Oven Recipes

Cakes !!! The inside story…

“Cake is happiness in a tangiable and edible form”

From one of the simplest form of bread to becoming the most satiable piece of food, and even becoming an incredible piece of culinary arts has been the journey of cakes over the last few decades.

Feeding in a little thought into how it evolved – like most of the present day cultures that we have accustomed from the British, even the process of baking a cake, right from constituting to its ingredients to the range of equipment that we use today seems to be an inheritance from the ancient Rome.

Well, it looks like a simple mix of basic ingredients like flour, sugar, oil, honey, butter and eggs to make an extract of soft dough that resulted in a sweet flavoured bread, to distinguish its nature and composition from the original bread, it was then named as ‘Kaka’ (In Greek, refers to Cake). In the earlier days, the only difference between a bread and cake was to do with the shape – Cakes being round and layered with Bread having a hollow appearance.

Asian Egypt Bread

If you have a craving for sweet and are keen to dive deep into history of origins and advancements then you’ll have an idea about the Egyptian culture, which formed the precursor to show cakes and bring into light their advancement in baking skills. The first cakes were very different from what we eat today; it is just a piece of dough that looked bread-like and sweetened with honey.  To add more jazz to the pep, fruits, nuts, dried raisins, currants, citrons etc., were often added to improve the taste and flavour of cakes.


Egyptian – Honey Cake

A lot of the advancement came into life only after the 19th Century. Before that, what existed in the early 17th century was only the sweetened dough enriched with nuts, dry fruits and other flavours to spruce up the quality of cakes. From there on, it has never been a time to look back but led to a lot of advancement in both technology – paving way to tons of manufacturing equipment such as mixer, oven, sifter, cake moulds, food moulds, beater, paper moulds, cake pans and much more that produced a new dimension to make it look a lot more interesting. The first icing were usually a boiled composition of the finest available sugar, egg whites and [sometimes] flavourings. This icing was poured on the cake. The cake was then returned to the oven for a while. When removed the icing cooled quickly to form a hard, glossy [ice-like] covering. Many cakes made at this time still contained dried fruits (raisins, currants, citrons). In “olden times” when refined sugar, spices, nuts, and dried fruit were expensive, it was an honour to be honoured with cake. Today cake isn’t super expensive and we have many choices (store bought, box mix, scratch, bakery special order) but the message remains constant.

Cake says:  “you’re important and we love you”.

All throughout the history people have consumed cakes of all kinds and at all sorts of ceremonial occasions. In today’s world, people traditionally serve cakes at holidays, birthdays, weddings, funerals, and baptisms–in short, at all significant times in the cycle of life. The tradition of eating cake on ceremonial occasions has its basis in ancient ritual. Cakes, in the ancient world, had ties with the annual cycle, and people used them as offerings to the gods and spirits who exercised their powers at particular times of the year.

Chinese Moon Cakes (Mid- Autumn Festival)
Russian Bird’s Milk Cake







For the Chinese it was mainly during the harvest time and the festival is about lunar appreciation and Moon watching, and mooncakes are regarded as an indispensable delicacy and for the Russians it was a form of offering to their deity and the sentiment continued in other regions in various formats and it had definitive links to the myths people embraced.

In India Cake – Cutting was neither easy nor a quick adaptation of tradition until the early 1900’s. It slowly started over in the family of royals as a status-quo and eventually got in to the door-step of every house step-by-step. It was all out of excitement from kids that the cakes became so famous and a must-need factor on their birthday. Ever since then it has been a gradual rise in the number of people switching into having cakes as part of celebration. It became a sign of happiness to blow out the candles on the cake before cutting-into it and even considered as way to hope or wish that you make on your birthday. Kids loved getting on to a party and the cake was the show-stopper. Bigger the birthday party means bigger the birthday cake. In fact, kids circling around the cake table and pepping up the party was the trend and created all the buzz. The much loved event of a

Happy Birthday – A Cake!

From the traditional realm of using butter cream frosting to be covering or icing a cake to the modern architecture of using whip cream frosting loaded with real fruits, berries, dry fruits and even covered with toppings such as sprinkles, Choco-chips, Choco-lash, chocolate shavings and the list is endless. You can simply use your flair for taste to blend anything that you want onto a cake. The frosting is usually made from icing (powdered) sugar, sometimes a fat of some sort, milk or cream, and often flavourings such as a vanilla extract or cocoa powder. Commercial bakeries tend to use lard for the fat, and often whip the lard to introduce air bubbles. This makes the icing light and spreadable. Home bakers either use lard, butter, margarine, or some combination thereof. Special tools are being used for more complex cake decorating, such as piping bags and various piping tips, nozzles and embossing mats. Using different piping tips and various techniques, a cake decorator can make many different designs. Basic decorating tips include open star, closed star, basket weave, round, drop flower, leaf, multi, petal, shell and specialty tips. With so many new patterns and technical advances that have come into picture there is an embossing mat that is used mainly for creating embossed effects. A cake turntable that cakes are spun upon is being used in cake decoration.

Baking Tools

With time, cakes became the soul of every birthday party, it paved more room for creativity and innovation such that it slowly transformed into edible photo cakes or picturesque cakes, fresh cream pastry in the shapes of cartoon that kids love – be it a Tom & Jerry cake, Peppa Pig, Mickey, Minnie or you name it and it was available.

The latest in the industry trend is the use of fondant finishing of cakes or what is called a gum paste icing to customize cakes into anything that you visualize. With use of fondant or gum paste it has led to make cakes real and life-like. Bakers can almost incorporate any design that you envision onto a cake and make the celebrations much merrier. Fondant icing (also known as sugar paste), and buttercream are used as covering icings and to create decorations. There is a spike in the market trend and increasing demand amongst many people opting in to study culinary science and specialising in the field of patisserie.

It’s not only a game of the bakers or chefs but, an ardent passion amongst home-bakers too.

Earlier, ladies picked up the choice of baking as a pastime, for fun and even to cater to cakes amongst close knitted friends or family with only limited use of stocks or ingredients. But, today the stretch it has enfolded is lot more than you can imagine. It has become a rewarding line of business to women at the comfort of their homes. As much as would a professional baker or qualified chef would master the art of pastry, there is a home-baker evolving almost every other day and producing a wide range of sweet treats and arrays including muffins, cake-pops, macarons, meringues, marshmallows, chocolates, desserts and everything to décor the venue and organize the cake table. Its simply Voila!

Home Baker

And, technically there is a lot of advancement with bakery wares such as Floral sugar-craft or wired sugar flowers are an important part of cake decoration. Cakes for special occasions, such as wedding cakes, are traditionally rich flavoured cakes with décor of your choice.  It has become a status-quo to follow a traditional cake-cutting ritual for events such as wedding, birthday, baby-shower, work anniversary and almost anything and everything. They are finished with piped borders (made with royal icing) and adorned with a piped message, wired sugar flowers, hand-formed fondant flowers, marzipan fruit, piped flowers, or crystallized fruits or flowers such as grapes or violets. It would be an endless streak on how the process of baking cakes and icing have evolved and transformed into a satiable piece of food that everyone loves and dive down with fork into it to binge.

Fondant Theme Cakes
Wedding Cakes










That’s not all! A cake is a sign of Celebration in the new-age!

Be it a birthday of a dear one, the wedding bells of your kit or kin, a baby shower or your want to congratulate someone, or even bid adieu to a long relationship, a little cake is always a great idea. You just need to show up when people need you and share a tad bit of sweetness which can make their day.

It is a Happy Birthday, if done with a cake J!


Old – fashioned cakes

Old-fashioned cakes

Old-fashioned cakes are very delicious and healthy.  Every family will have their own recipes which are passed on from generations to generations. These recipes will be kept as a secret & it will have one special ingredient as their USP. Ingredients are mostly from their own kitchen, spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves etc., and fruits and vegetables like apple, banana, pineapple, carrots, pumpkins etc., and dry fruits like dates, figs, raisins, sultanas, nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts etc., are used for baking and sometimes they are seasonal too.

All time kids’ favourite chocolate cake never gets old and it is still in demand . Another most popular old-fashioned cake is Rich Plum Cake, for which  spices, nuts, dry fruits & raisins along with ginger peel, lemon peels, are soaked 2 to 3 months in advance in matured rum and are most popular during Christmas & New Year and also served in Christian weddings along with wine. Few old-fashioned cakes to name are Vanilla sponge & Victoria sponge, then we have the Classic & the Coffee pound cakes, in the Classic pound cake rich cream cheese is used, and then we have the banana walnut, apple walnut, delicious lemon,  the healthier carrot & cinnamon cakes, almond cakes etc.,

These old-fashioned cakes are originally prepared in homes using home made butter and they are baked for the family gatherings, birthdays and for the weekends. These cake recipes definitely needs a come back.

Mocha Cake


Image Courtesy – Unsplash

Inspired by bakealong


  • All-purpose flour – 1 3/4 cups
  • Granulated white sugar – 2 cups
  • Cocoa powder – 3/4 cup
  • Baking soda 2 teaspoons
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4Buttermilk – 1 cup
  • Vegetable cooking oil – 1/2 cup
  • Eggs – 2
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Instant coffee powder – 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • Hot water – 1 cup

Mocha Buttercream –

  • Butter – 300 gms, 30 minutes out of fridge, not more
  • Icing sugar – 375 gms, sifted
  • Cocoa powder – 2 tablespoons
  • Instant coffee powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon


1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degree . Grease the 8′ cake tin and keep it ready

2. Add all the dry ingredients, all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt into the bowl of your electric beater. Beat on slow speed until the ingredients are combined well.

3. Add all wet ingredients , buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla extract in a bowl and use a whisk and combine them together.

4. Pour the wet ingredient mixture slowly into the flour mixture, while the beater is still running. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes until the ingredients are combined well together and becomes smooth.

5. Mix the wet and dry ingredients slowly, meanwhile boil the hot water along with the instant coffee powder.

6. Pour the hot coffee into the batter slowly and gently . Beat on medium speed for about 1 minute until the batter comes together.

8. Fill the cake tin with prepared batter.

Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 45minutes until the top of the cupcakes become springy to the touch or a tooth pick inserted into the center cake comes out clean.

9. Cool the cakes on wire rack until warm to the touch. Set aside until ready to frost.

Mocha Buttercream –

10. Add the butter into the bowl of the electric beater. The butter should be cold, not at room temperature. So thaw your butter only for 30 minutes. This cold butter will help make the buttercream fluffy with less quantity of icing sugar and keep it stable. Since butter would be cold, you need to beat on medium speed first to break it down to fairly soft. After which increase speed and beat on medium high speed for 3 to 4 minutes until the butter becomes fluffy.

11. Add the vanilla into the soft butter and beat again for 1 minute on medium high speed.

12. The butter should be cold yet fluffy at this stage before adding the rest of the ingredients.

13. Sift together icing sugar, cocoa powder, instant coffee powder and salt.

14. Add the icing sugar mixture into the butter and start to beat on slow speed until the dry ingredients are moistened up to start with.

15. After it has started to moisten up, continue to beat on medium high speed for about 3 to 5 minutes until the the buttercream becomes pale and creamy. The cold butter will help keep the buttercream stable and stiff with just the 1:1 ratio of butter and icing sugar.

16. Fix your favorite nozzle into a piping bag and fill the piping bag with the buttercream and decorate the cold cake.