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Is Cake Bread?

While the answer might seem obvious, have you ever put some banana bread in an oven and thought to yourself whether your creation is actually bread or cake?

While the question is not as thought-provoking as ‘What is life?’, you may still be wondering whether cake is bread.

Is Cake Bread

The confusion is completely warranted too, after all, we often bake in a loaf pan and call whatever comes out of it bread, no matter the ingredients.

Oh, and don’t get us started on quick breads. They are sweet and very crumbly, but are they bread?

Fortunately, there is a sure fire way to figure out what is bread and what is in fact cake, and that is the ingredients which have been used to make it.

Not only that, the overall nutrition of both these two items differ as well.

You might also eat bread on a daily basis, dipped in soup or as part of a savory sandwich. Cake on the other hand is usually sweet and eaten as a dessert or for a special occasion like a birthday.

So, with all this in mind, let’s take a look at whether cake is bread, and vice versa.

What Are The Differences Between Both Bread And Cake?

While you might be eating something called bread but it is actually your dessert, there is a reason for it.

Here are the key differences when it comes to understanding how cake differs from bread.


A cake often has much more ingredients compared to that of bread.

This is because a cake may use different flavors and colors to create something unique, while bread is considered to be a lot more simple when it comes to the look and flavor.

While you will get bread which includes seasonings and honey, it is still based around the use of water, yeast, and flour.

Cake on the other hand often includes eggs, sugar, milk, colorings, and lots of tasty ingredients that you would never see included in bread.

Amount Of Sugar

More often than not you will find that the bread you eat does not contain sugar. If it does, it is in small amounts compared to that of cake.

In fact, it is rare you will find a cake that does not include sugar.

While some people use natural ingredients to sweeten the cake, the majority of cakes include a high amount of sugar.

Some cakes even have added sugar as decoration, from frosting and heavy cream, to sprinkles and sugar crafted flowers.

So if it is sweet and loaded with the stuff, then it is cake. If you find it has a ‘cake-like’ texture and it is not sweet, then it is likely to be bread.

Different Leavening Agents

Is Cake Bread

Both bread and cake use a leavening agent. This helps them to rise and create the fluffy texture that you are familiar with.

However, the leavening agents used are different from each other.

Cakes often need either baking powder or baking soda to rise, while bread needs yeast. This can make their texture slightly different too.

Of course this is what makes eating a banana bread or lemon loaf quite confusing because they use either baking soda or powder. So they do resemble cake rather than bread.

In fact, they are a cake despite their name. They are sweet and are often eaten as a dessert.

Added Fat

Depending on the ingredients and the type of bread, it is highly likely that the cake will win when it comes to which one includes the highest fat content.

The majority of bread is created using flour and water. Cake on the other hand is known for including butter, and lots of it.

Not only is butter added to the cake batter, but so is milk and oil. This makes a slice of cake much higher in fat content compared to a slice of bread.

And all this is before the decoration is added!

Preparing The Batter

Both cake and bread are made differently. A cake is often created by adding a plethora of ingredients into a bowl and then mixing it into a cake batter. This then goes into an oven.

Bread on the other hand takes longer and it can be tricky to get right. The ingredients for the bread are mixed together and it forms a dough. This then needs to ‘prove’ so it can rise, and then it is put in an oven.

More often than not you will need to cross your fingers in the hope the bread comes out of the oven well made.

Taste Of The Food

Because of the different ingredients within both cakes and bread, the taste will differ too.

For example, because cake is often made from high sugar and high fat ingredients, the taste is likely to be sweet.

The food itself may even be on the indulgent side, with richer flavors and extra ingredients over all.

Bread on the other hand has a much milder type of flavor. It is often eaten alongside a stronger flavor, such as in a sandwich.

While you can eat bread that has added ingredients like seasonings and even sweeteners, the bread will never be as sweet as cake. The only type that is not true is when it comes to something like banana bread.

However, while it is called bread, it actually fits into the category of cake.

Final Thoughts

While it might seem obvious when it comes to what is bread and what is cake, does eating lemon loaf make you a little confused? After all, it is sweet, yet it is classed as a quick bread.

While you might think it is bread, it is actually cake. This is because of the different ingredients used compared to bread making, and how it tastes. It also comes down to how it is prepared too.

Now you know what bread is and what cake is, you can eat both with confidence!

Anna Ingham
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