Cakes & Biscuits


Cake is a form of sweet food made from flour, sugar, and other ingredients, that is usually baked. In their oldest forms, cakes were modifications of bread, but cakes now cover a wide range of preparations that can be simple or elaborate, and that share features with other desserts such as pastries, meringues, custards, and pies.

The most commonly used cake ingredients include flour, sugar, eggs, butter or oil or margarine, a liquid, and leavening agents, such as baking soda or baking powder. Common additional ingredients and flavorings include dried, candied, or fresh fruit, nuts, cocoa, and extracts such as vanilla, with numerous substitutions for the primary ingredients. Cakes can also be filled with fruit preserves, nuts or dessert sauces (like pastry cream), iced with buttercream or other icings, and decorated with marzipan, piped borders, or candied fruit.

Cake is often served as a celebratory dish on ceremonial occasions, such as weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. There are countless cake recipes; some are bread-like, some are rich and elaborate, and many are centuries old. Cake making is no longer a complicated procedure; while at one time considerable labor went into cake making (particularly the whisking of egg foams), baking equipment and directions have been simplified so that even the most amateur of cooks may bake a cake.


  • Cakes are the richest & sweetest of all the baked products.
  • High in both fat & sugar.
  • Caster sugar is best for optimum aeration and creaming of the fat.
  • Ingredients need to be at room temperature~25°C.
  • Serve as a cake, desserts or snacks.

Main Ingredients

  • Butter, Sugar, Eggs, Flour, Baking powder, Vanilla essence 


  • Creaming method

Cakes Faults & Evaluations

  • Cake is too dense Too much liquid, too much sugar or too little leavening.
  • M fault – Too much sugar, baking powder.
  • Close texture (dense, tough and rubbery)too much liquid (will be shrinkage).
  • Cake is dryToo much flour.
Butter Cake
Chocolate Cake


Sponge cake is a light cake made with eggs, flour and sugar, sometimes leavened with baking powder. Sponge cakes, leavened with beaten eggs, originated during the Renaissance, possibly in Spain.

Sponges with their light and airy texture can be a simple sponge roll or traditional Black forest gateau.

Quality points of prepared sponge products

  • Sponge should have a golden crust and be fairly level.
  • The bubbles in the finished sponge should be even and airy and not large.
  • The texture should be “springy to the touch” and retain moisture.

Methods of productions

  • Cold Method (Pâte à biscuit)
  • Genoese Method (Pâte à génoise)
  • Stabilized Method

Types of Sponge Cakes

Génoise Cake

The Génoise cake evolved from pan de spagna. The addition of butter by French pastry cooks created a cake texture that more resembled pound cake than traditional sponge cake. Techniques were developed to make the cake lighter, including beating the eggs over heat, or beating the egg yolks and whites separately.

Génoise Cake

Victoria Sponge

The Victoria sponge, also known as the Victoria sandwich cake, was named after Queen Victoria, who was known to enjoy the small cakes with her afternoon tea. The version Queen Victoria ate would have been filled with jam alone, but modern versions often include cream.The top of the cake is not iced or decorated apart from a dusting of icing sugar. The recipe evolved from the classic pound cake made with equal proportions of flour, fat, sugar and eggs.

A Victoria sponge is made using one of two methods. The traditional method involves creaming caster sugar with fat (usually butter), mixing thoroughly with beaten egg, then folding flour and raising agent into the mixture. The modern method, using an electric mixer or food processor, involves simply whisking all the ingredients together until creamy. Additionally, the modern method typically uses an extra raising agent, and some recipes call for an extra-soft butter or margarine. This basic “cake” mixture has been made into a wide variety of treats and puddings, including cupcakes, chocolate cake, and Eve’s pudding.

Victoria Sponge

Asian Sponge Cake

Steamed sponge cake like the ma lai gao are commonly found in Malaysia. Chinese almond sponge is steamed and topped with boiled icing, chocolate, vegetables or fresh fruit. Korean sponge called saeng is usually made with rice flour and topped with whipped topping and fruit. Some Vietnamese varieties may have fresh herbs like mint, lemon grass or basil added to the batter, and be topped with caramelized tropical fruit. Milk and jaggery are added to sponge cake in India which is served with the creamy Sri Lankan specialty “avocado crazy”. Western style sponge cakes topped with whipped cream and strawberries are popular in Japan where sponge is also used as a base for cheesecakes.

Asian Sponge Cake

Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake is a 19th-century American cake that contains no egg yolks or butter. The cake is leavened using only egg whites and baking powder. This recipe can be traced to 18th century American cookbooks. The delicate cake is baked in an un-greased pan and cooled upside down.

Angle Food Cake

Chiffon Cake

Chiffon cake is a light and moist cake made with vegetable oil. It is similar to angel food cake and was commonly served with grapefruit at the Brown Derby, in Hollywood during the 1930s.

Chiffon Cake

Boston Cream Pie

The official state dessert of Massachusetts, the Boston cream pie, is a chocolate-glazed, layered yellow sponge cake filled with pastry cream. It may be based on the Washington Pie, originally two layers of yellow sponge cake with jam filling and a dusting of icing sugar. The first known written recipe from the 1878 Granite Iron Ware Cook Book uses baking powder for the sponge. Maria Parloa published several recipes for cream pie, includes one for chocolate cream pie. Parloa’s recipe is the closest to the modern Boston Cream Pie.

Boston Cream Pie


This sponge variation from Portuguese cuisine is flavored with lemon or orange peel. It is served plain, and day old cake may be incorporated into other desserts like puddings. The pão-de-Ló de Alfeizerão is lightly baked to a pudding like consistency and flavored with brandy.



Plava is a sponge cake that is found in Jewish cuisine and usually eaten during Pesach. The batter is leavened with eggs and frequently includes flavorings like lemon zest or almond essence.

Plava Cake

Swiss Roll

A Swiss Roll is a thin sponge cake that is spread with a layer of filling and rolled.

Swiss Roll


  • Sponge FingersUsed as garnish or for Charlotte russe and Tira misu.
  • Vanilla SpongeUse as a base for petits fours glacée  or layered cakes.
  • JacondeRich batter containing almond meal  with a moist texture.
  • Charlotte RoyaleSmall Swiss roll slice with Bavarian cream.
  • Charlotte RusseCharlotte mold with sponge fingers fill with Bavarian cream.
  • Lemon cheesecakeA layer of sponge, fill with a lemon cheese  mixture
  • Mandarin omelette.
  • Hazelnut and Advocaat torte
  • Black-forest GateauGerman torte is based on a rich chocolate sponge, filled with sour cherries and Chantilly cream flavored with Kirsch.
  • Sacher TorteAn Austrian cake. Chocolate cake with hot jam in the middle. The outside is coated with marzipan and a chocolate glaze.

Muffins & Cup Cakes

  • To us, a muffin is still something that’s relatively healthy. It’s not too sweet, is perhaps made with whole wheat flour, and is more likely to be loaded with fruit than candy. A muffin can also be savory. The texture is usually dryer and slightly denser than their cupcake cousins.
Blueberry Muffins
  • Cupcakes are, well, miniature cakes. They’re sweet by definition, coming in flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet. A cupcake is tender and rich with eggs and butter. They’re a dessert item, not an everyday breakfast food. And cupcakes always have frosting

Cake and Sponge Faults and Evaluation

  • Bursting openToo much flour or a lack of sugar, lack of liquid or fat.
  • “Soapy” tasteToo much baking powder.
  • Sink in the centerToo much sugar or baking powder.
  • Hard texture
  • Cake Collapsing at the Sides (X fault)Too much liquid.
  • Cake Sunk in the Middle (M fault)
    • Too much baking powder.
    • Cake was knocked in the oven before it had set.
    • Too much sugar or fat.

Biscuits & Cookies

  • “Cookie” that is eaten in the America seems to be the “Biscuit” in the British.
  • American biscuit is soft and flaky scone , British biscuits dry and often crunchy.
  • Cookies are sweet, flat, baked goods and Biscuit either sweet or savory.
  • Biscuit or cookie variants include sandwich biscuits, such as custard creams, Jammie Dodgers, Bourbons and Oreos, with marshmallow or jam filling and sometimes dipped in chocolate or another sweet coating. Cookies are often served with beverages such as milk, coffee or tea and sometimes “dunked”, an approach which releases more flavor from confections by dissolving the sugars, while also softening their texture.
  • In most English-speaking countries except for the United States and Canada, crisp cookies are called “Biscuits”. Chewier biscuits are sometimes called “Cookies” even in the United Kingdom. Some cookies may also be named by their shape, such as date squares or bars.

Biscuits & Cookies Faults and Evaluation

  • Cookies crumble and are dry and hardOver mixing the dough, over baking, dry fruit/coconut, too much water or a lack of fat. Excessive salt can also cause your cookies to be hard. Stop mixing when the dough is just mixed. Do not overdo it. Soak dry fruit in water a few minutes to absorb some moisture so it won’t take it from the recipe. Measure salt using measuring spoons. Level top.
  • Cookies stick to baking panCookie sheets not prepared according to the recipe, Cookies are still hot from the oven, Use parchment paper to line pans or lightly grease pan before using. (Note: cookies spread more on greased sheets so parchment paper is preferred.) Let the cookies cool on the pans for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks.
  • Cookies break when removed from baking sheetsCookies are still hot from the oven. Let the cookies cool on the pans for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks.
  • Cookies bake unevenlyDough was not rolled or portioned to a consistent thickness or size. Spring-release ice cream scoops are handy for forming drop cookies efficiently. They’re available in a variety of sizes at kitchenware or restaurant supply stores. Interior brown spots or spots.
  • Develop in small cookiesCooking begins below the surface spots and causes some areas to over bake. Lower oven temperature by 25°F .
  • Cookies are oily Type of fat used.
  • Cookie dough was not chilled before baking.
  • Too much fat.
  • Do not substitute shortening, stick butter or margarine for vegetable oil. Margarine is softer and more oily than butter. Shortening is the best to use in this case.
  • Not enough flour.
  • Cookies fall apartUsed diet or whipped spreads. The products are full of air and water. Use stick butter or shortening.
  • Cookies too puffyAll shortening makes cookies puff. Use all butter or half shortening and half butter or all butter. Bring the dough to room temperature before baking.
  • Cookies too flat – They spread and thin out while baking, Dough was not properly chilled. Pans were greased too much. Dough was placed on warm baking sheets Used a low-fat margarine. Butter makes cookies spread if the dough is too soft before baking. Use shortening instead of butter. Butter melts faster than solid shortening, cookies will spread more if made with butter. Even half butter/half shortening will melt more slowly than butter-only, so cookies made that way still spread less than if made with all-butter. Use cake flour instead of all-purpose, it has more moisture and will therefore puff more (cookies will be softer and paler, though). Additionally, add in 1 to 2 tablespoons flour can sometimes cause cookies to puff more.
  • Acidic dough and batters(such as those made with baking powder, which has acids and does not neutralize other acids in the cookie dough recipe) set faster, but do not brown as well (cookies will be puffier). Use baking powder (1 teaspoon per cup of flour) instead of baking soda; the resulting dough will set faster, be puffier, but do not brown as well. Use parchment paper to line your cookies sheets with for less cookie spread. Make smaller cookies, they’ll puff better. Chill dough, form cookies and then chill on pans before baking. Use bread flour for drier, crispier cookies (they will be darker too). Bread flour absorbs more liquid from the recipe than any other type of flour. All-purpose flour can also make a crispy cookie, which will be more tender than a cookie made entirely with bread flour.
  • Cookies not chewy
    • All white sugar makes cookies crispier.
    • Remove the cookies a few minutes before they are done, while their centers are still soft and not quite cooked through. The edges should be slightly golden but the middle will still look slightly raw.
    • Use 2 egg yolks instead of one whole egg, this will add some extra moistness to the cookies thus helping to be a bit more on the chewy side.
    • Using some high protein flour (such as bread flour) can make the dough hold together better, and can make a chewier cookie.
    • Use dark brown sugar (more molasses) instead of light brown sugar. It attracts more moisture from the air, and will make a chewier result.
    • Use baking powder (1 teaspoon per cup of flour) instead of baking soda; the resulting dough will make a chewier cookie (it will spread less, since it’s more acid).
  • Cookies aren’t crispy
    • Brown sugar makes cookies chewier.
    • Bake cookies a few minutes longer than suggested and immediately remove them to wire racks to cool.
    • Replace the egg called for in the recipe with milk for a crispier cookie.
    • Use more white sugar than brown to give more crispiness.
    • A less acidic batter spreads more and cookies will be crispier. Substitute 1/2 teaspoon baking soda per cup of flour for the baking powder called for in the recipe.
    • Use a little bit more liquid in the batter; that will help cookies to spread more, and thus be thinner and crispier.
    • Substitute 1 tablespoon of corn syrup for 1 tablespoon of the sugar called for in the recipe; it will make the cookies crispier and browner.


08/09/2020 by @cheflakey

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