Baking with your bread machine can be quick, easy, and rewarding. There’s no yeast, no timings, and not much washing up – why not give it a try?
About Bread Machine BakingCakes and ‘quick breads’ are leavened with baking powder or bicarbonate of soda, rather than yeast. This means they’re less time-consuming than bread making: the Cake cycle in your bread machine will run for between 60 and 90 minutes, during which the machine will beat and bake your cake. The low heat it’s baked at means that the leavener gets to work more slowly, producing gentle, small bubbles of air in the cake batter. You may find that cakes are a bit more dense than their oven-baked counterparts – but just as moist. Another advantage of using the bread machine to bake your cake is that the machine will use a lot less energy than the oven.
Here are some tips for successful baking in your breadmaker:
- Check the mixture is blended. About five minutes into the mixing part of the cake cycle, open the lid and make sure there are no stray lumps of flour or butter clinging to the sides of the pan. Scrape everything in using a wooden spoon or plastic spatula.
- Cold butter may not be properly incorporated, so make sure it’s really soft when it goes in (or melted). Recipes that call for oil are better in this respect, as they’ll ensure good fat distribution.
- Don’t use your regular bread flour to make cakes – it’s got too much gluten, which will produce a tough batter. Choose plain (baking) flour.
- To check for doneness, stick a skewer into the cake – it’s ready when it comes out clean.
- To add richness to the finished cake, spike holes all over with a skewer, and pour over a glaze of lemon or orange juice mixed with Icing Sugar.
Lemon Yoghurt Cake
This cake gets its moisture from olive oil and yoghurt, producing a damp cake that’s easier on your waistline!
- 150g plain flour, sifted
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 150g caster sugar
- 3tbsp poppy seeds
- Zest of one unwaxed lemon
- 3 eggs
- 100ml olive oil
- 100ml plain yoghurt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3tbsp icing sugar, sifted
Sift the flour and baking powder together into the breadmaker tin. Weigh the caster sugar, then add the poppy seeds and lemon zest to the scale basin and rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingers. Tip the sugar mixture into the breadmaker tin.
In a jug or mug, beat the eggs with the yoghurt. Add this, plus the olive oil and a pinch of salt, to the breadmaker tin.
Set to the Cake cycle. While it’s baking, sift the icing sugar into the lemon juice, stir to dissolve, and set aside. When the machine beeps, open the lid and check the cake – it should be lightly golden. Stick in a skewer – if it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
Without removing it from the tin, poke holes all over the cake, and drizzle the glaze over it carefully, trying to get it to go into the holes as well as down the sides. The glaze will soak into the cake as it cools. Serve at room temperature.
Using Your Oven
For everything you need to know about conventional ovens, read our Ovens and Microwave Troubleshooting Guide.