I have eaten some home made cakes which never had any icings, they still tasted brilliant.
What are those cakes called which don't need an icing on them? I heard they are called "Sponge cakes". Is that correct?

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    This question is way too vague to allow for a meaningful answer. You need to describe exactly what the cake looked and tasted like, and maybe where you got it. – FuzzyChef Feb 13 '12 at 3:38
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    Any cake that is sufficiently tasty and moist can do without icing - I've seen more good cakes ruined by too much icing than the other way around. I agree with @FuzzyChef, if you're looking a specific kind of cake we need more details. If you want to know what cakes don't have to be iced, the answer is 'any that doesn't need it'. – rfusca Feb 13 '12 at 3:52
  • @FuzzyChef and rfusca, so they aren't called anything specially? Okay. Perhaps sponge cakes are something else? Close vote from me. – Aquarius_Girl Feb 13 '12 at 11:08
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    @Caleb That isn't the question here. – Aquarius_Girl Feb 13 '12 at 11:50
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    I find the question good enough to answer. While the English speakers here might find it self-explanatory that "a cake without the icing is a cake", other languages have different categorization of cakes, so somebody not familiar with English baking terms can easily assume that there should be such a word in English. – rumtscho Feb 13 '12 at 12:34

In English, all cakes are called just cake, no matter if iced or not. Sponge cake is a name for a cake made from a specific type of batter - it consists of one part fat, one part egg, one part sugar, and one part flour, made by creaming the fat and sugar (without creaming, a batter from the same proportions is called pound cake). You can make other types of cake - angel food cake, chiffon, genoise, etc - and not add icing, they are differentiated by the type of batter only.

In other languages, there is a difference. In German, the ones without icing are called "Kuchen", and the ones with icing are called "Torte" (and usually seen as a subset of Kuchen"). But in German, a pie is also considered a type of "Kuchen", so this is more of an umbrella term, even though the standard thing someone pictures upon hearing the word "Kuchen" is some kind of iceless cake, usually on the lines of a marbled Gugglehupf. But in English, there is no special term for a cake without the icing.

  • That's a very beautiful answer. I thought that was a stupid question. – Aquarius_Girl Feb 13 '12 at 13:00
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    +1 for getting at the heart of the issue - terminology seems "obvious" to people who grew up with it, when it may not make any sense to someone who grew up with different terminology or categories for the same items. – Sam Ley Feb 13 '12 at 18:25
  • As a native speaker of German I can't verify the fact that every cake with icing is a Torte but apart from that: good answer. – Umbranus Oct 10 '16 at 14:00

It's called Cake

Cake with icing is called "iced cake". Iced cake is mostly a modern aberration, and a "normalisation of party food"*

* a common trend often linked to the expanding waistlines of today

  • There is no special name for those which aren't supposed to be iced? – Aquarius_Girl Feb 13 '12 at 11:09
  • Coffee cakes typically are non-iced as well as many bundt cakes which I suppose you could argue are one in the same. Pound cakes, Twinkies (which have the icing in the middle instead and are a form of sponge cake), fruit cakes etc etc etc. all void of icing yet with distinct names of their own. The list really could be quite long if we do enough research. – Chef Flambe Feb 15 '12 at 2:21

In my house we call it "plain cake"

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