Special Feature

ALIF KITCHEN SERIES: Why you should get into oil-based cakes

by Lisa K. Photography FriedChillies on Sun, June 03, 2018

Nothing beats the first bite of a piece of scrumptious cake. But did you know some cakes are oil based instead of butter? Get into the wonderful world of oil-based cakes and its benefits.

Heart healthy cakes!

A typical cake is a sweet form of baked dessert which is best enjoyed in the afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee. More elaborate versions with icing or fondant are made for celebrations like birthdays and weddings. Cakes comes in endless varieties of flavours and decorations.

First things first, a good slice of cake should be tender and moist. The basic ingredients to make a cake are flour, eggs, sugar, leavening agent like baking soda or baking powder, liquids and fats in the form of margarine, butter or oil. Typically when one starts baking, it will be a butter based cake. This article is about getting you into the wonderful world of oil-based cakes.



When a recipe calls for the use of butter, it is usually used in the early stages of mixing where the butter and sugar is beaten till light and pale, followed by adding of eggs, liquids and dry ingredients. Oil based cakes on the other hand is much simpler. Wet and dry ingredients are mixed respectively, then combined together and baked. Simple as that.

Oil based cakes are much simpler to make.

What is the difference from the use or butter and oil? Most butter-based cake is richer in flavour because of the existence of milk solids and natural fats. Once it is chilled, it needs to come down to room temperature before serving because butter solidifies in cold temperatures. Butter-based cakes can be quite dry with a higher change of failure because of incorrect ingredients, over beating and temperature issues. Most novice bakers’ cakes are either dense or domed after baking.

Minimal dome effect for oil based cakes.

Oil base cakes tend to be more forgiving because when oil coats the flour, it forms a protective layer and minimizes the development of gluten during mixing. Which results in softer and tenderer cakes. Plus it doesn’t dome quite easily after baking. However because of the lack of gluten development, it crumbles quite easily, which makes it harder to cut out a perfect slice.

A good cooking oil like Minyak Alif is great for baking as well.

The best types of oils used for cakes are sunflower oils, corn oils and vegetables oils like Minyak Alif because these are all neutral and flavourless oils. It is great for baking because it doesn’t alter the taste and aroma of the end product.

Miyak Alif is rich in vitamin E and is more heart-healthy because it is mostly unsaturated fats, plus it is great for vegans and people with lactose intolerance. A lot of vegetable and citrus cakes use oil. It gives a better texture and a little lighter too.

So the next time you’re in the mood for baking a cake, try an oil based cake like Carrot Cake which always uses oil. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is!

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