Last Updated on November 4, 2021 by Zara R.
Cake is one of the most popular desserts thanks to its delicious flavors and fluffy texture. There are several ingredients that go into making a cake. You may wonder, what ingredient makes a cake rise?
No matter what type of cake you are making, it will rise in the oven. It is important that the cakes rise in order to give them a wonderful texture. If your cake doesn’t rise, it will have an unpleasant dense, and chewy texture.
Common Ingredients In A Cake
There are many different types of cakes out there. Some of the most delicious and popular cakes include vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, yellow, angel food, devils food, funfetti, and carrot cake. These all taste amazing and often share the same general ingredients.
In general, a cake will consist of flour, leavening agents, sugar, salt, dairy, fats, and extracts or flavorings. Most cakes will use all-purpose flour, cake flour, or self-rising flour. The most common leavening agents in cakes are baking soda and baking powder, though in some cases yeast may be used.
The most common sugars in cakes are granulated and brown, though confectioners’ and superfine or caster sugar may also be used. There are many dairy products that bakers will use in cakes including milk, cream, buttermilk, and even cream cheese. Fats include butter, vegetable oil, and also eggs.
Most cakes will also have flavorings such as vanilla extract, almond extract, cocoa powder, coffee, or lemon extract. Depending on the type of cake, it may also include spices such as cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Cakes may also have additives such as chocolate chips, fruit, jam, jellies, nuts, and sprinkles.
What Ingredient Makes A Cake Rise?
In order for a cake to have its wonderful fluffy texture, it must rise while it is baking. Leavening agents, such as baking soda and baking powder, are the main aspect that makes a cake rise. In addition, creaming your butter and sugar together, proper oven temperature, and properly mixing your ingredients will make your cakes rise.
Baking powder and baking soda work to create bubbles in your batter. These air bubbles allow the cake to rise while it is baking, creating the texture we all love in cake.
Baking powder vs baking soda
Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate, is a base that needs acid to react in a recipe. Common acids include buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice, applesauce, vinegar, cream of tartar, brown sugar, molasses, natural cocoa powder, or honey. It is generally three to four times stronger than baking powder.
Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda, cream of tartar, and in some cases, cornstarch. Most baking powders are double-acting, meaning the first rise leavening happens when it gets wet and the second leavening happens when it is heated. Since baking powder contains cream of tartar, which works as an acid, it does not need an additional acidic ingredient.
You may notice that some cake recipes will call for both baking powder and baking soda. In these cases, the recipe likely contains some form of acid that is not strong enough to leaven the batter all on its own.
Self-rising flour is a type of flour that also contains baking powder and salt already in it. Some cake recipes, such as sponge cake, will often call for self-rising flour. When self-rising flour is used, baking powder is likely used as well.
Butter and sugar
Though baking powder and baking soda are the most important ingredients to make a cake rise, butter and sugar are important as well. By creaming butter and sugar, you are incorporating air into the recipe. This aeration from the creaming process helps give cake its wonderful light texture.
How To Ensure Your Cake Will Rise
One of the biggest struggles people have while baking a cake is the cake not rising. There are many reasons that can cause a cake not to rise. Fortunately, by taking the right steps, you can ensure your cake will rise.
Make sure your baking soda and baking powder is not expired
It is very important to make sure your baking soda and baking powder have not expired. If they are expired, they can’t properly work as a leavening agent. This can cause your cake to not fully rise, so be sure your ingredients are still good.
Use room temperature ingredients
It is important to use room-temperature ingredients when baking as cold ingredients will affect the texture of the cake. It is especially important to make sure your butter is at room temperature, as it will not cream properly with the sugar if it is too cold.
Check your oven temperature
When baking a cake it is important that your oven is at the correct temperature. Too hot or too cool and it will not allow your cake to properly rise. Be certain to bake your cake at the temperature your recipe calls for and if needed, use an oven thermometer to check the temperature of your oven.
Though it is important to make sure the ingredients of your cake batter are completely combined, you want to avoid overmixing. By overmixing, you are eliminating the aeration in your cake batter, which will prevent it from rising properly.
What Makes Cakes Rise? The Importance Of Baking Powder And Baking Soda
A common question many bakers have is what makes a cake rise? Baking powder and baking soda are the most important ingredients that make a cake rise. In addition, creaming butter and sugar together will also make a cake rise as well.
Be certain to avoid over-mixing your ingredients and using cold ingredients. You also want to make sure your baking powder and baking soda are still good, as well as making sure your oven is at the right temperature. These things all factor into a cake rising.
Do you have any questions regarding what ingredient makes a cake rise? If so, please ask any questions regarding cakes rising and how to make sure they properly rise in the comment section down below.