Butter or Margarine For Cake?
Which is better - butter or margarine for a cake? Find out what we use...
For The Sponge
There has always been a lot of debate about whether it is better to use butter or margarine when making the perfect sponge cake – some even use oil instead as their choice of fat. Butter can give a great flavour to cakes and coats the proteins and starches during the mixing step and results in a more delicate crumb. It also impacts richness and flavour.
If you are using margarine in baking instead it is essential to choose one with a high fat content as low fat spreads tend to have a higher percentage of water which evaporates and can cause layers to bind together. High quality and high fat margarine can actually produce a lighter cake with a better rise than butter can – butter can also make sponge cakes a bit too rich.
We have tried both butter and margaine in our sponge cakes and found everytime that margarine was far superior on taste, texture and the rise of the cake. We use a special blend of margarines which we think gives our cakes their signature taste.
For The Buttercream
For the buttercream it is a completely different story – only real butter will do!
Butter is created through the action of churning cream, separating the solid from the buttermilk. Farmers in the past needed to churn their butter by hand, and some farmers still choose to do this. Although there are now industrial sized machines that do all hard work.
We found that real butter makes a much silkier, firmer and thicker buttercream which is perfect to hold our cakes together and spread on top. We are well known for our generous layer of buttercream in the middle of our sponge cakes (we think it’s one of the best parts!). Whether it’s a plain vanilla buttercream, a sweet strawberry buttercream or a boozy thick buttercream they are all made with real butter and complement our sponge cakes perfectly.
Through trial and error we decided to use a blend of salted and unsalted butter in our buttercream recipe as we found together they created the perfect flavour – the salted version brings out the flavours in the sponge and the unsalted makes sure that the icing isn’t too overpowering – no one wants a buttercream that’s too salty!
We source all our buter from British farmers to ensure we get a good quality butter. We try to get all our ingredients as locally as possible and all from within the UK to support local farmers and British companies. As well as our butter we source our margarines, free range eggs, flour, sugar and any additional ingredients we use from local companies as much as possible to try and reduce our carbon footprint and maintain high levels of quality.
The once excpetion to this is our Vegan cakes which don’t contain any animal or dairy products. They were more of a challenege to get right but using a combination of plant-based butters we were able to achieve a great vegan sponge. The biggest challenge was the vegan buttercream as plant-based butters can have a high-water content which can cause issues when trying to create a thick buttercream – but with some tricks up our sleeves we were able to crack it and we think our vegan buttercream is top notch!