- Sweet, fluffy, and perfect for celebrations—almost every culture on Earth has a delicious cake recipe.
- In Nicaragua you’ll find Tres leches—spongy cake soaked overnight in half & half, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk—everywhere from parties to five-star restaurants.
- Bolo polana, found in Mozambique, uses cashews and up to a full pound of mashed potatoes for a dense, yet surprisingly smooth slice.
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Following is a transcript of the video.
Sweet and fluffy, topped with anything from creams to fruits to chocolate, the history of cake dates back to ancient Egypt and pops up in recipe books from almost every culture throughout time. Let’s take a look at cake around the world. Postre chajá is named after a large, odd-looking bird that’s native to Uruguay. The airy, layered dessert starts with sweet angel food cake that’s soaked with peach syrup, spread with dulce de leche, and topped with a thick layer of whipped cream, crunchy meringue cookies, and cubes of peaches. After a second or even third round of layers, the cake is covered with broken meringue cookies and topped with more sliced peaches. The cake is sweet and fruity with a fluffy, yet crunchy texture. Ağlayan kek, or crying cake in English, might just cause you to shed some real tears because it’s so damn good. The ultra-moist dessert starts with chocolate cake that’s poked with a fork and soaked in a blend of whole milk and chocolate, then topped with fluffy sweetened whipped cream. Finally, the top of the cake is covered with a thick chocolate sauce that’s left to set before the cake is sliced into thick squares of creamy, chocolaty goodness. Victoria sponge dates all the way back to 1843, when baking powder was developed. But almost 200 years after its invention, it’s still a household favorite in England. Buttery, sweet sponge encases a layer of raspberry jam and whipped cream. While it’s often served at celebrations, Victoria sponge is still synonymous with afternoon tea. Tres leches is popular all over Central America, but in Nicaragua you’ll find it everywhere, from parties to five-star restaurants. Soft, spongy cake is soaked overnight in half and half, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk. The cake is finished with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon. In Chile, torta de piña is the go-to choice for birthday celebrations. Layers of light sponge are smothered with dulce de leche and topped with mounds of fluffy whipped cream mixed with chopped-up canned pineapple. The finished cake is frosted with even more ice-cold whipped cream and covered in shreds of toasted coconut. Lamingtons have been a staple treat at afternoon tea since the 1920s. Sweet and fluffy vanilla sponge is cut into small squares and covered in a thin, sweet chocolate icing, then rolled in desiccated coconut. Some variations add a little sweetness with a layer of fresh cream and/or raspberry jam. Also known as candy cakes, chikenduza are best known for their bright pink glaze. The batter notably uses yeast and is mixed with a bread hook, making the cake itself sweet, yet super dense, somewhere between a pound cake and bread. It’s baked into the shape of a muffin and topped with a gooey drizzle of electric-pink frosting. It’s unclear when the ice cream cake was invented, but with the innovation of the freezer at the turn of the century, Americans took the once elite dessert and turned it into a staple treat for summer festivities. While an ice cream cake can include real cake, at its best, it’s a layer of crushed Oreos sandwiched between thick slabs of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, then frosted with Cool Whip. Dundee cakes have been mass-produced in Scotland for 350 years. A dense fruitcake, dundee cakes incorporate things like raisins, candied citrus peel, orange marmalade, currants, glacé cherries, and other fruits. It’s topped with decorative blanched almonds to complete the signature look. Pandan leaves give this chiffon cake a bright green color and a soft, grassy aroma and floral taste. The pillowy sponge is baked into a tube shape, then sliced. It can be dusted with powdered sugar or even a dollop of ice cream. Orange cake mixes orange juice and zest into standard cake ingredients to create a sweet and fluffy loaf cake that’s dusted with powdered sugar for a festive touch. Eat this slice of heaven with a little jam and a cup of tea in hand. Drømmekage translates to “dream cake,” and this sweet and crunchy dessert lives up to that name. Rich, buttery cake is topped with caramelized coconut for a delicate slice perfect for any time of the day. Bolo polana uses cashews and up to a full pound of mashed potatoes. Thanks to the spuds, the cake is dense, yet surprisingly smooth. Standard cake ingredients like eggs, sugar, cream, and occasionally flour are blended with mashed potatoes, ground cashews, and citrus zest for a refreshing finish. Black cake, known to tourists as rum cake, incorporates a quart or more of dark rum and brandy into a batter full of dried fruits like prunes, cherries, and citrus peel. Once it’s baked and chilled, the cake is doused in even more dark rum for a finished bake that can get you a little tipsy. Which is perfect, since this cake is traditionally eaten during family Christmas celebrations. Madeleines are little butter cakes eaten with tea. They start with an airy batter called genoise that’s piped into distinct shell molds made specifically for this pastry and cooked until golden brown. Crisp on the outside and perfectly sweet and spongy on the inside, they’re the perfect portable treat. Pão de ló is a sponge cake that dates all the way back to the 18th century, and it’s surprisingly fluffy considering it’s only made with three ingredients: sugar, flour, and a whole lot of eggs. Eggs and egg yolks are whisked with sugar until they’re so airy they’ve tripled in size, then flour is folded in. Traditionally, it’s baked in a clay pão de ló mold, similar to a Bundt pan, and can be served with a piping hot cup of tea. Grenada has been called Spice Island thanks to its abundance of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, all of which make an appearance in Grenadian spice cake. The aromatic batter is baked until it’s spongy and slightly dense, and the cake can be eaten after dinner with a cup of strong coffee. Kalter hund, literally meaning cold dog, is a no-bake cake that only takes about 25 minutes to put together. The cake loaf, when sliced, reveals layers of biscuits floating in thick ganache made of dark chocolate, cream, coconut fat, and rum. The biscuits stay nice and crisp for a sweet and bitter treat. So, which kind of cake do you want to try? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments below.
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