home > baked goods > cakes




angel food cake = angel cake  Notes:   This is an airy white sponge cake made without egg yolks or any fat.  It gets its volume from stiffly beaten egg whites, and it's normally baked in a tube pan.   Many bakeries sell it ready-made.   It will keep its shape better if you cut it with a serrated knife.  Substitutes:  sponge cake OR génoise OR pound cake

butter cake   Notes:   This is the standard cake that we cover with frosting and serve at birthdays, weddings, and graduations.  It comes in many flavors, and is easily made at home either from scratch or powdered mixes.   Substitutes:  pound cake (denser and richer) OR sponge cake (lower in fat) OR angel food cake (lower in fat)


ciambellone  Notes:   This ring-shaped cake is lightly sweetened and flavored with lemon zest and dried fruit.   Romans like to serve it for breakfast at Easter.  Substitutes:  panettone 

foam cakes = unshortened cakes   Notes:   This is a category of cakes that are made with lots of stiffly beaten egg whites, which makes them light and airy.   They tend to be lower in fat than shortened cakes.   Examples include angel food cake, sponge cake, and génoise.   Substitutes:    shortened cakes 

génoise = genoise = butter sponge cake = French butter sponge cake   Pronunciation:   zhane-WAHZ   Notes:   This rich cake is light, pliable, and absorbent, so it forms the basis of many desserts, including tiramisu, baked Alaska, petits fours, and upside down cakes.  You probably won't find them unembellished in markets, but they're easily made at home with cake flour, butter, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and salt.     Substitutes:   sponge cake OR ladyfingers (This is also commonly used in tiramisu.) OR pound cake (not as absorbent)


groninger koek  Notes:   This is a Dutch fruitcake made with rye flour and candied fruit.  Substitutes:  fruitcake


moon cake   Notes:    During their Harvest Moon Festival each fall, Chinese families decorate their homes with lanterns and eat moon cakes from beautiful lacquered boxes.  The cakes come in different flavors, but they're all rich and subtly sweet.


panettone    Notes:   This large, dome-shaped Italian coffee cake is traditionally offered as a gift during the Christmas season.   The cake is slightly sweet, and contains raisins, nuts, and candied fruits.  Many Italian markets carry them year round, often packed in pretty boxes.  Substitutes:   fruitcake OR ciambellone


pound cake  Notes:  This is a rich buttery cake that's traditionally made with a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour.  If you don't want to make one from scratch, you can find ready-made pound cakes among the frozen foods in your supermarket.  Substitutes:  butter cake (lighter texture) OR génoise (This absorbs flavors better than pound cake.)


scone  Pronunciation:  SKONE or SCAHN   Notes:    These crumbly quick breads are often served at teatime in Britain.  They're usually split open and lathered with butter, jam, and/or clotted cream.  Americans pronounce the name SKONE, but the British and Australians say SKAHN.   They freeze well.  Substitutes:  English muffin OR shortcake


shortcake = shortbread cake  Notes:  These sweetened biscuits are traditionally split in half and topped with whipped cream and strawberries.   You can buy them ready-made in stores, where they're often displayed near the strawberries, but they're easy to make from scratch.  Don't confuse shortcake with shortbread, a rich butter cookie.  Substitutes:   biscuits OR pound cake OR sponge cake

shortened cakes   Notes:   These cakes are made with butter or other solid fat, so they're richer and heavier than foam cakes.   Examples include pound cakes and butter cakes.   Substitutes:   foam cakes

sponge cake = spongecake = sunshine cake   Notes:   Like sponges, these cakes have lots of air pockets, which are made by beating egg whites and folding them into the batter.   Angel food cakes are similar, but they're made without egg yolks, while sponge cakes are made with whites and yolks.   A sponge cake will keep its shape better if you cut it with a serrated knife.  Substitutes:   génoise (These are made with butter and have less sugar than sponge cakes.  They're not as airy.) OR angel food cake OR ladyfingers (These are also used to make charlottes.) OR pound cake


stollen   Pronunciation:   STOW-len  Notes:  This rich German coffee cake is traditionally served at Christmas.


 Copyright © 1996-2005  Lori Alden