Over centuries, Europeans have prepared – and eaten – a cake on every celebration. Good Rich Life takes a look and pays tribute to 10 of the most loved cakes most adored across Europe.
For centuries and beyond, Europeans have been blessed with the art of baking – in particular, of preparing and consuming all types of cakes, for any celebration.
Starting out, like most decadence, quality bakes have been the pleasure of the elites in the Middle Ages. However, as societal discriminations faded out, cakes found its place in almost every household and rapidly outspread across every direction of the continent, bringing us to the point today where practically every individual in the content eats at least one slice every day.
Of the numerous different bakes that Europeans call its own, here are the continent’s 10 most beloved desserts.
The most sought after cake across Europe. A favourite in France, Italy and Belgium. Apparently, there is immense love for this rich coffee-flavoured Italian classic. Tiramisu is primarily made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa.
Although not essential, tiramisu may contain alcohol in some cases.
The pricey mascarpone cheese is the reason why tiramisu is expensive.
The creamy and irresistible cheesecake is the second most popular cake, a favourite in the Czech Republic and Greece.
This delicious sweet dessert consists of one or more layers. The main and the thickest layer consists of a blend of soft fresh cheese, eggs and sugar. The second or bottom layer is made up of a crust or base prepared using mashed cookies, graham crackers, pastry or sometimes sponge cake.
Among the valued ingredients of cheesecake, cream cheese sits at the top of the list!
A muffin is an individual-sized, baked product. It can refer to two distinct items – a part-raised flatbread that is baked and then cooked on a griddle and a cupcake-like quickbread that is chemically leavened and then baked in a mould. Read more
Blueberry and banana chocolate chip crumb are some of the most favourite muffins among Europeans.
Unfortunately, muffins have a bad reputation of being very high in calories, fat and sugar.
The iconic cupcake is a staple at any get together. A whopping number of people relish these tiny treats every month across Europe. Many even look to make them every month and that’s why the online searches for cupcake recipe are very high (90,500).
Although quite similar, the mixing process and the consistency of the batter distinguishes cupcakes from muffins. For cupcakes, a smooth and fluffy batter is prepared by creaming the butter and sugar together. The batter for Muffin, on the other hand, is beaten briefly and remains relatively grainy.
Polish people like their cakes close to home – the Easter delight Mazurek is preferred by almost everyone in Poland. In some regions, it is also prepared at Christmas and during the holiday season.
If you like peanut butter and chocolate, you will love Mazurek. It is a flat cake made with yeast or non-yeast doughs and topped with any combination of almond paste, preserves, dried fruits, nuts, meringues, and more.
Mazurek, which is the archaic feminine Mazurkowa for “wife”, is one of the most common surnames in Poland. Mazurek is often referred to as Easter shortcake.
6) Carrot Cake
Spain’s favourite is carrot cake! A hell lot of Spaniard relish this delicious dessert every month. This polarising dessert is so good that it even trumped the likes of cheesecake, tiramisu and even tocino de cielo (a Spanish classic) to become the nation’s favourite.
It primarily contains carrots that are mixed into the batter. Most modern carrot cake recipes have a white cream cheese frosting. Usually, it’s deeply moist and is also filled with toasted pecans.
7) Chocolate Cake
Chocolate cake or chocolate gâteau (from French: gâteau au chocolat) is a cake flavoured with melted chocolate, cocoa powder, or both.
Chocolate cake is a favourite of almost everyone because it is so delicious. It has been the most popular cake since Pillsbury introduced the flavour in 1948.
Focusing on the UK, Brits’ all-time favourite cake is chocolate. The UK’s overwhelming love for chocolate, or anything sweet for that matter, 74,000 Brits look to take this love further each month, by Googling ‘chocolate cake recipe’.
Chocolate cake is good for the heart and blood circulation. It is also good for skin and heart. Chocolate cake is known for reducing bad cholesterol and risk of stroke.
8) Red Velvet cake
Traditionally a red, red-brown, crimson or scarlet-coloured chocolate layer cake, layered with ermine icing, red velvet cake is a hot favourite among millions. The ingredients include buttermilk, butter, cocoa, vinegar, and flour. Traditional recipes do not use food colouring. The red colour is chiefly due to non-Dutched, anthocyanin-rich cocoa.
Red velvet cake has an acidic taste that is because of the use of buttermilk and vinegar, as well as the cream cheese in the frosting.
Named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, Brits have a lot of love for this meringue-based dessert. In fact, 40,500 Brits google this meringue-based delicacy every month.
This scrumptious dessert comes with a crisp crust and soft, light inside, usually topped with fruit and whipped cream.
Arguably, this dessert has been created in honour of Anna Pavlova either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations since then.
Panettone is a dry, cake-like sweet bread that originated in Milan, Italy in the 1500s. It started off as a “luxury cake” that was only for religious occasions.
Panettone is usually prepared and enjoyed during Christmas and New Year in Western, Southern, and Southeastern Europe.
Traditionally, panettone is consumed during breakfast, so you can have it in the morning with a cup of coffee. Once you have a good slice, heat it in the oven for 5-10 minutes, and then eat it in a small plate using a fork and knife.
Panettone is quite expensive because it takes so much time and skill to prepare one. A traditional, hand-made panettone costs 25 euros or more per kilo.
The brownie’s debatable status as a cake made us remove it from the list. However, they deserve a special mention as we were amused to discover that many Brits are looking for some fun amidst these difficult times, as hash brownies have a considerably high Google searches per month!
Cover photo by Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash