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November 25, 2021
Cooking Crash Test: 6 different ways to make a loaf cake

How do butter, brown sugar, and stevia sweetener "affect" a loaf cake? How do they work with the rest of the ingredients and what result do they give us? What should you expect if you replace butter with olive oil? And what if you… turn your back on the classic granulated sugar? These are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding cakes. So, in order to answer them, I decided to get into the kitchen and prepare 6 loaf cakes, replacing one basic ingredient at a time. I baked them, took them out of the oven, and -then- took some photos. The next step? I wrote down all the differences and shared them with you through this blog post right here. My goal? To get you to know the result before you start preparing each recipe. This way, you will be prepared for the end result, whatever replacement you want to make.

The first recipe I will share with you is the "BASIC RECIPE" which gives us a loaf cake in its simplest version. In essence, it is the “basic” cake which -if you want- you can enrich with herbs, citrus zest, spices, and whatever else you want. Then, based on this recipe, we will make our substitutions by removing a basic ingredient -e.g. sunflower oil- and adding another -e.g. butter.

The Greek chef Akis Petretzikis makes a classic loaf cake in 6 different ways

#1 THE BASIC RECIPE

The process: Preheat the oven to 170οC (340ο F) set to fan. In a bowl add 250 g all-purpose flour, 200 g granulated sugar, 15 g baking powder, a little salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla powder, and mix. In another bowl add 3 eggs, 150 g milk, 150 g sunflower oil, and whisk well. Add the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients and whisk for 2-3 minutes, until homogenized. Transfer the mixture to a buttered and floured 10x30 cm loaf tin and bake the cake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until nicely golden and cooked through. Once it is ready, remove it from the oven, let it cool, carefully take it out of the loaf tin, and serve.

Why we like it: This is the classic vanilla loaf cake that we all know and love. With eggs, sugar, and all the other ingredients it needs in order to become fluffy and rich in taste and aroma. It is the recipe that we all know, trust, and love, and that is why we like it!

Why we would reconsider: Because we may not like the idea of using sunflower oil in our recipe, or want a dessert without the classic granulated sugar.

The Greek chef Akis Petretzikis makes a classic loaf cake in 6 different ways

#2 WITH BUTTER

The process: Preheat the oven to 170οC (340ο F) set to fan. In a bowl add 250 g all-purpose flour, 200 g granulated sugar, 15 g baking powder, a little salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla powder, and mix. In another bowl add 3 eggs, 150 g milk, 150 g melted butter, and whisk well. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk for 2-3 minutes, until homogenized. Transfer the mixture to a buttered and floured 10x30 cm loaf tin and bake the cake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until nicely golden and cooked through. Once it is ready, remove it from the oven, let it cool, carefully take it out of the loaf tin, and serve.

Why we like it: Because it has a strong buttery aroma and even richer taste.

Why we would reconsider: Because we may want a cake with less fat. Moreover, due to the addition of butter, our cake will not rise as much as it would if we used sunflower oil, while it will also become less juicy.

The Greek chef Akis Petretzikis makes a classic loaf cake in 6 different ways

#3 WITH OLIVE OIL

The process: Preheat the oven to 170οC (340ο F) set to fan. In a bowl add 250 g all-purpose flour, 200 g granulated sugar, 15 g baking powder, a little salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla powder, and mix. In another bowl add 3 eggs, 150 g milk, 150 g olive oil, and whisk well. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk for 2-3 minutes, until homogenized. Transfer the mixture to a buttered and floured 10x30 cm loaf tin and bake the cake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until nicely golden and cooked through. Once it is ready, remove it from the oven, let it cool, carefully take it out of the loaf tin, and serve.

Why we like it: Because we may prefer to use olive oil instead of butter or sunflower oil both in cooking and pastry cooking - purely for nutritional reasons.

Why we would reconsider: Because olive oil will make the taste of our cake more intense and heavier. It will also give it a darker look and a different texture.

The Greek chef Akis Petretzikis makes a classic loaf cake in 6 different ways

#4 WITH HONEY

The process: Preheat the oven to 170οC (340ο F) set to fan. In a bowl add 250 g all-purpose flour, 15 g baking powder, a little salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla powder, and mix. In another bowl add 3 eggs, 200 g honey, 150 g milk, 150 g sunflower oil, and whisk well. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk for 2-3 minutes, until homogenized. Transfer the mixture to a buttered and floured 10x30 cm loaf tin and bake the cake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until nicely golden and cooked through. Once it is ready, remove it from the oven, let it cool, carefully take it out of the loaf tin, and serve.

Why we like it: The addition of honey to the ingredients gives us a good result, while our cake stays juicy for days.

Why we would reconsider: Our cake, due to the honey, does not become so fluffy - on the contrary, it becomes much tighter.

The Greek chef Akis Petretzikis makes a classic loaf cake in 6 different ways

#5 WITH DARK BROWN SOFT SUGAR

The process: Preheat the oven to 170οC (340ο F) set to fan. In a bowl add 250 g all-purpose flour, 200 g dark brown soft sugar, 15 g baking powder, a little salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla powder, and mix. In another bowl add 3 eggs, 150 g milk, 150 g sunflower oil, and whisk well. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk for 2-3 minutes, until homogenized. Transfer the mixture to a buttered and floured 10x30 cm loaf tin and bake the cake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until nicely golden and cooked through. Once it is ready, remove it from the oven, let it cool, carefully take it out of the loaf tin, and serve.

Why we like it: This particular sugar helps us achieve a very good result, while our cake stays juicy for days.

Why we would reconsider: The dark brown soft sugar usually changes the color of our cake - giving us a darker result - while it does not let it rise as much as white granulated sugar does.

The Greek chef Akis Petretzikis makes a classic loaf cake in 6 different ways

#6 WITH STEVIA

The process: Preheat the oven to 170οC (340ο F) set to fan. In a bowl add 250 g all-purpose flour, 15 g granulated stevia 1:10, 15 g baking powder, a little salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla powder, and mix. In another bowl add 3 eggs, 150 g milk, 150 g olive oil, and whisk well. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk for 2-3 minutes, until homogenized. Transfer the mixture to a buttered and floured 10x30 cm loaf tin and bake the cake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until nicely golden and cooked through. Once it is ready, remove it from the oven, let it cool, carefully take it out of the loaf tin, and serve.

Why we like it: Because we do not want to use white granulated sugar.

Why we would reconsider: Because it does not give us such a good and tasty result, while it comes out drier than everything we mentioned above.

The Greek chef Akis Petretzikis makes a classic loaf cake in 6 different ways

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