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I realized that for steamed cake, the recipe calls for little or no oil. Why is this so? What will happen if I add more oil to the recipe?

The ingredients are:

  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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Please provide the full recipe to help get a quality answer. – SAJ14SAJ Jul 12 '13 at 12:12
I have moved the ingredients into the question, where people are more likely to see them. You can always edit your own question to clarify or correct. – SAJ14SAJ Jul 12 '13 at 16:09
There are many different types of "cake" in the narrow sense out there (sponge cake, angel cake and so on), and in the farther sense (including steamed cake) even more so. They rely on different techniques, some of them require oil, others will fail with oil. It is not strange at all to find a recipe without oil, and if you do, I would recommend sticking to it. Baking recipes are very sensitive to ingredients and techniques. – rumtscho Jul 13 '13 at 16:12

Most steamed cakes straddle the line between puddings or custards and cakes. In traditional cakes, oil would serve to tenderize and moisten the crumb of the cake. In a steamed cake, however, the moisture and tenderness are both addressed by the moist cooking method, lower temperature, and additional fats from the extra eggs. If you added more oil to the recipe than originally intended, it would most likely give the cakes a gummy or greasy texture.

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