Guidelines to Bakery And Cake Making At Home

In this article i will be talking about Basic Foundation to Bakery and Cake making. Bakery and cake making is not so much complicated if we understand the Basic knowledge behind it. 

Cakes are symbol of celebration. We have seen different varieties of cake in market. Cake required three basic thing - sponge ( base of cake) , frosting and decoration to be complete. We will make sponge in oven. Frosting as we required which we will be talking and few decoration tips but let's see about baking , rules , principles of baking :-

Baking is used primarily for preparation of bread, cakes , pastries , cookies. Baking is the technique of cooking food in oven by dry heat medium. The food gets usually cooked by convection current produced.

General Rules for Baking :

1. Products must be placed on greased trays

2. Oven should be pre -heated.

3. Items should be placed in right position in oven.

4. Oven should have correct temperature according to food items 

5. The ingredients should be measured accurately. 

The ingredients used in Bakery works are:-

1. Flour
2. Raising Agents ( yeast/ baking powder)
3. Sugar
4. Salt
5. Egg
6. Butter
7. Milk
8. Flavouring

Basic principles of Bakery :-

1. Accurate Measurement - Everything needs to be Measured accurately . Do not use more or less than Measurement.

2. Always preheat the oven slightly above Required Cooking temperature . This will allow for any heat loss when loading oven. 

3. Try and Bake evenly size portion to ensure Even cooking 

4. Place food on the appropriate position in oven and food with pastry bases needed to bake low in oven to ensure complete cooking

5. Grease trays to prevent sponge from sticking

6. Heavy cake such as fruit cakes, chocolate cake  or cheese cake needs to be bake in low range . If these cakes are cooked at high temperature they burn on outside and undercooked on inside

7. Pastry Product like choux which is used for eclairs and creams needs a high temperature to allow steam Production and make Product rise

Dough and Batter :-

Dough ( pate ) in French is made by mixing flour with small amount of water and other ingredients. Dough is kneaded but not baked. The main ingredient is flour and it keep shape as mass. 

Batter are usually thinner , more liquid and used as coating for fried food. Batter cannot be kneaded and main ingredient is flour , egg and water . 

Making cake is not a complicated process and there are thousands of varieties of Cake recipes available. Cake is a sweet food made by baking of ingredients - flour , Baking powder, egg , fat , sugar and Flavouring liquids. Cakes are very rich in Sugar,eggs and fat. They are sweet baked food.

The Ingredients used in cake making can be classified as Essential and optional out of which Flour , Sugar , Egg and Fat are essential where as Baking powder , Milk and Fruits are optional. 
  • Flour : We are making cake so we need flour with lower gluten content. If we used strong flour that is flour with high gluten Content our cake will be tough and dry and to eat and even if we use flour with low gluten content that is too weak flour ,the cake will sink or may flatten.
  • Egg : Egg act as aerating agent when it is whipped as it will incorporate air when whipped so it should be whipped at high speed at beginning and moderate after sometime. Eggs  also provides structure to Cake. Moreover , enhances Nutritional value and improved taste and flavour
  • Water and Milk : They are liquid agent used in cake making. Water helps in making  cake while Milk improves flavour of the cake along with enriching nutritional value of cake.
  • Sugar : Sugar is our sweetening agent . Apart from being sweetening agents sugar also helps to provide crust colour. The golden brown colour of Crust is due to Cramelization of sugar. 
  • Fat : The main use of fat is to make cake soft and retain moisture of cake. We need fat that is neither that is hard nor too soft. Hard fat will not cream well while too soft fat will not be able to retain aeration. 

1. Scaling and Mixing :- The first principle behind sponge making is scaling and Mixing. Careful attention has to be given in scaling.The quantity should be very accurate and precise measured. The ingredients served should not be cold and there should be well balanced between water and fat. Mixing the ingredients very quickly will not incorporate good quantity of air and if we add all liquid too quickly it will curdles. If we used whole egg instead of whipped it will help batter to hold liquid in mixture. 

2. Formation of Air cells : The air trapped expand when baked so formation of air cell is very important so whipping should be done at high speed at first and then in moderate speed to retain formation of air cell. The air cell formation or aeration act as raising Agents 

3. Texture : Now , the third Important step in sponge making is texture . For texture we use flour with low gluten content and Flour is usually added after all ingredients have been added so that the gluten will be less develop in batter. It should also be given care that if batter is mixed too long the sponge will be tough and hard. 

4. Formula and balancing Formula : We have to know the use of basic ingredients and why are we using. For example ,Toughness provide structure for that we have Flour, Egg. Similarly, tenderiser makes sponge soft and for that we have sugar , butter. Also ingredients like milk powder , flour act as drier and absorbs liquid. Moreover , to provide moistness to batter we have egg, milk , sugar. The main goal is to make the toughness equal to tenderiser ( Hardness = softness ) and driers equals to moisteners ( dry = moist ) . The balance should be between Hardness and softness , driers and moisteners. For example , if we are using large amount of ingredients that have moistness then we should increase quantity of flour and eggs . If liquid is increased , we have to reduce eggs and fat and if we add extra milk powder then we have to add an equal weight of water . Our produced sponge will be always first class if we balanced formula in batter

Baking and Cooling : Baking is cooking in oven . Before baking we have to considered several things such as - we have to ensure our oven is pre - heated. If we add batter on cool oven the sponge will be dry and crumbly. Similarly, our batter is soft so we have to ensure the shelves in oven and mould is even. It should not be slant. Moreover , while baking the baking sheet should not touch each other. The oven should not be opened much while Baking otherwise there will be heat loss so sponge will not set and collapse. We should always bake at correct temperature or if we baked at low temperature, it will gives dry sponge and the sponge will  burn if we use high temperature for baking.

Now taking about cooling , the sponge  should be cooled for 10 - 15 minutes in mould and remove/turned out from it. If we try to remove it as soon as possible it is baked it will break and for cooking we need cooling rack. If we do not use cooking rack and cooled on table , the moisture will be deposited on base resulting sloggy sponge. 

Note - To check whether our sponge is cooked or not we have to insert a toothpick at centre of sponge. It will come out clean if cooked. 

Recipe to make sponge for cake :

Ap flour        125 gram
Sugar.            125 gm
Eggs.               6 no.s
Baking powder. (optional).    1 tsp
Vanilla essence.                       1/2 tsp

  • Beat the egg , sugar , vanilla essence for 5-6 minutes with whisk or in electric blender. (Vanilla essence removes egg smell)

  • Add the flour and fold it gently.

  • Transfer it to greased baking mould ( oil or butter greased) 

  • Baked at pre- heated oven at 180 °c for 25-30 minutes.

  • Cool it in cooking rack.
Chef Note : Don't whisk egg mixture for long time or else , it may turn hard and divide. Don't add ingredients to quick or it will curdle.


1. The cake will be  tough if  we mixed it excess and add more butter but less water. 

2. If we baked cake in too hot oven our cake will burnt on top and be uncooked in middle. 

3. If excessive mixing liquid is used our oven will lacks body structure.

4. There will be large holes in cake if air pockets are formed when pouring batter to mould. This will usually happen if batter is poured very slowly.

5. Our cake will shrinks if we use excessive liquid and baked for longer time

6. Our cake crust will be thick if baked excessively. 

7. Our cake will be dark if oven temperature is hot and excessive sugar is used. 

8. Cake will stick to mould If we do not greased mould well and left mould cool for too long . Just let mould cool for 10- 15 minutes 

9. Our cake will result cracked Top if we used too much raising Agents, too much flour . 

10. Cake will also crack if oven temperature is too hot. Due to the  hot oven temperature, crust will form too quickly when cake is still rising so there will be cracked too.

11. if temperature of oven is reduced during baking it will results sunken cake. 

12 . If we use poor quality of butter our side of cake will burnt .

Note - To avoid faults in cake making , always check oven temperature , Do not overbake , bake in low heat  and follow recipe correctly. Use only required amount

Now, lets talk more about cake in detail :

Vanilla sponge cake :

Ingredients and quantity

Egg whites.       95 gram
Egg yolks.          55 gram
Icing sugar.       90 gram
Flour.                 90 gram
Oil.                      22 gram
Vanilla essence. 3 gram
Milk                    30 gram

We will take egg white in a bowl and whisk it by adding icing sugar . (Usually electric whisk will be easier to us). Whisking will be done till mixture become fluffy , thick texture. Now , add egg yolk and mix smoothly . Add Ap flour now, slowly  (fold in), Add milk and oil, mix well. Add vanilla essence as it help us to remove smell of egg from it. Our sponge batter is ready now!

We will take cake mould now ensure, our mould is greased properly( oil/butter and butter paper) or else, sponge will stick. We will bake at 180 degree Celsius for 25/30 minutes.

Most important , don't remove sponge from mould immediately or else sponge will break, let it cool in cake mould from 10-15 minutes. If you keep sponge longer than 10-15 minutes also then ,our cake will stick. Cool it by placing in cooling rack. Remove butter paper  and let it cool properly.

Our sponge is ready . We will slit sponge in two and apply condensed milk or fruit juice/syrup over sponge. We have to cut soonge after cooling by using knife like saw.  Then,  We will apply Frosting now. I have seen many students getting confuse between frosting and icing. They are not same . For example, icing is powder sugar base while frosting is butter or cream base. Cream are two types- fresh and whip cream. We need whip cream because it have 33-40% fat. Don't use fresh cream if your recipe ask for whip cream . Whip cream are also two type further - Dairy and Non - Dairy , the only difference being Non - dairy whip cream have sugar in it already. Use chilled whip cream. It will be very difficult in whipping if our whip cream is not chilled. Frosting is thick and fluffy which we used to coat outside and inside of cake. Fondant and butter cream are most common used frosting. ( See below for more)

The main purpose of using Icing and Frosting is to improve cake appearence and quality of cake as it forms protective coating around it. They are sweet and creamy glaze made of sugar with liquid Such as water or milk and can be enriched with egg whites , butter , cream and flavouring. It also acts as cover to decorate baked goods. If it is used between layer of cakes , it is called fillings.Covering our sponge with frosting will help cake from loosing Moisture.

Icing should be always used in donuts and cookies while frosting in cake. Icing is thin so it is not recommended for cakes. There are various types of frosting :-

Butter cake frosting
Whipped cream
Cook frosting

Ganache are usually melted chocolate with heavy cream to give cake a shiny coating. It gives lovely crisp shell to sponge. For ganache , cut dark chocolate into small cubes. Cut from corners to cut it easily. Add 250 gram of dark chocolate in 150 gram of whipping cream and melt it in double boiler or Microwave oven. Usually , it will melt in 2,3 minutes and whisk properly. Add milk/warm water further to maintain consistency of ganache. Mix well. Put over cake ( use 100 ml water/milk for 250 gm of chocolate). Coat evenly.

In Butter cream we will beat butter , heavy cream , whip cream. If we add cream cheese then ,it will be butter cheese frosting. The most common recipe used being :

Butter :             125 gram
Heavy cream : 50 gram
Cream cheese : 125 gram
Whip cream.   : 25 gram

We will whisk , heavy cream and cream cheese. then, add whip cream. Whisk slowly,  just mix and add soft butter. Freeze it and chilled then, whisk. 

In cook frosting , add Ap flour and sugar in saucepan and toast for 2 minutes . Add milk slowly , whisk it till our mixture will be thick ( like pudding). Let it cool. Then, whisk soft butter in separate bowl. Add cooled mixture to soft butter slowly at a time ( fold in )

Whip cream is another common frosting . To make whip cream, we should use small bowl. The small the bowl, the easier it will be. We will whisk in slow speed at first then,increase its speed to maximum slowly. Usually it take 5/7 minutes to whisk 200 gram cream. Use only Whipping cream and don't substitute it with fresh cream. For checking of our whip cream is done or not, check for its consistency. It it is done , it will not fall .it will stick very firm. Whip cream can also be added in piping bag for more design. Moreover,it can also be used as filling between cake. For whipping efficiently, ensure whip cream is chilled. Always store whipping cream in deep freezer and not in refrigerator. 

Fondant is also very popular frosting which is covering.Fondant is a sugar syrup that is crystallized to a smooth creamy white mass and when applied it sets to shiny , non - sticky coating.  It is mainly used for first coating on fruit cakes before applying Royal icing. It is icing made of sugar , water , gelatine and vegetable Fat normally.  The word Fondant in french meant  "melting" and to made it , granulated or cube sugar with water is boiled till it reaches soft ball stage which is then tested by dropping little syrup in iced water where it will form a ball under but loosed it shape immediately when exposed to air. The syrup is immediately cooled and poured out into cold surface to form white solid which is then kneaded and left to ripen in cool place . Care should be taken when it is rolled otherwise , air cell may be trapped. Air cell can be removed by pinching with sharp object. Fondant cake are expensive as fondant is expensive and used mainly in wedding cakes, however, it have super taste so , not all people like it.

After applying frosting over sponge, now, we will decorate cake. There are various ways of decorating a cake. Decoration requires skill & Practise. Further more, Decorating a cake is not easy though it looks like easy process. We should always keep flavour, texture and design of the cake in mind when decorating a cake and some points to be considered are :-

1. Do not smear the frosting that is already applied

2. Dipping the knife in hot water will help to spread the frosting faster

3. The knife while decorating should only touch frosting part and not the cake

4. We have to start frosting with thin layers before moving to thicker ones

5. We have to put a lot of frosting in the corner and in middle of the cake

6. Cake should be allowed to cool down before applying frosting

7. Corner of the cake are always hard to frost so the decoration should be started from the corners of the cake

8. Chocolate works also helps in decoration. We should also learn some basic chocolate work which we will talk in next article. 

9. Various colours can also be used to add aesthetic appealing in design . 

Our cake is ready now.cake is highly perishable food items and is best served within 1 day after manufacturing. Similarly,don't keep cake in open sunlight.  Cake with butter cream, ganache will last 3,4 days in refrigerator while fresh fruit , cream cheese may last for 1/2 days maximum. 

Chef Note: we can prepare any variation we want for example,if i am going to prepare mango cream cheese then, just I have to add mango puree during beating of whipping cream and in filling over whipped cream .while applying fondant use dry tools, used air conditioned room for best results. If the mixture curdle due to over beating ( too much whisking results escaping of trap air) add unwhipped heavy cream ,beat in low speed untill  it is fluffy again in ratio of 1:2 i.e 1 cup whipping cream for 2 cup whipped cream. 

Let's make some cake ,

1. Swiss Roll

Ingredients and quantity

Egg.         3 No.s
Sugar.    30 gram
Flour.    30 gram
Cocoa powder.          5 gram
Chocolate essence.   1/2 teaspoon

Note: we are making small Swiss roll . If you want large then multiply recipe and use

Method of preparation :

  • Break egg, add sugar in a bowl and beat it. Beat slow at first then, increase its speed afterwards. Beat untill the mixture turns into fluffy and creamy form.

  • Add essence to remove any smell of egg

  • Mix flour and cocoa powder and fold it in mixture. We have to mix properly. 

  • Take a rectangular tray , grease it , lay butter paper in tray and add batter in tray. Ensure it it is label in tray ( even label )

  • Baked it in pre - heated oven at 200 °c for 8 minutes.

  • Our sponge will be baking , in mean while I am going to prepare, whipped cream. Add chocolate sauce/syrup to whipped cream. Mix properly. 

  • Cool the tray , take out Swiss roll sponge slowly. ( Ensure side are not sticking in tray). Remove old butter paper by tearing and  Keep it in new butter paper.

  • Now, apply thin layer of whipped cream over sponge. Apply chocolate sauce over and balance shape with knife.

  • Roll the sponge, start rolling by starting small fold. Don't go for big fold . Slowly roll it.( Cylindrical roll small)

  • Apply whip cream over it again and apply chocolate sauce thickly.

  • Cut it by , dipping knife in hot water for smooth cut. 

  • Garnish by chocolate chips if you want.(Optional step).

2. Carrot cheese cake

Ingredients and quantity

For sponge -

Flour.                  100 gram
Carrot grated.   125 gram
Brown sugar.      80 gram
Eggs.                      1 no.s
Oil.                          80 gram
Baking powder.   2 gram
Essence(vanilla)  3 gram
Cinnamon powder. 2 gram

For frosting -

Butter                    125 gram
Heavy cream.       50 gram
Cream cheese.      125 gram
Liquid Whipping cream   25 gram

Method of preparation :

  • Add whole eggs , oil ,essence , in a bowl and mix( whisk properly). Add baking powder, Brown sugar , flour , cinnamon powder whisk it properly. Ensure the dry ingredients are correctly mix over liquid ingredients. 

  • Whisk for some time untill Texture is smooth and add grated carrot.  Fold in carrot ( mix carrot properly over batter)

  • Bake after pouring it in greased cake mould with butter paper,  at 160 degree Celsius for 30 minutes. 

  • Now , for frosting- mix cream cheese,heavy cream and liquid whip cream. Whisk slowly ,just mix.

  • Add soft butter, whisk and keep in refrigerator. Take out from freeze and start whisking till fluffy and light

  • Take sponge out, cool the sponge , slit it into two. Apply whipped cream cheese as fillings between layer of sponge

  • Apply Frosting over it and make it smooth. Decorate it. 

Note: cream cheese cake are highly perishable so store in refrigerator for not more than 1/2 day.

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