It is as simple as this; all cakes are pastry, but all pastries are not cakes. Both cakes and pastry are made from the same base, but the added ingredients differ thus helping us make the distinction. Another key difference that is explored in this article is the size and shape of the two. In most circumstances, the size and shape of the cake remain almost the same; although we do realise that the interior of the cake can be very different to other cakes but the general shape has always been a circle. There are some variations to this notion, as some bakers prefer to bake a rectangular or square shaped cake.
The reason why the cake is circular is due to the even distribution of heat that is felt in a circular dimension when compared to cakes that are box-like in nature. On the other hand, the size and shape of different pastries vary greatly; it entirely depends on the recipe and the ingredients that have gone into the creation of the pastry. A person who is dabbling in the creation of pastries will have a portfolio that contains a number of baked goods and sweets while a professional cake maker will only dabble in the types of cakes that are being created.
The other major difference is that some pastries are known to be savoury in nature, but this cannot be said about cakes, which are almost always sweet in nature. There is a lot more room to explore and innovate in pastries when compared to cakes, where the recipe and the outcome is set in stone. Pastries can be made from a number of different base products while the cake always has a basic list of components in its profile; this is seen even in multi-layered cakes.
Cakes are almost always baked in an oven at a specific temperature but pastries, on the other hand, can either be baked or fried. So when it comes to cooking techniques, the cake doesn’t have much room to work with and require the presence of an oven to be baked in but a pastry, on the other hand, can be baked in certain circumstances and there are certain pastries that can only be produced if they are fried to high temperatures.
We believe that there shouldn’t be a war between cakes and pastries, they are too yum to be figuring out what the differences are. But for the sake of the argument, we believe that pastries give you a wider role to play while cakes may restrict in terms of exploration and innovation.