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Interesting Facts on Cakes

girl with birthday candles

Cakes bring people together. They’re the cherry-on-top for birthdays, for Christmas and other holidays; they’re your grandmother’s classic, passed-down-from-generations cheesecakes and pie, and they’re the fruit cakes nobody will eat at the office.

There’s a special honor about baking the sweet dessert—something that was, thousands of years ago, just a modified version of bread. These days, cakes have come into their own, becoming an undeniable force in the dessert-eating world, and featuring a countless variety of cake recipes, such as chocolate chip cake, carrot cake, fruit cake, Christmas cakes, sponge cake—the list goes on and on.

Buying Your Grocery’s Cake Recipes from a Box

Looking for an easier way to make your favorite cake recipes? Look no further than a from-the-box cake recipe , which allows you to add just a few ingredients to the powder (think butter, eggs, oil, etc.), whisk and pour the batter, and bake until the full and delicious cake forms. It’s a cheaper, less-time-consuming option than making homemade cakes.

Box recipes are a great home baking option that won't bust the bank.

The history of the cake-in-a-box dates back to the Great Depression, a time when cheap, easy recipes were required for the majority of United States citizens. From this need, the first cake-in-a-box was formed—leading the charge for other post-war companies to release easy cakes in boxes. This ease, ultimately, left a large hole in the schedules of housewives everywhere. As a result, housewives foraged into the field of "cake decoration"—creating elaborate designs atop the incredible sweets. From this: An entire dessert field was born.

How to Buy Affordable Cake Mix And Make It Taste Like Homemade

birthday tiramisu

Know that this cheaper option—the box-cake way—doesn’t have to create lesser cakes. On the contrary, you can tweak the ingredients in small ways to make them delicious. How?

  • Tip 1: Replace water with milk or buttermilk. Although it is more calories, however cakes should be rich, creamy, and a special treat.

  • Tip 2: Alternately, replace water with Coca Cola or another dark soda.

  • Tip 3: Opt for butter instead of the recommended vegetable oil. Butter has much more flavor, certainly, than the average vegetable oil; and the created texture is much more decadent.

  • Tip 4: Add pumpkin puree, spices, or anything else you find in your cupboard. Get a little crazy and elevate the flavor for a unique taste.

Different Kinds of Cake

  • Baked Flourless Cakes: As the name suggests, these cakes contain little-to-no flour. Cake examples include: cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake, flourless lemon almond cake, etc.
  • Yeast Cakes: These cakes are akin to yeast breads and are the oldest kinds of cakes in the world. Cake examples include: stollen, babka, lemon yeast cake, etc.
  • Sponge Cakes: These are non-yeast cakes and are very traditional. Some examples include angel food cake, Génoise, pan di Spagna, etc.
  • Chiffon Cakes: A chiffon cake is lighter, made with eggs, vegetable oil, flour, sugar, baking powder, and other flavorings. It’s similar to both foam and batter cakes.
  • Butter or Oil Cakes: Butter cakes are traditional, often thought of as the "birthday cake." Examples include carrot cake, German chocolate cake, banana bread, etc.
  • Coffee Cakes: This type of cake is often a morning or early-afternoon cake, served with tea or coffee.

Cakes by American Regions

As with anything else—from the hot dog to the cocktail—America’s varied regions have their own "takes" on the classic cake.

cake with berries on top

The Whoopie Pie of the East: Pennsylvania Dutch farmers are thought to have created this dessert—the Whoopie Pie—which consists of two chocolate cakes with a creamy frosting center.

The Boston Cream Pie of the Northeast: Although also technically called a "pie," this delightful dessert is simply two pieces of sponge cake with vanilla cream custard, all smothered over with a chocolate frosting.

bundt cake

The Midwest’s Bundt Cake: Bundt cakes, at the surface, may seem a little silly. After all: the specialty-made pans actually make a hole in the middle of the cake. What’s the point? In actuality, these Bundt cakes were passed down from Midwestern German grandmothers, and the recipe—it fills 60 million Bundt pans across the United States every year.

The Southeast’s Lady Baltimore Cake: Although this classic cake is just a simple white layer, it’s topped with boiled frosting, dried fruits, and nuts—making it quite a southern pleasure, indeed.

The South’s King Cake: The King Cake, made with cinnamon dough, powdered sugar, and custard, is the pride and joy of New Orleans. Bakers hide a small plastic baby Jesus inside the cake, and whoever finds it—or breaks their tooth on it—is said to have good luck.

The Northwest’s Jammers: Jammers are the Northwest’s take on cake, made with humongous buttermilk biscuits and preserves gleamed from Oregon and Washington’s decadent berries.

The West’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake: Hawaii’s great cake offering is the luscious pineapple upside-down cake—one made with fresh fruit, setting it apart from the South’s canned pineapple cakes.

The Southwest’s Texas Sheet Cake: The great state of Texas offers this immaculate, humongous cake—one with a pecan and a chocolate layer.

Popular Cakes for the Holiday Season

frosted cake with raisins

That most wonderful time of the year, the Christmas season, offers a plethora of decadent Christmas cakes—leaving us wondering: Why can’t we ingest this much sugar all the time? From fruit cakes to Christmas cake pops; from soul-warming carrot cakes to Yule log cakes—there’s something for everyone this time of year.

All About Cake Decorations

When cake decorating, it’s essential to know the different types of cake icing or frosting that will maximize the aesthetic appeal of your cake (be it cake mix or homemade).

  • Buttercream Frosting: A whipped frosting, easy to flavor and color, and easily to spread over gaps and ugly cake aesthetic problems.
  • Fluffy Frosting: A marshmallow-like consistency, which must be applied to the cake on the day it is mixed.
  • Sugar Paste: This is a fondant that is generally purchased and placed upon the cake for decorative purposes.
  • Royal Icing: Similar to sugar paste and purchased ready-made.
  • Pastillage: Pastillage is made from a powder and, when dried into its formed shapes, will "snap" when broken.
  • Petal Paste: Petal paste, as the name suggests, is best-used to make flower petals. It can be formed with incredible detail.
  • Sugar Glue: Sugar glue allows you to piece together various icing forms into a greater structure. It is edible.
  • Modeling Paste: This is similar to sugar glue in that it allows you to build your icing structure and glue pieces together.