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Haley Pollock

Diana Li
NUSC 3234

Eggs and Cakes

Introduction: Eggs are not only important by themselves but they are very important in making
baked goods such as cakes, cookies, quick breads, and other baked goods. Eggs can be replaced
by another substance that will help bind the baked good, but it is very difficult to replicate the
same final product in making this exchange. Eggs have been used for thousands of years in
baked goods, which makes sense because they are chemically perfect for creating a final baked
good that is desirable by the consumer. The abundant protein in the egg white provides structure
to the cake, whereas the fatty yolk provides richness to the cake. Not only are they chemically
perfect but they are cheap, abundant, and lend many unique characteristics to baked goods. Eggs
can manipulated in many different ways to achieve a cake that is prepared with careful and
flawless technique. For example, egg whites are whipped into a meringue and incorporated into a
flour mixture to make angel food cake, a very light and fluffy cake. On the other hand the whole
egg can be used in shortened cakes along with various fats to create a denser more rich cake. Oils
also play a role in the final product of a baked good. Fats such as butter provide even more
richness and a better mouthfeel to a cake because of butters lower melting temperature and
buttery rich flavor. Hydrogenated fats such as shortening or Crisco have a much higher melting
temperature and leave an unfavorable residue in the mouth after consuming it in a baked good.
Although this mouthfeel is undesirable, hydrogenated fats have a much longer shelf life as they
are more stable and less susceptible to oxidation. (1) Thus many processed baked goods contain
these hydrogenated fats to extend the shelf life of the product. (1) This method is good for food
manufacturers but negatively affect consumers as these hydrogenated fats contain trans fats
which are extremely bad for health by lowering HDL levels and raising LDL levels. (1)

Methods: The oven was preheated to 350 degrees F. cup of granulated sugar was sifted into a
small bowl and the cup of cake flour was sifted into another small bowl. Then the cake flour
was sifted with cup of the sugar and teaspoon of salt, three times. In another bowl 6 eggs
were carefully separated into whites and yolks. The whites were put into a large metal bowl with
1 tablespoon of water and tablespoon of lemon juice. The egg white mixture was whisked until
foamy and the teaspoon of cream of tartar was added to the egg whites. The remaining sugar
was added to the egg whites slowly and whipped to stiff peaks. The tablespoon of vanilla
extract and teaspoon of almond extract was then added. cup of the sifted sugar and flour
mixture was sifted gently into the egg whites and folded in gently. Then the remaining sugar and
flour mixture was sifted in and folded again until the mixture was fully incorporated and smooth.
The batter was poured into an ungreased tube pan and baked on the lower level of the oven for
about 40 minutes. The cake was then taken out of the oven and inverted onto another cake pan
and left undisturbed for 1 hour.
Please see attached lab journal.
Discussion: The first exercise was making angel food cake with a very delicate and specific
technique. Egg whites were whipped to stiff peaks and folded gently into the flour mixture and
baked in an ungreased tube pan. The pan needed to be ungreased so the cake could climb the
sides of the pan. Although both angel food cakes did not climb in the pans when inverted and
rested. This may be because the cakes were baked for too long and the proteins in the cake were
already too denatured to expand any further during the resting stage. Two different flours were
used, cake flour and whole wheat pastry flour so the final products were a bit different. The
whole wheat pastry flour contains more fiber than the cake flour and in our previous labs we
learned that fiber in flour contributes to more toughness, less gluten formation, and a less
delicate mouthfeel. Angel food cake is traditionally a very delicate cake so the whole wheat

pastry flour was not the best choice and the cake flour reigned supreme in mouthfeel. The whole
wheat pastry flour cake was chewy and rose slightly less than the cake flour cake. The cake flour
cake had a finer texture but was also slightly chewy. Unfortunately, this exercise was not very
helpful since the cakes did not climb the way they were intended to, so comparing the effects
of the two flours in these cakes was difficult.
In the second exercise richness was experimented with in shortened cakes by changing
the shortening or fat content, the baking powder content, and milk content in the cakes. Cake 1
which had the most milk, least amount of shortening, and most baking powder was the more
favorable cake. This cake had a nice golden brown color, was fairly moist, good rich flavor, and
had the best crumb or mouthfeel. The cake with the middle amount of shortening, middle amount
of milk, and middle amount of baking powder was very pale, thin, oddly moist, and had a
gummy texture. The cake with the most shortening, no milk, and least amount of baking powder
was fairly dry, somewhat rich, and somewhat tender, but it had a very eggy flavor. These results
were also surprising because it would have made sense if the cake with the most shortening was
the palest, most moist, and most flat compared to the others since the fat is a tenderizer in baked
goods and the lack of milk would have gave it less sugar to caramelize in the maillard browning
reaction. All in all, this exercise showed that the amount of all ingredients in a cake really affects
the final product of a cake.
The third exercise involved experimenting with three different fats in cake and how that
affected the final product. Butter, vegetable oil, and hydrogenated oil or shortening was used.
Shortened cakes involve creaming the fat and the sugar together to incorporate air, encapsulate
the sugar into fat molecules, and partially dissolves the sugar into the fat which gives a smoother
mouthfeel to the final product. (2) Creaming is a very important step in making shortened cakes
because it aids in the leavening process when the cake is baked. (2) When a cake has been

prepared using the creaming method there has been more air incorporated into the batter, thus
when the cake is baked these air bubbles are filled with carbon dioxide gas by leavening agents
such as baking powder and the cake will leaven even better. (2) This produces a soft desirable
crumb in the final product. In saying all this, not all fats cream the same way, and there are
certainly fats that are better fats to use for creaming. For example butter proved to be not only
easier to cream with the sugar in the experiment but it also produced a very smooth mixture
before the eggs were incorporated. This could also be contributed to the protein content in the
butter that the liquid oil and hydrogenated fat did not have. This protein can act as an emulsifier
to make the sugar and butter mixture smoother compared to the other mixtures. The
hydrogenated fat and sugar was creamed but before the eggs were added the mixture was very
grainy and chunky and not as smooth as the butter mixture. The oil and sugar mixture was also
very course and had the appearance of applesauce. This fat was also not acceptable to use the
creaming method especially because it is a liquid fat that one cannot incorporate air into because
its too dense and is not a solid. The cake with the butter turned out to be the best in all aspects
compared to its counterparts. The grain, texture, rise, and flavor was the best compared to the
other two cakes. The oil cake was very dense, moist, and chewy with a strange aftertaste which
makes sense because it had the least amount of air incorporated into it since there was virtually
no creaming. The hydrogenated fat had a very fine grain, was also dense, and had a bad aftertaste
with an undesirable film or coating in the mouth.
The last exercise was using an egg substitute which was flax meal. The flax meal was
rehydrated before it was used in the baked good. This rehydrating activates a gum inside the flax
seed that can be used as an emulsifier and binder much like an egg is used in baking. However,
the final products were a bit different as the flax meal cookies were risen in the center, had a
wet/gooey texture, tasted sweeter than the egg cookies, and seemed to take longer to bake. But at

the same time flax meal is a good vegan egg replacer that could be very beneficial in baked
goods for those on a dietary restriction. Some things that could be done to make sure the flax
meal cookies resemble the egg cookies is to flatten out the cookies prior to baking so they are not
risen in the center, decrease the sugar by a few tablespoons, and cook the cookies for a slightly
longer amount of time.
Overall, eggs and fats are very important components in cakes and changing the types of
fats or composition of eggs will also change the final product of a cake. Butter reigns supreme
for the creaming method and producing the best final cake product, compared to liquid fat or
hydrogenated fat. Whipped egg whites will produce a light and fluffy cake from the protein
denaturing in the whites, whereas the whole egg or egg yolks contributes to richness because of
it high fat content. Understanding the components and chemical makeup of eggs and fats are
very important considerations when developing a baked good.

1. Klonoff, David C. "Replacements for Trans FatsWill There Be an Oil Shortage?"
Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology (Online). Diabetes Technology Society, May
2007. Web. 01 Nov. 2016. <>.
2. Phillips, Sarah. "Shortened Cakes." CraftyBaking. 2000. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.