Chocolate cakes and brownies are two of the most popular American desserts. After all, chocolate on chocolate? Count us in! But too often, I get the question: what are the differences between chocolate cakes and brownies? Well friends, ask no more! Here, we’ve dissect all the major differences between a chocolate cake and a brownie – and what makes each one delicious in its own way!
The Different Ingredients in a Chocolate Cake and a Brownie
Taking a look at the ingredients that make up chocolate cakes and brownies, the main difference really comes down to the use of leavening agent. While both chocolate cake and brownie recipes typically feature flour, sugar, butter or oil, and eggs, cake recipes usually call for more baking powder and/or baking soda than brownie recipes do. In fact, many brownie recipes call for very little or no rising agent at all. This factor, combined with the different concentration of flour, sugar, and butter/oil, is what makes brownies so thick and dense!
The Texture Difference Between a Chocolate Cake and a Brownie
Go ahead: bite into a piece of brownie, then bite into a piece of chocolate cake. It won’t take you long to realize that there’s a big difference in texture in each one! Usually, chocolate cakes are fluffier, more “airy,” and more refined in texture. On the other hand, think of brownies as the in-between of a cake and a cookie: thicker, denser, and chewier!
The Different Presentations of Chocolate Cakes and Brownies
Traditional brownies are usually made into a rectangular, even layer of thick chocolate goodness that are then cut into square bars. This presentation is also true for blondies, the vanilla version of brownies! They are not usually decorated, and are best appreciated for its bare, crackly top!
In contrast, while you may be able to find a plain cake these days, you’ll more easily find cakes frosted with icing. Cakes can feature a simple frosting (like a classic white buttercream frosting) or decorated with complex designs (think multi-tiered or rainbow cakes). As such, they are often more colorful, more decorated, and overall more eye-catching than brownies! Because of this, cakes are known to be the traditional “dessert of choice” for celebratory events like birthdays, weddings, and more.
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