How To Bake A Cake
Step-by-Step Instructions for Beginners
Baking a cake is a huge topic: You can bake a pound cake, a sponge cake, made of vanilla, chocolate, coconut, almost all kinds of fruits, etc. Cakes can even be bite-size, like cute little cupcakes delicately and beautifully decorated with yummy frosting and sprinkles. Yes, indeed, ideas for baking a cake is endless.
But we are guessing that if you are the one asking about how to bake a cake, then you may probably be just starting out as a baker and you have never, ever made a cake from scratch all by yourself, right? Thus, if this is your first time at making a cake, you will want a simple and easy cake to start with.
Now, some bakers may probably recommend making a pound cake, which is one of the most basic and common cakes around. A pound cake is indeed a simple cake – consisting of just a pound each of butter, flour and sugar (thus the name of “pound” cake). However, you will be surprised at how easy it will be to get the pound cake wrong, primarily because of the creaming technique required to properly mix the flour, sugar and butter – get it a bit off and you may end up with a super dense cake!
Thus, for your first time, let us suggest a much easier cake, the orange sponge cake, which is also known as the Schiacciata alla Fiorentina (Florentine sponge cake). This is cake has a substantial crumb (not too light) giving off a lovely citrus note due to the use of orange juice and orange zest in the recipe and is popular around carnival time in Florence, Italy.
With this simple cake, it is a good practice to get your tools, equipment and ingredients ready before you start any mixing or cooking: see the Equipment Required listed in the Recipes Notes below as well as the list of Ingredients you will need to make this easy sponge cake.
|Prep Time||30 minutes|
|Cook Time||20 minutes|
|Passive Time||1 hour for cooling|
cake (12 servings each)
- 7 oz flour, all-purpose (plain)
- 7 oz sugar, superfine (caster)
- 7 oz butter, unsalted
- 4 eggs
- 8 tablespoon strawberry jam (or raspberry jam)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 0.5 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon butter, unsalted
- 1 tablespoon flour, all-purpose (plain)
- 2 tablespoon powdered (icing or confectioner's) sugar
- 8 oz heavy cream
- 0.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon powdered (icing or confectioner's) sugar
For the Cake Batter
For the Filling
- Allow the butter and the eggs (if chilled) to stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Get the ingredients ready by weighing & measuring them into separate bowls.
- Cut two pieces of parchment paper into circles that just fit into the bottom of the cake pans.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Grease the bottom of the pans with about 1/4 teaspoon of butter each. Place a parchment paper circles into the bottom of each pan and grease the tops of the parchment paper and sides of each pan with about 1/2 teaspoon of butter. Add 1 tablespoon of flour into one pan, flip the other pan over to cover the first pan and lightly shake the mutually covered pans to coat their insides with the flour. Discard any loose flour in the pans.
- In the mixing bowl, add the flour and superfine sugar and beat with the stand mixer or hand mixer until thoroughly combined and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Gradually add the flour in 3 batches, gently folding the flour into the butter mixture with the spatula until just combined.
- Pour the batter evenly into the two greased pans.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of each pan comes out clean, turning and swapping the positions of the pans halfway through the baking.
- Cool the baked pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake layers from the pans, remove the parchment paper and cool the layers completely on the wire rack.
- In the cleaned and dried mixing bowl, add the heavy cream, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar and beat with the stand mixer or hand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Plate one cake layer on the plate and evenly top with the jam. Spoon the whipped cream over the jam, top with the second cake layer and use the strainer to dust the top of the cake with the 1-2 tablespoons of powdered sugar.
- Slice and serve the cake immediately or chill in the refrigerator to be sliced and served later
Equipment Required (in order of use)
- Up to 8 extra bowls to hold the ingredients
- Kitchen weighing scale (preferably digital)
- Measuring spoons & cups
- Baking parchment paper
- Convection oven
- 2 9-inch round cake pans
- Large mixing bowl
- Stand mixer or hand mixer with wire whisk attachment
- Silicone scraper spatula
- Oven mitts
- Wire rack
- 10-inch diameter plate
- Small strainer