pop quiz: i m sorry of the adhering to does not belonging in the group? Pumpkin bread, persimmon bread, banana bread, gingerbread, cornbread, rye bread, zucchini bread. (Hint: The correct answer has actually nothing to execute with fruits and vegetables.)

I to be all ready to say that the outlier on the perform is rye bread—the only loaf leavened v yeast (rather than baking flour or baking soda). I was going to say that the rye is a true bread and also the others space so dubbed “quick breads”—most that which are actually cakes (with lot of of sugar, butter or other fats, and also eggs) baked in bread pans. For backup, I confirm my 1990 execution of Joy the Cooking where you"ll find a chapter dubbed “Yeast Breads,” complied with by an additional called “Quick Breads," to wit:


Quick breads are so called since they are quickly mixed and, with the absence of yeast, require no an extensive rising time before baking…These breads encompass not just sweet and savory lump to serve as mealtime accompaniments or teatime temptations in lieu that yeasted breads, but additionally corn breads…, spoon breads, sweet morning coffee cakes, muffins, soft biscuits and…scones.

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Based ~ above this, I currently see how one can argue the yeast breads and quick breads are merely different varieties of bread. And also now, in the interests of transparency (and possible hilarity), I have to admit that I created this intro in the 1990 Joy that Cooking! In retrospect, ns surprised (actually, annoyed) that i didn’t talk about the difference between bread and cake, and allude out that countless quick breads space really cakes in wolves" clothing.


So ns went online, where confusion reigns. Some information is downright ridiculous, and also sources tend to quote every other. One source explains that the difference between bread and also cake is that cake is light and bread is dense—and this is why banana bread (dense) is bread while zucchini and carrot cakes (light) are cakes. Oy! This is an interesting observation around the textures of points that we bake in bread pans, yet it leader to a stunner definition.


“Hi there, it’s okay to disagree, but kindness is constantly appreciated here. :)I actually feel differently! Cakes space leavened by egg or leavening agents. And also while the way these ingredients communicate is certainly scientific, the terms the cookbooks and publications use to describe baked products aren’t scientific at all; they’re surname we’ve come up v over the years. And they can change over time, and I think that’s really interesting.”

I watch it native a baker’s allude of view: Cakes differ in structure from dense and moist to light and airy, through all type of structure in between. Those v a chop crumb the bake unique in a regular round or square cake pan regularly bake well (and do nice bread-shaped slices) in bread pans. Once we bake together a cake in a loaf pan, us sometimes call it bread (think banana bread, pumpkin bread). (By the way, loaf pans don’t job-related well because that cakes v lighter and more delicate sponge cakes, chiffon cakes, etc.—so bakers don’t use them for these kinds of cakes.) however does the use of a loaf pan revolve a cake into a bread? ns don’t think so.


therefore what"s the difference between bread matches cake?

For me, bread is mostly flour and water and requires yeast and also rising before baking. A couple of are sweet and/or rich (think brioche, Challah, panettone, stolen, babka), however most room not. Together such, if girlfriend ask me, quick breads (even the persons that space savory or simply not sweet) are not true breads at all. And also most the the sweet, affluent loaves that we speak to breads (like those in the quiz above) room actually cakes small in bread pans.


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Honestly, i don’t care if you call a loaf-shaped cake a bread; I just hope friend don’t in reality think that is one. Here’s how the issue came up for me recently:

A pair of weeks ago, ns stopped into Standard Fare Kitchen and also Pantry, a West Berkeley gem whereby you can enjoy a perfect salad, key dish, or snack served on heather pottery, and also eat them on a sidewalk bench in an commercial (okay, easy industrial) part of town. Ns was notified turmeric tea for my throat and inspecting the baked items on offer once I observed slices of something dark and moist and also laced with tiny black seeds and also labeled "Roasted Squash Bread."

"Is that really bread—or cake?" i inquired (because ns didn’t have actually my glasses on).

The young server’s answer to be super enthusiastic and also (because i was certain she understood the gift nature of mine question) virtually triumphant. “Bread!” she sang out.

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Bread or cake? photo by James Ransom ns was curious. Expecting a hearty and also interesting mix of whole-grain flours and also what-have-you, ns ordered a slice to re-superstructure and worked out on a bench with my pals. Well, of food it to be cake. That was additionally loaded v garam masala and also ginger and had a fine crunch indigenous poppy and also chia seeds. I delighted in it immensely, but could not let walk of the reality that the server walk not recognize that the usage of a bread pan does not actually change a cake right into bread—and the the exactly interpretation, therefore the correct answer come my inspection should have actually been "cake."


rapid breads (even the ones that room savory or just not sweet) room not true breads at all. And also most of the sweet, well-off loaves that we speak to breads space actually cakes baked in loaf pans.

My daughter was no present, yet she would have been proud that me for no going back into the cafe to lecture the server favor a cranky old lady, or even in the nicest feasible way. I didn’t. Yet I did spend a couple of hours developing my own version that roasted squash “bread” v a liberal lashing the garam masala, chia, and poppy seeds. The result is addictive. So right here is my homage to traditional Fare’s roasted squash "bread." Mine consists of buckwheat flour and is gluten-free and also entirely whole-grain, if you pick brown rice flour instead of white rice flour along with the buckwheat flour therein.


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8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
2 large cold egg
3/4 cup (120 grams) white or brown rice flour
1/3 cup (40 grams) buckwheat flour
1/2 tespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking flour
1 teaspoon soil garam masala
3/4 teaspoon soil ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use fine sea salt)
2 tablespoons (17 grams) poppy seed
1 tablespoon (10 grams) black chia seeds
3/4 cup (170 grams) roasted butternut squash, pureed or merely mashed till smooth (see Note)
8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
2 huge cold eggs
3/4 cup (120 grams) white or brown rice flour
1/3 cup (40 grams) buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon floor garam masala
3/4 teaspoon soil ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt (I usage fine sea salt)
2 tablespoons (17 grams) poppy seed
1 tablespoon (10 grams) black chia seed
3/4 cup (170 grams) roasted butternut squash, pureed or merely mashed until smooth (see Note)