Brownies and cakes are both mouth-watering confectionery treats. If you have a sweet tooth, you must have tasted either of these delicacies at least once. Some of you may say they are both cakes, and there is no solid difference between brownie and cake, but the reality begs to differ.
Cakes are soft and fluffy, while brownies have a denser and chewy texture and feel crunchier in the mouth. Cakes are light, but brownies are more like a cookie. A cake encompasses diverse variations in taste and types, unlike a brownie.
Before you choose either of these desserts, let’s understand how a brownie and a cake differ from one another.
How is a brownie and cake different in terms of the baking process and texture?
Baking a cake requires a raising agent unlike a brownie. While a cake may have multiple layers and can be of different flavours, a brownie is not the same. A brownie resembles a dense, crusty texture and is not usually decorated. Making a brownie is much easy and requires lesser time.
For a more specific understanding, refer to the list below to understand the difference between these two dessert confectioneries:
- You need to add a raising agent such as baking soda while baking a cake. Additionally, while cocoa is essential for baking a brownie, you can also use any other flavour in the case of cakes.
- Preparing a brownie or a cake is quite similar; you simply need to mix all the core ingredients and then bake them. However, a cake is soft, light can have multiple layers, and you can decorate it as you like.
- There are multiple varieties of cakes, like sponge, fruit, chocolate, vanilla, velvet, and the list can keep going on. However, there is just another type of brownie; it’s called a Blondie. A Blondie brownie is made without using cocoa powder and is rich in vanilla flavour.
Although there are differences, you do not need any specific reason to enjoy either of these desserts. However, it is traditional to have cakes on most pleasant occasions. Eating a cake with a fork and a brownie with bare hands is common etiquette. Let us take a closer look at both these desserts.
What Makes a Cake Special?
A cake is a fluffy flour baker’s confectionery. Cakes are available in different flavours and types. You can customise a cake by adding different flavours or essences. These are extremely popular in every celebration or moment of happiness.
The main ingredients required to bake a cake include flour, sugar, fat (oil, butter or margarine), eggs, and a raising agent. However, they can be of different types, such as cupcakes, jar cakes, designer cakes and photo cakes.
Furthermore, you can customize the cake flavour as you like by adding essences like orange, lemon, and mango, to name a few. Or, add variants such as cocoa, chocolate, choco-chips, or any fruit of your choice.
Cake-eating celebrations commonly comprise birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers, housewarming parties, corporate celebrations, and any time you want to dig into it.
Did you know that cakes were modifications of bread? During the ‘Great Depression,’ the very first line of the cake was prepared in a box. It happened when a company patented a cake-bread mix to deal with the economic crisis.
During the early days, cakes and bread did not carry many differences. Now when you say cake, multiple types and flavours will cross your mind. Icing and frosting together add to the taste of a cake and make it look delicious and appetizing from the outside. Today, getting a cake is less complicated and much simpler compared to the early days.
What Makes Cakes Stand Out?
The following features make cakes one of the most popular dessert options:
- A cake is soft and light, thus, making it easier for you to slice through and enjoy when chewing.
- You can decorate a cake as per the theme of the occasion. You can even get icing and sugar decorations.
- You can get custom-made cakes to display structures, figures, symbols and characters to make any event memorable.
- A cake is easily transportable from one place to another, thus making it a delicacy you can enjoy with numerous guests by simply slicing it up.
- Traditional occasions where cakes are a mandatory part of the celebration include birthdays, Christmas, and baby showers.
What Makes Brownies Stand Out?
Similar to a cake, a brownie is another form of baked confectionery. The main ingredient used in making a brownie is cocoa, which requires little to no raising agent in the baking process. A brownie has a dense structure and crusty texture, making it unsuitable for decorations.
A brownie is much less diverse in types and flavours than a cake. In fact, you can classify a brownie into three categories – cakey, chewy, and fudgy. A cakey brownie is made with cocoa powder, melted chocolate is used for making a fudgy brownie, and both are used together to make a chewy brownie.
Did you know that a brownie was actually a baking disaster? It took place in Chicago at an all-ladies event. The baker was making a chocolate cake; however, the result was a not-so fluffy and not-so appetizing chocolate cake. Despite this, it became a massive hit. Unlike the originality of the story, today, a brownie is a much-loved exotic dessert.
Some say that a brownie is quite similar to a cookie, as it often serves as a delicious teatime treat and is sliced into squares. Moreover, you can add choco chips, and nuts and top it up by dusting icing sugar. A brownie is a flat desert, which is why you do not need to add baking soda; if you do, it becomes a fluffy chocolate cake.
What Makes a Brownie Special?
Unlike any other baking confectionery, a brownie is special in the following ways:
- There isn’t any raising agent (baking soda) or only a bare minimum if absolutely necessary in the brownie batter. This typically ensures the non-fluffy and dense texture of your brownie, thus making it so special.
- To get a brownie with a chewy texture and a shiny crust, you must repeatedly beat the batter to make it thick. Beating the batter also develops gluten and will give your brownie an outstanding finish.
- A cake is properly baked when you insert a skewer and comes out clean. However, in the case of a brownie, when crumps are attached to it, it resembles that it’s perfectly made.
In a nutshell, by considering all the above-mentioned details, you can easily understand the difference between brownie and cake. Both these delicacies are tremendously tasty, so simply visit a reputed bakery and enjoy savouring them at any time.