Difference between Cakes and Brownies - ft. Shilpa Seth Bhambri

“What's in a cake?" they say shuddering it aside as if it were a no case

I would say everything! From lusciousness to moist butteriness, structure, sweetness and tender crumbs layered with heaps of frostings.

Then they ask; "what's in a brownie?”. And I jump up to say “my heart, all of it !!”

So when it comes to a battle between cakes and brownies, the latter is a clear winner for me. I love a good gooey chocolatey brownie with a glass of cold milk; it's my ultimate comfort food any time anywhere.

Cakes are of many kinds. And are classified as a baked sweet made with sugar, flour, fat, eggs/egg substitute and a leavening agent. You will find a zillion cake recipes, each country or region has its unique favourites. French genoise, English pound cake, German Black Forest, Australian lamingtons, Indian mawa cake, to name a few.Naked, frosted, slathered with chocolate glaze, garnished or plain,Fruit smothered or showered with embellishments cakes are a must serve at any milestone occasion or celebration.

A brownie is a cake, but every cake is not a brownie. Though the difference between the two is not markedly high, there are small distinctions in the ingredients used to make them. The first is: most brownies are baked without any leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda they get their aeration and resulting texture from the eggs that are added (though egg-less brownies do need a small amount of leavening agent). The Story goes in the 20 th century a New Englander forgot to put baking powder in her chocolate cake, and it didn’t rise! A smart woman she was; served the “fallen cake” anyway. VOILA! A new dessert was created. A classic brownie is made with an intense amount of cocoa or chocolate. Whereas cakes in general, have a lower cocoa content than a brownie. Brownies also have a higher sugar content than cakes. You can happily munch a piece of a brownie without any added glaze or frosting. Brownies are a popular snack, gourmet gift or dessert, often just a bite for your sweet tooth’s craving. Cake recipes also call for about twice the amount of flour than brownies. This play of ingredients affect the texture and flavour of the two and make the way brownies and chocolate cake taste very distinct.

Brownies, which I call bites of chocolate heaven are prone to have a chewy or cookie-like consistency with crispy edges. They bake very flat and dense with a crackled top (ooh nothing like a perfect brownie with a crinkly sugary top). A gooey decadent almost fudge-like interior is also a compulsion in many brownies. The battle between what’s most liked; a fudgy or cakey brownie, continues with passionate supporters at both ends. I can define these in common man's terms as 1. Fudgy brownie; dense chocolatey with a gooey slight molten centre, crackled top, often contains pure chocolate.2. Cakey brownie; mostly made with cocoa well risen with a cake-like web interior, softer, mushier, clones a sweetened unfrosted chocolate cake.

In comparison, the best cakes are showcased as being light and fluffy, with a smooth, even top that is often covered with frosting. With a unique crumbed texture, cakes are made silky, mousselike, custard centred, buttery bread-like, crispy meringue based and more

Another grand dissimilarity between a brownie and cake is the shape. Brownies more often than not are a square or rectangular shape (seriously who will get lured to a round or triangular shaped brownie !). Cakes come in all ways a mind can imagine from dome to a hexagon, flat and tall, multi-tiered, or even human-faced.

To end this comparison; I can say that both are incredibly versatile and well-liked! And you would sink your teeth into either of them when given a choice. So go ahead and get your pick or eat both!


Featuring our "Circle of Bakes" Member


I'm Shilpa Seth Bhambri, a passionate chef, baker, food photographer & stylist.I'd describe myself as a creative food director,someone whose expertise lies in end-to-end concept visualization and direction of food related projects. Prominently, I work as Culinary Consultant for Baskin Robbins India, a role that helps me tap further into my creative and artistic side.

I come with over 25 years of diverse experience in the F&B & dessert industry, having trained under chefs from the U.K, U.S.A, France, Italy, Portugal & Malaysia. I am also a committed educator and actively curate and conduct culinary based workshops. I excel at recipe development and its creation in addition to my extensive skill set.

What's close to my heart is my bespoke bake studio called The Cakeline, which was born out of my love for baking.

Currently I am working on launching a new low calorie ice cream brand and also authoring a book on Cakes.

In lock-down 2020 my custom baking is alive for my loyal customers and friends

Contact at : cakeline@gmail.com 

You can see more of my work here:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shilpasethbhambri/
Blog: https://shilpasethbhambri.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecakeline/
YouTube: Food tales by Shilpa

1) Wikipedia definitions
2) https://www.differencebetween.com/
3) Fat witch brownies by Patricia Helding

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