Aren’t we all guilty of taking an extra slice of cake by saying, “It’s basically bread, right?” Turns out its no lie, cake probably got its start in ancient Egypt when a bread baker added honey to his loaves. Since then, it's taken off, taking on its own unique look and flavour in regions worldwide. Different parts of the world have their own baking techniques and styles, so some traditional cakes look more like bread, even cake’s arch-nemesis, pie! The multi-layered, amazingly frosted confections we think of as “cake” are just the most recent trend in a practice that’s been around for centuries.
We have rounded up some of the famous cakes of all time. Few of these cakes are everyday favourites today, but some might be new for you. Let’s take a look on traditional cakes and their history!
Looking for a perfect cake that could fill in as dinner or dessert? Well, then try Strudel! An old-style German cake made with high-gluten flour and shaped into a long roll. If you’re making dessert, layer the dough with some delish fruit filling, like cherries, apples or raisins and top it off with some icing or whipped cream. However, if you’re making it as a main course, use ingredients like spinach and sauerkraut instead.
Panettone was started as a regional favourite in Milan as an Italian Christmas cake. It is a puffier, lighter, airier take on the classic fruitcake and is usually baked into a dome shape containing candied fruits and nuts. Recent variations of this iconic cake leave out the fruits or are filled with other popular ingredients, like chocolate or custard. Classic panettone is rich with eggs, and it has a light crumb and a very airy texture. It is unknown that who invented panettone, but this ancient cake probably originated during Roman times. If you want to make an authentic version of it at home, make sure to use a special, high-sided panettone pan.
Pavlova -Australia and New Zealand
If you are into some light and delicate cakes, then this one is such a dreamy cake for you! Both New Zealand and Australia claim this creation as a national culinary treasure. A cake made for ballerinas, Pavlova was created initially to honour Russian ballet superstar Anna Pavlova, hence the name Pavlova. A masterpiece of timing and patience, a pavlova is a meringue cake with a crisp exterior and a marshmallowy center. It’s traditionally served with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Still, Stephanie Jaworski at “Joy of Baking” suggests that tart fruits like raspberries, kiwi and passion fruit help the balance super-sweet meringue.
Pastel de Tres Leches – Mexico
Pastel de Tres Leches is a sponge cake soaking up in three sorts of milk. It’s very soft, rich and sweet, with a dense, wet consistency similar to bread pudding. Usually, it is made with evaporated milk, condensed milk and fresh milk or cream. But of course, you can get creative in the kitchen and try everything from eggnog to melted ice cream instead of the milks. Several countries, including Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, claim to pastel de tres leches.