Perhaps you have been baking cake and bread for so many years. Is there a time when you have wondered whether it’s bread or a cake that you are baking? Is cake bread? What is the difference between cake and bread?
A cake is usually a sweet, mouthwatering delicacy often served on birthdays and anniversaries. We are used to blowing candles on cakes. But is it also bread? We know bread is typically made from flour and water. But so is cake. Bread can be leavened using yeast. You can leaven cake too.
The main difference between bread and cake is that bread is considerably less sweet than cake. Sweet is what we most associate with cake. It is usually more delicious than bread, but its fat and calorie content is much higher. The leavening used in cake is baking soda, while in bread, it is yeast.
Read on to learn more about cakes and bread and how they are different from each other.
Is Cake Considered Bread?
So, you are not sure if the cake is bread or not. That’s understandable. Most of us have the habit of calling anything baked in a loaf pan ‘bread,’ especially if it is made of flour. The base ingredient of cakes and bread, as you well know, is flour.
A Cake Is Made of Flour, Sugar, Butter, and More
A cake is a delicious and sweet delicacy usually associated with special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and the like. It is made of flour but rich in carbohydrates, fats, and calories because of its excessive sugar and butter.
Bread Is Made of Flour, Water, Salt, Oil, and More
On the other hand, bread is mainly made of flour, water, and some salt and oil. It uses a leavening agent to make it rise. Is bread flour the same as cake flour? There is ordinary flour, and there is cake flour.
Cake and Bread’s Leavening Agent
Yeast is the leavening agent that is typically used in proofing bread. In cakes, the leavening agent is baking soda or baking powder.
Bread Is Usually Paired with Cheese and Wine
Cakes and bread have their similarities, but their differences are more marked. Bread is part of every meal in the Western world. You can eat the bread with cheese and wine; some people pair them with vegetables.
Cake Is Consumed at Special Events
Cakes are mostly consumed at special events and celebrations. You will see them as a common fare on tables during birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Christmas, and other special occasions. Many people think a special event is not that special if no cake is on the table.
Cakes are more delightful because bakers decorate them according to the occasion. Like bread, they are also leavened. But instead of yeast, their leavening agent is usually baking powder or baking soda.
A Bread Is Part of a Main Course
Unlike bread which is eaten as part of the main course, the cake is usually regarded as a dessert. That means it is in a special category since it is a special treat. It is the food that is saved for the last.
A Cake Is Not a Bread
In answer to the question: is cake bread? No, it is not. It is not bread because of its sweet and indulgent nature. It is also finer than bread, making it more delicious to eat. When you eat cake, you throw caution out of the window, especially if you already have diabetes.
There’s too much sugar and fat in cakes for them to be considered healthy food. People only eat cakes if they want to indulge themselves. They are never going to get healthy by consuming a lot of cakes.
What Is the Difference Between Cake and Bread?
If you examine them closely, you will see that cake is very different from bread. By looking at their ingredients and how they are made, you will never mistake one for the other. We will now discuss some of the more notable differences between these two:
Cakes are typically made of the following ingredients:
- Flavored syrups
- Lots of sweeteners
- Baking soda or baking powder
Loaves of bread are usually made of the following ingredients:
- Corn syrup
- A small amount of oil
As you can see, cakes and bread use the same ingredients, such as flour, water, and eggs. But since most cakes are sweet, they use more sweeteners than bread. The leavening agents used by these two are also different. In cakes, it is baking soda or baking powder, while in slices of bread, it is yeast.
2. Method of Preparation
Cakes and loaves of bread have different methods of preparation. The primary difference between their methods of preparation is the proofing time. To make bread, you start by making dough out of the ingredients. And then, you have to proof the dough.
Baking a Bread Requires Proofing
Proofing means you are giving time for the leavening agent to work so the dough will rise to a certain degree or point.
Give time for the dough to rise before baking it in the oven. No proofing is required in making a cake because you don’t need to make dough to make cakes. You need to combine the cake ingredients by mixing them into the batter, not into the dough.
Baking a Cake Needs Shorter Time
So, the preparation time required to bake a cake is much shorter than the time necessary to bake a bread loaf. Adding the cake ornaments makes baking a cake complicated.
Except for kneading and proofing, making bread and cake is almost the same. Plus, you don’t have to decorate your bread.
3. Nutritional Value
In most homes, bread is part of daily meals. It is a good source of nutrients to make our bodies strong and healthy. Cakes do not show up on the daily table.
That’s good because they don’t have much nutritional value. Is the cake a pastry? You only eat cakes as a treat whenever there is a special occasion.
Look at the below table, and you will understand their differences more:
|Points of Comparison
|Flour, water, yeast, salt, oil, corn syrup
|Flour, baking powder or baking soda, sugar, eggs, milk, chocolate, artificial flavors
|A slice of bread typically holds 70 calories
|A piece of cake usually contains approximately 240 calories
|Bread may or may not be sweet
|All cakes are much, much sweeter than bread
|Bread has higher gluten content because the flour used has more gluten
|Cake has far less gluten because the flour used contains less gluten
|Homemade bread typically has little fat content and is healthier to eat.
|The cake is made from butter, oil, and milk, among other things. So, its fat content is higher.
|Bread is classified as white, brown, whole grain, chapatis, and so forth
|Cakes are classified as chocolate, fruit, sponge, and many more
How Can You Distinguish a Cake from Bread?
A cake has unique characteristics that are very different from bread. These traits are what makes a cake a cake. What are these characteristics?
- Typically sweet.
- It is made by creaming together shortening or butter and sugar.
- It is made through a creaming process.
- Use either baking powder or baking soda as the leavening agent.
- Have fine textures.
- Cakes are generally regarded as desserts, usually eaten after meals.
Bread also has distinct qualities that are very different from cakes. What traits unique to bread make it different from a cake?
- Slices of bread have coarser textures than cakes.
- Loaves of bread are also typically harder to touch than cakes.
- In making bread, the mixing method is used.
- The leavening agent of bread can be yeast or baking powder.
Again, is cake bread? Quick breads such as banana bread and other cakes baked in a loaf pan are not bread since they do not have yeast. The said baked goods use baking powder or soda as a leavening agent and do not require proofing.
Can a Cake Be Called Bread?
Some Loaves of Bread Are Sweet Too
If you only look at their ingredients, you can say that cakes and bread are the same. While all chocolates are sweet, some bread is sweet as well, to some degree.
Bread Without Yeast or Any Leavening Agent
Some types of bread are different from what is commonly regarded as bread, including the following baked goods:
- Banana Bread
- Spoon Bread
- Pumpkin Bread
- Corn Bread
- Zucchini Loaf
In the traditional sense, the above ‘bread’ is not bread because they don’t contain yeast or any leavening agent.
Is Banana Bread a Cake?
The above list of baked goods is called ‘quick breads’ today because they are done much quicker and more different than traditional bread.
All you need to do with this kind of bread is mix all the ingredients and then pop it into the oven. This is the reason why it is called ‘quick bread.’ They don’t need proof before being popped into the oven.
Standard Bread Ingredients
If you would like to bake standard bread, you will need the following basic ingredients:
Yeast Is What Sets Apart Bread from Cake and Quick Bread
The ingredient that sets bread apart from the cake is yeast. Quick bread and cakes don’t use yeast to make them rise. So, they have entirely different crumb structures. So, if the ‘bread’ you baked does not contain any yeast, it is technically not bread.
It is a cake that looks like bread, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s sweet or not. You may want to call the thing that you baked bread, but if you didn’t use yeast but baking powder or baking soda to achieve its rise, it is more of a cake than bread.
To bake bread, you must first proof the dough to achieve its required rise. That requires sufficient time. Proofing is not a requirement when baking a cake because there is no dough to proof in the first place.
You only have to mix the cake ingredients into the batter, and pop them inside the oven, and presto! Your sweet and savory cake is ready for decoration. That’s when you will spend more time before you can eat a slice of it.
Why People Think Cake Is Bread
Baking a Cake in Loaf Pan Makes Cake Rise
Baking a cake in a loaf pan may rise and look like bread after baking. You can also cut it into slices, just like what you will do with regular bread. However, since you did not use yeast to make it rise and didn’t require proofing time, it is technically a cake, not bread.
This is the reason why many people think quick bread is real bread. But they are not ‘true’ bread since they did not undergo a proofing period to make them rise. As such, you can prepare these quick bread or cakes and cook them quickly so you can eat them readily.
A Bread Requires Yeast and Proofing
If you didn’t add yeast and didn’t proof the bread, no matter how you bake it, you can’t call the baked good bread. So, it falls into the category of cake.
Similarities Between Cake and Bread
Cake and bread are not entirely different from each other. They share some similarities. How are they the same?
- They both use flour as their base ingredient
- They both contain salt
- Bread is baked in a loaf pan. You can also bake a cake in a loaf pan.
- Both cake and bread are usually baked in the oven.
- Cakes are sweet, and you can sweeten bread depending on what kind of bread is made.
- Some bread is enriched with eggs, milk, sugar, and butter. That makes them similar to cakes. Some of the enriched bread that has made its way into the stomach of consumers are cinnamon rolls, donuts, brioche, dinner rolls, babka, and challah.
Birthday Cake-Mix Bread Recipe
This article will not be complete if I won’t give you a cake recipe. If you are anticipating a joyous occasion, you can use this birthday cake bread recipe to make it more enjoyable and memorable.
- One box of Betty Crocker Super Moist yellow cake mix
- One container or about 1.75 grams of Betty Crocker rainbow mix sprinkles (around 1/3 cup)
- 1/2 cup Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy vanilla frosting (from 16-ounce container)
- 1 cup water
- One box of Jell-O, about 3.4 ounces, vanilla flavor, instant pudding, and pie filling mix
- Three eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
How to Bake
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Get two loaf pans. 8×4 size will do. Grease and flour their bottoms
- Mix the dry ingredient in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer at medium speed. Mix and beat the cake mix, water, dry pudding mix, eggs, and oil for about 2 minutes until all are blended well.
- Stir in 1/4 cup of the sprinkles
- Divide this batter into two equal parts and pour them inside the two loaf pans.
- Bake the loaves for 45 to 50 minutes. Insert a toothpick at the centers of the loaves to see if they are already cooked. The toothpick should come out clean if the loaves are already cooked.
- Allow the loaves to cool down for 10 minutes.
- Use a metal spatula and run it around the edges of the loaves so they will loosen from the pan.
- Remove the loaves from the pan to appropriate cooling racks.
- Allow the loaves to cool completely for one hour.
- Spread frosting on the tops of the loaves and put sprinkles on them.
- Serve the loaves in slices.
Frequently Asked Questions
You will be sure if it’s bread or cake you are baking if you will read the answers to the most often asked questions about this topic:
Is Cake a Type of Bread?
No, a cake is not a type of bread. While both use flour as a base ingredient, and you bake both in the oven, these goods are not the same.
What Is the Difference Between a Cake and Bread?
There are many differences between cakes and bread. Some of their differences are:
- Cakes are generally sweeter than bread
- Bread is part of the main meal, while cakes are desserts eaten after the meal.
- Bread is proofed; cakes are not.
- Loaves of bread use yeast as a leavening agent. Cakes use baking soda or baking powder.
- Loaves of bread are generally healthier to eat. Cakes are more of a treat.
In Closing: How Different Is a Cake from Bread?
A cake is a sweet mouthwatering treat that you often serve on special occasions like weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. People are used to blowing candles on cakes.
Can you consider cake as bread as well? We know bread is typically made from flour and water. But so is cake. You can leaven bread using yeast – and cake can be leavened too.
One of their main differences is their degree of sweetness. The cake is sweeter than the bread. Plus, it contains more calories than bread. Lastly, baking soda is the leavening agent in cakes, while bread uses yeast.