Baking 101: Basic Vanilla Sponge Cake Recipe
As Julia Child said,” A party without cake is just a meeting”, I would extend that by saying that a life without cake isn’t worth living. Right from birthdays to weekend celebrations, one thing that sets the celebratory menu apart from any other is the presence of a decadent cake that adds to the glory of the dinner table.
Baking scares many and I am quite aware of that fact. This is further emboldened by the fact that many people buy microwave oven with the intent of baking but end up using it as a food warmer. Often it takes them a single failed try or maybe two to turn away from baking. However, this is very important to recognize the fact that it takes more than two trials to understand the working of your oven.
Science Behind Baking: Basic Science
Baking involves basic science which means you have to understand certain elements of the recipe in order to get the desired result. A cake recipe basically comprises of flour, fat which comes as butter or oil, leavening agent that gives the cake its lift which is either eggs or artificial leavening agent like baking powder and sugar. Apart from this there can be a flavoring agent like vanilla extract, cocoa powder, or almond extract. It is the eggs which when whisked traps air between its protein matrix which later upon baking gives the height to the cake. This is further helped by the baking powder which upon reacting with the acid releases carbon dioxide. This tries to escape upon heating and creates uniform air pockets throughout the cake, thus giving it a soft, fluffy and sponge-like texture.
Well, not going any further into the concept, lest it scares it any further, let me get down to one simple fact that it is relatively very easy to bake cakes at home. All you need is just a handful of ingredients and you are all set to bake. And the best part of this recipe is that you can start baking in any sort of mould, whether you have baking tins in any shape or glass/borosilicate baking dishes or silicon baking moulds. Or, divide this batter into cupcake mould and bake smaller version of cakes. This recipe can easily yield you 6-8 cupcakes of medium size.
So, what are you waiting for? Try this recipe, because I am going to share several recipes using this cake as its base. You can make a cheat version of Tiramisu at home using this sponge as base. Check out the recipe.
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour (With 2 tbsp of it replaced with equal amount of Cornflour)
- 1/3 cup Refined Oil
- 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup Milk
Take a bowl and mix all the dry ingredients together. Sieve them through and keep them aside.
Now, in another bowl, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt, till light and almost 3 times in its volume.
Add oil and vanilla extract to the eggs and whisk them vigorously till light and airy.
Now, add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with milk and mix gently. Once you see that the dry ingredients have incorporated nicely, stop mixing.
Now, pour the batter in a slightly oiled and floured cake tin and bake it at 175c for 15-20 minutes. Once you see that the cake has baked and the sides are pulling back from the edges, you know that it is done.
Take it out and allow it to cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes before turning it upside down on wire rack to cool down completely.
Serve this cake as it is or drizzle it with a glaze. Or, if you are feeling fancy then you can frost it with whipped cream or cream-cheese frosting.