and at the last step the dry ingredients like flour, baking powder, soda, etc. are added. The main purpose of this method is to create a blend with butter and sugar so that there are no air cells in the mixture, and slowly adding and mixing all the other ingredients in a way that the blend remains stable and has a even texture. The only risk with this method is that over mixing can make the mix dry and hard.
- The Melting Method– Melting method is one of the easiest and quickest baking methods. Cakes made by this method are generally denser and moister as compared to other methods, as there is no beating or whisking involves. Instead of whisking, butter or fat is melted in a saucepan before eggs and other dry ingredients are added. As no whisking is involved, a chemical raising agent like baking powder is used to make the cake rise. This method is traditionally used to make gingerbread and fruit cakes.
- The Whisking Method– As the name suggests, the whisking method uses whisking instead of chemical raising agents to work air into the mix. The whisking method requires wet ingredients to be whisked in order to incorporate air and body. Eggs and sugar make up the wet ingredients and are whisked together until the sugar is completely dissolved/ At this stage, a great amount of air is incorporated into the mixture which gives it a spongy and light texture. After that, the flour is added so that the air is not lost. Since there is no raising agent added, whisking should be done properly for making the cake to rise. There should be no over the mixing of the ingredients. This method is suitable for people who are looking for low-fat cake as it does not include butter. Swiss rolls are the best examples of the whisking method.
- All in One Method– All in one method is the simplest and quickest way to make many different types of cake. As the name suggests, all the ingredients- wet and dry are measured and are mixed in a bowl. The mixing of ingredients forms air cells which are stabilized by the sugar. Sometimes, a raising agent is required as enough air is not introduced during the initial mixing to make the cake rise. If you want to save time and want to bake a cake with a simple recipe, go for all in one method. Muffins, sandwich cake are a few examples of all in one method.
As said earlier, baking is an art and science which should come from inside. With the right technique and love for baking, there is no method that you cannot master, or maybe overtime you can invent your own methods or recipes. These four methods are just the beginning. There are endless techniques which you can try to bake a cake. Baking should be a joyous time for you.
Here is a quick 30 minutes vanilla sponge wholewheat cup cakes recipe using creaming method:
1 cup (Atta/Whole wheat flour)
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup milk
¼ baking soda
½ baking powder
Pinch of salt
- Using creaming method, mix butter and sugar until you get a creamy paste.
- Add egg and vanilla essence to the batter. (Best to add vanilla essence with egg)
- Sieve the dry ingredients at least twice. It is recommended to sieve twice when you are using whole wheat flour.
- Add dry ingredients to the batter and mix it well.
- Add milk to get dropping consistency of the batter.
- Now the batter is ready, keep it in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes at 180 deg Celcius.
Here are a few baking tips for you to try out with these methods. Share the images on Instagram and do not forget to tag us. We will be happy to share some of the pictures on our Instagram handle. Follow us on Instagram @ritualskitchen for more tips and baking inspirations.