What is Egg Cake?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Egg cake is a cake with a high proportion of eggs in the ingredients. While most cake recipes call for eggs as binders in the cake, egg cakes use a large number of eggs, creating a very moist, rich cake with a light texture. Recipes for egg cakes are usually very simple, often containing just eggs, butter, flour, sugar, salt, a flavoring, and sometimes a leavener like baking powder, and these cakes are easy to whip up, making them excellent spontaneous baking projects.

An egg.
An egg.

Eggs are used in cakes for a variety of reasons. Primarily, they act as binders, pulling the ingredients together. Eggs also add loft and volume to a cake, as people who have tried to make cakes without eggs may have already noted. Because eggs are themselves rich, they can also make a cake more rich and moist, enhancing and intensifying the flavor.

Cakes that call for a large proportion of eggs are moist with a light texture.
Cakes that call for a large proportion of eggs are moist with a light texture.

Recipes for egg cake commonly call for the yolks and whites to be separated. The yolks are beaten with butter and sugar before flour and flavoring are added, and the whites are whipped into soft peaks before being folded into the batter. This adds even more loft to the cake, creating a very light texture which many people find enjoyable. For a more dense version of egg cake, the eggs will be beaten in whole. Buttermilk or milk may be added for more moisture.

These cakes often have a yellow hue, thanks to the high egg content, although it is also possible to make a white cake by reducing or eliminating the yolks. Flavorings like vanilla, almond, and orange can all be used in egg cakes, along with chocolate or marble swirls. One great thing about egg cake is that it tends to be extremely flexible, which means that cooks can play around with the flavorings without having to worry about ruining the cake.

Many egg cake recipes have “egg” in the title, often in the form of “x egg cake,” with x being the number of eggs in the recipe. These cakes may also be called “lighting cakes” or “1-2-3-4 cakes,” referencing the proportions of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs in the recipe. Creative bakers sometimes like to make Easter Egg Cakes, oval egg cakes which are decorated to look like Easter eggs.

Most egg cakes are presented frosting, with buttercream frosting being especially popular. The frosting may also be decorated, with a plain color being used for the base while shapes like flowers and swirls are piped onto the cake. Egg cakes can also be glazed for a more sophisticated take on frosting.

White cakes are made by reducing or eliminating egg yolks.
White cakes are made by reducing or eliminating egg yolks.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


@stormyknight: This one is a little different. It is for a 3 egg cake and it is superb! You will need:

1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 eggs (separated), ½ tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. of baking soda, 1 ¼ tsp. cream of tartar, 3 cups all-purpose flour, ½ tsp. salt, 1 cup milk, and 1 tsp. vanilla.

Cream together the sugar and butter. Blend in the egg yolks. In a separate bowl, mix together the vanilla and milk. Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients and the milk mixture in with the butter and sugar.

Beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Fold into the batter. Pour the batter into 3 greased and floured 9 inch cake pans. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.

Use the icing of your choice.


@stormyknight: @stormyknight: There are several different recipes for egg cake. This one is probably one of the easiest. Here are the ingredients:

¼ cup butter, ½ cup milk, ½ cup sugar, 1½ cup flour, 1 egg (well beaten), and 2½ tsp. baking powder.

Cream your butter well and slowly add the sugar and egg. Mix well. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Add the milk. Bake for about 30 minutes at 325 in a shallow pan.

I like to use chocolate frosting on my egg cake. It is delicious.


How do you make an egg cake?

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