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A cake is a form of baked food, usually sweet. Cakes normally combine some kind of flour, a sweetening agent (commonly sugar), a binding agent (generally egg, though gluten or starch are often used by vegetarians/vegans), shortening (usually butter or margarine), a liquid (milk, water or fruit juice[?]), flavours and some form of raising agent (such as baking powder).

Cake is often the dessert of choice for meals at ceremonial occasions, particularly weddings or birthday parties. The bride and groom are the first to eat their wedding cake, often serving each other a piece in their fingers. For birthdays, a frosted cake, often with inscriptions in frosting and figural decorations, is covered with candles, which are blown out after the celebrant makes a wish.

Cakes can be made using several different basic techniques:

  • Creaming method - butter and sugar are creamed together before the rest of the ingredients are gradually added.
  • Melt-and-mix - dry ingredients are mixed together and then melted butter and other liquids are added to complete the cake.
  • Rubbing method - butter is rubbed into the dry ingredients before the liquid is added.
  • 'All-in-together' - the dry ingredients and shortening are placed in the food processer and liquid is gradually added.
  • Sponge-making - eggs and sugar are whipped to a froth and flour is carefully mixed in. No raising agent or fat is used in this method and it takes great skill to make a light sponge.

Commonly made varieties of cake include:

See also cupcake[?], baking

Many recipes can be found in the Wikipedia Cookbook

Savoury foodstuffs are also sometimes referred to as 'cakes' if they involve pressing or forming the food into a small patty, such as fishcake[?], potatocake[?]

See also:

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