12.7 Interaction of Ingredients – Comparison of Cakes


  • To compare characteristics of cakes made by different methods.
  • To compare effects of various leavening systems on cake volume and texture.
  • To determine the roles and interactions of ingredients in cakes.

Laboratory Problems

  • Prepare quick-mix yellow cake.
  • Prepare pound cake.
  • Compare characteristics of quick-mix, conventional method (p. 213), and pound cakes.


Quick Mix Yellow Cake

½ cup sifted cake flour ¼ cup milk
⅓ cup sugar ½ egg (2 tbsp.)
¾ tsp. baking powder ¼ tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. vegetable shortening ¼ tsp. salt

Heat oven to 375°F.  Line bottom of 6 X 3¼-inch loaf pan with waxed paper.  Grease the paper.  Measure cake flour, sugar, baking powder, shortening, salt and half the milk into mixer bowl.  Mix thoroughly for 2½ minutes with electric mixer on medium speed.  Add remaining milk, egg, and vanilla; mix for 3 minutes on medium speed.  Bake at 375°F until cake springs back when touched lightly, about 25-30 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes on rack; remove from pan.  Do not cut cake until cake has cooled to room temperature.


Pound Cake

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour ½ cup butter, room temperature
¼ tsp. salt ½ tsp. vanilla
⅔ cup sugar 2 eggs

Heat oven to 350°F.  Line bottom of 7⅜ X 3⅝-inch loaf pan with waxed paper.  Grease the paper.  Sift together flour and salt.  Cream butter and vanilla with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add sugar by tablespoons while beating.  Beat until sugar is fairly well dissolved and mixture is light.  Beat eggs with electric mixer until foamy.  Add eggs in thirds, beating about 1 minute after each addition.  Gradually add flour to creamed mixture, beating continually.  After all flour is added, beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake at 350°F for 20 min.; reduce heat to 325°F and continue baking for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 10-15 minutes before removing from pan.  Do not cut cake until cake has cooled to room temperature.


Interaction of Ingredients in Batters and Doughs

Shortened cakes and other similar products based on gluten structure may vary from high to low fat ratio.  The correct proportion of one ingredient is dependent on the proportion of other ingredients and on the amount of manipulation.  The following general rules account for the differences in formula for muffins, conventional and quick mix cakes, etc.

  1. Balance structural with tenderizing ingredients.
Structural Tenderizing
flour fat
eggs sugar

Flour/liquid ratios and manipulation also influence structure.

  1. Balance liquid and dry ingredients.
Liquid Dry
milk flour
egg sugar

This is necessary to control gluten potential, maintain optimum flow properties, provide liquid for steam, etc.

  1. Balance sugar and liquid. As sugar/liquid ratio increases, protein coagulation temperature rises and allows more expansion before the gluten is coagulated.  Optimum sugar/liquid ratios allow expansion for optimum volume and tenderness.  Beyond that, the cake may run over the top of the pan, burn, or collapse.  Increased sugar requires both increased liquid and increased structural components.  Egg provides both.


  1. Balance leavening agents. As one leavening is increased, another may  be decreased.  Leavening agents include baking powder, baking soda and acid, steam, air in foams (egg, creamed fat and sugar), and yeast.


  1. As proportions of flour and liquid approach 2:1, manipulation yields more gluten, and the amount of manipulation is more critical.


  1. As the proportion of tenderizing ingredients increase, beating should be increased, and the grain becomes finer.




Method Amount per cup of Flour: Flour to Liquid Ratio Mixing Time* Baked Cake
Baking Powder (tsp.) Fat (tbsp.) Sugar (tbsp.) Egg (tbsp.) Liquid (tbsp.) Appearance Texture Flavor
Yellow Conventional Cake
Pound Cake
Yellow Quick-mix Cake
Chiffon Cake

* After both flour and liquid have been added


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