Components of a Cake

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A cake is made by putting together many different layers.

A cake doesn’t need to have all of the layers to be considered a cake.

The cake base, syrup, and garnish are all optional components for a cake.

A cake needs at minimum the cake, filling, and coating.

Components of a Cake

Cake Base

Not all cakes have a cake base, but cakes with multiple layers do have cake bases.

Cake bases are sturdy and crispy to hold all of the layers on top of it.

It also makes the cake easier to cut having a stable base to cut through.

Components of a Cake


The cake itself is the spongy part of the cake.

The cake is made by mixing dry and liquid ingredients, and folding them together gently.

Cake layers should not be overmixed.

They should be only mixed until just combined so it can have those puffy air pockets which creates a light, bouncy cake layer.


Syrup is infused into the spongy cake, and therefore absorbs the flavor.

This works especially well for infusing alcohol flavors as well (amaretto, bailey’s, etc.) into cake.

The alchohol is absorbed by the cake, without having to put the flavoring directly into the cake layers.


The filling of the cake adds more flavoring to the cake in between the layers.

A filling can be made of anything from custard to jam to place in between your cake layers.

  • curd
  • custard
  • mousse
  • pastry cream
  • jam
  • panna cotta
Components of a Cake


The coating of the cake is the outer layer of what encases the cake.

The coating will fully cover the cake in a layer of sweetness.

  • buttercream
  • chocolate ganache
  • mirror glaze
  • glaze


Decorations for cakes can be made out of many different foods, like buttercream.

Buttercream has a sturdy texture and therefore works well for piping unique designs like stars, leaves, etc.