Types of Cake

Cake Terms









To increase in volume by mechanical or chemical process.



White of egg, and can be bought in powder form.


Apricot glaze

Made by boiling apricot jam and water together until blended then sieving to remove any lumps or skins.  The jam must be boiled to prevent any risk of mould forming between the marzipan and the cake. The flavour of apricot jam complements the flavour of the marzipan and is brushed over the cake to act as an adhesive or glue before coating with marzipan.



A dry cookery process using an oven.


Butter cream

A beaten mixture of butter and icing sugar in equal quantities. It is often used to cover and fill children’s cakes.  It is easy to colour and flavour.



The formation of a smooth mixture as in cake batter.


Clear alcohol

Such as gin, vodka or kirsch is used as a glue for securing sugarpaste to marzipan (sugar syrup can be used instead of alcohol).



To incorporate air by beating or whisking.



To distribute icing sugar to prevent rolled icing/marzipan from sticking.



Refers to the decoration of the cake.


Firm peak

Add extra icing sugar and mix until the peak holds its shape and does not fold over when a knife is pulled over the surface.

Flat icing

A term used to cover the top and sides of a cake with smooth icing.



The application of a thin film of oil or fat to a baking tray or tin.



A paper used during the baking of cakes to aid release from tins/trays and help retain moisture.


Icing ruler

A metal ruler with straight edges for dragging over soft icing to give a smooth finish to the top of the cake.


Icing tubes/nozzles

Tubes/nozzles range from fine writing tubes to large tubes which can be used to pipe stars, shells and leaves.



To combine and blend ingredients together.


Madeira cake

A rich butter flavoured firm sponge cake which is good for cutting into cake shapes.

Palette knife

A double-sided flat knife used for spreading, lifting and scraping.


Paper piping bag

Small cone made from non-stick baking paper.



The extrusion of a soft mixture from a piping bag.


Royal icing

A soft mixture of egg whites or albumen and icing sugar which then dries extremely hard.  It can be used to spread over cakes and cake boards or used for piping designs on or around a cake.


Scrape down

The removal of cake mixture from the side and base of the mixing bowl.


Soft peak

A term used to describe royal icing once it has been beaten and stiffened. The icing peaks should stand up but slightly fold over at the tip. Royal icing is beaten or thinned to different consistencies depending on the firmness needed for each piping technique.


Sugar syrup

A mixture of sugar and water heated until the sugar dissolves and is useful as glue.



A soft pliable paste that is extremely versatile.  It can be rolled out to cover cakes, made into plaques, modelled into flowers, leaves and frills or can be embossed with patterns.  It can also be easily coloured or bought from supermarkets already coloured.


Swiss roll

A light sponge cake spread with jam or other ingredients and rolled up.



The appearance and feel of the crumb structure.


Victoria sandwich

A popular sponge cake made by the creaming method containing equal quantities of the constituent ingredients.