A bread machine can help you make the perfect cake batter, and some recipes even allow you to finish the cake in the machine.
Yes, you can bake a cake in your bread machine. In fact, many bread machines have a “Cake Setting” although be careful, sometimes it’s referred to as a “Batter Bread” setting. The batter setting is like the dough setting and will prepare your cake batter but you must pour it into a baking pan to finish it in the oven. Both of these settings will mix your batter and the dedicated “Cake setting” will bake your cake from start to finish in the bread machine.
Quite often, these recipes don’t call for bread flour but rather “cake flour” or a cake mix. Sometimes they will call for All-Purpose flour. Be careful that you read any recipe for cakes in a bread machine closely. If it says “cake flour” that’s exactly what you should use. You can usually buy it in a box and it states clearly on the box that it’s cake flour. The same goes for All-purpose flour. If you substitute a cake mix for cake flour you may be doubling ingredients that are both in the recipe list and already incorporated into the cake mix. Stay true to the recipe and if you’d rather keep it simple and use a cake mix, just find a recipe that calls for that ingredient.
Many cake recipes indicate the addition of fruit, nuts or other ingredients like chocolate chips or coconut. Depending on the type of cake and the recipe, you may have to add these at a certain point in the cycle. If your machine has an automatic fruit and nut hopper this should take care of itself if you choose the cake or batter bread setting. If you don’t have a hopper there will often be an audible beep telling you to add these ingredients if you want to. Here again, the recipe should indicate the setting and any special handling related to fruits, nuts and other added ingredients.
One thing to avoid is lifting or dropping the lid while your cake is baking in the machine. We often open the lid to check progress on a loaf of bread with no problems, but cakes are fussy and can fall if exposed to cooler temperatures or vibration at the wrong time.
When your cake is done, remove it from the bread pan and let it cool on a cooling rack and you can either serve it or top it with icing or other toppings like sprinkles, colored sugars or glazed fruit.
Most cakes that come out of a bread machine will have the tall, vertical shape that’s common with most bread pans. You can always cut it in half; use a recipe for a 1 pound loaf which will be shorter, or slice it into layers and only build the cake as tall as you want it. This sliced layering will also give you the option of spreading a filling between layers.
You always have the option of mixing your ingredients in the bread machine and pouring in a cake pan and finishing in the oven, but the mixing of most cake batters is simple enough to do in a bowl so we’re going to focus on cake recipes that go from start to finish in the bread machine.
One thing to keep in mind. Unlike most bread recipes that come out of our machines perfectly baked through and through, some cakes mysteriously need a little more time. The classic test is to insert a wooden skewer into the top of the cake and if it comes out wet or shows any unbaked batter, either let it rest in the bread machine for 10 minutes and retest -or set on a warm setting for 10 to 30 minutes and continue to test with the skewer until it comes out clean. This is standard practice for cakes both in the oven and in bread machines. If you don’t happen to have a wooden skewer handy, a dried piece of uncooked spaghetti works the same.
Cake Recipes for Bread Machines:
Red Velvet Cake Bread Machine Recipe:
Red Velvet cake is a dramatic looking cake usually topped with a white icing to serve as a contrast to the striking red color of the cake. This particular recipe uses a red velvet cake mix and is baked in the machine. Red velvet cakes are traditionally served with a butter cream or cream cheese frosting. We’ve included the cream cheese frosting for this recipe.
- 1 box Red Velvet cake mix
- 1 cup water 250 ml
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1⁄3 cup vegetable oil – 75 ml
STRAWBERRY FILLING RECIPE
- 1 cup of chopped strawberries mixed with ½ cup of sugar
- Let rest for 20 minutes to glaze strawberries and then spread on the middle layer of the cake before frosting.
- Measure the cake ingredients into baking pan in the order specified in the recipe or the order specified by your manufacturer.
- Insert pan into the machine and select Cake Cycle or Batter Bread cycle; 1 pound loaf and light crust.
- Halfway through the mixing, use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the baking pan and the kneading paddle.
- When the signal sounds indicating the baking cycle is complete, test for doneness with the wooden skewer. If it’s ready, remove the baking pan from the bread machine. If not, keep it in the bread machine or place on the Warm Cycle for 10 to 30 minutes or on the Bake Only Cycle if you have it on your machine until baked.
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:
- 1 cup cream cheese, softened (8 ounces/225 grams)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, or Mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (65 to 67°F) (1 stick/4 ounces/115 grams)
- 1 lb confectioners’ sugar, sifted (4 cups/455 grams)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- To make the cream cheese frosting: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla.
- Trim the cake and either slice into layers or simply trim into the shape you like and frost. If you want to add the filling simply spread it on the bottom layer and top with the other layer and frost.
Pound Cake Recipe:
Nicely sweet with a crumbly texture. This is a classic dessert bread and is great with coffee or tea.
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1/3 Cup milk
- 2 Cups all purpose flour
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 Cup butter, melted
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Add the cake ingredients to the bread pan in the order indicated in the recipe or the order specified by your manufacturer. Select the cake setting. Select 1 pound loaf and light crust setting.
Cake Bread Recipe:
This is an interesting hybrid combining both cake and bread ingredients. It makes a great dessert with butter or jam and jellies or you can eat it plain. It’s also great for breakfast with coffee or at tea time.
- 1 1/4 cup of water 110°F./43°C.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
- 2 1/2 cup of bread flour
- 1 cup yellow cake mix
- 1 tsp Rapid Rise yeast
Add the ingredients to the bread pan in the order indicated in the recipe unless your manufacturer indicates otherwise. Set it for the White Bread cycle, not the cake cycle. This is closer to bread than cake from an ingredient standpoint. Also set for 1.5 loaf and medium crust. You don’t have to worry about the wooden skewer with this recipe, but if you’re nervous go ahead and give it a poke. When done let it rest on a cooling rack and then slice and serve.
Chocolate Chocolate Cake Recipe:
This recipes features layers of chocolate through ad through. I great cake for any celebration.
- 1/2 cup Water
- 3 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup Vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 3 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 cup Sugar
- 7 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
Add ingredients according to your bread machines recommendations. If you have an add feature on your bread machine, put the chocolate chips in when your machine indicates. I recommend a ‘light’ crust setting, to avoid the cake being too dry. Serve warm with fresh berries (strawberries or raspberries are a great addition), or with a small scoop of ice cream.