Ready for your daily cake lesson? I like to think of cakes as being organized into families with butter cakes and sponge cakes given "parent cake" status.
Butter cakes rely on baking powder or baking soda as the leavening agent to give them their tender crumb. Yellow, white, chocolate and pound cakes all fall under the butter cake limb of the family tree.
Sponge Cake, on the other hand, gets it light fluffy texture from whipped eggs. Angel food cakes, cake rolls and ladyfingers are all delicious examples of sponge cakes.
If you married a butter cake and a sponge cake, you would end up with a chiffon cake child. A combination of baking powder and whipped eggs gives this unique cake it's exquisitely light texture.
And as with most families, there's a black sheep of the cake family - the oil based cakes. Carrot, hummingbird and coconut all fall into this category. They resemble a butter cake in the fact that they use baking powder as a leaving agent but oil takes the place of the butter in these recipes.
I honestly can't choose which type cake I like the best. I bake a lot of cakes and I'm seeing more and more recipes that cross over the cake family boundaries. Butter cakes that use a combination of butter, oil and whipped eggs. They're amazing and delicious even though I don't know exactly where to put them on my cake family tree. Isn't that a perfect example of family though? Imperfect and complicated but lovely and beautiful, just the same.
I'm sharing a recipe for an Olive Oil cake today. This is definitely one of those hybrid cakes. Oil instead of butter, baking powder AND whipped eggs for leavening and baked in a springform pan. I think this one would be the "super fun uncle" on the family tree of cakes.
Olive Oil Cake
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup milk
Bake 40-45 minutes at 350.
Let cool 15 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Cool completely.
Top with fresh berries to serve.
Hey dad - this cake is butter and lactose free if you use a dairy milk alternative. I think you're going to like this cake.
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