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How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract

by |
author image Meg Campbell
Based just outside Chicago, Meg Campbell has worked in the fitness industry since 1997. She’s been writing health-related articles since 2010, focusing primarily on diet and nutrition. Campbell divides her time between her hometown and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Baking powder is a leavening agent that helps cakes rise. Cakes that don’t call for baking powder, or some other leavening agent, are typically cheese- or milk-based. Cheesecake doesn’t require baking powder, but many cheesecake recipes call for vanilla extract. Likewise, a well-made angel food cake gets its lightness from multiple flour and sugar siftings rather than from a leavening agent, but it too calls for vanilla extract. Some nontraditional cakes, such as the sweet rice and potato cakes prevalent in Asian cultures, don’t use baking powder or vanilla extract. To bake a quick, classic cake without baking powder, use self-rising flour.

Creamy Coconut Cake

Step 1

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Grease the bottoms and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans with unsalted butter. Dust the buttered pans lightly and thoroughly with flour. Flip each pan and gently tap out any extra flour.

Step 2

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Wash and dry one lime. Finely zest the entire peel into a small bowl.

Step 4

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Beat together 3/4 cup unsalted, room-temperature butter, 3 tablespoons room-temperature creamed coconut, 3/4 cup superfine sugar and the lime zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Mix until pale and creamy.

Step 5

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Beat in the 3 eggs, one at a time.

Step 6

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Pour 1 cup self-rising flour into a sifter, and sift it over the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Fold the sifted flour in gently.

Step 7

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Stir 3/4 cup shredded coconut into the batter with a wooden spoon.

Step 8

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Transfer the batter to the prepared pans in equal portions. Use the back of the wooden spoon to spread it evenly.

Step 9

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Set the pans on the oven’s center rack. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.

Step 10

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Let the cakes cool in their pans for about 10 minutes before carefully turning them out onto the cooling racks.

Zesty Cream Cheese Frosting

Step 1

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Beat together 8 ounces room-temperature cream cheese, 1/2 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined.

Step 2

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Place one completely cooled cake on a large plate. Spread slightly less than half of the frosting across the top and down the sides of the layer.

Step 3

How to Bake a Quick Cake Without Baking Powder or Vanilla Extract
Photo Credit Alan Bartlett/Demand Media

Center the second fully cooled cake on top of the first and cover it with the remaining frosting.

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