Cakes often inspire happiness in people, and their sweetness can cure depression, even just for a bit. But in this globalized world of ours, there are over a thousand varieties. This makes us wonder which are the very best? CNN tried answering that age-old question and presented 17 different cakes from around the world. Of course, this includes Germany’s famous chocolate and cherry concoction, the Black Forest cake.

Usually, cakes use low-protein flour like cake flour or 3rd-class flour, but there are a few exceptions as presented in CNN’s list, including the USA’s cheesecake, which many chefs technically count as a pie, and not a cake. There’s also Turkey’s Baklava, which many chefs say is a different kind of pastry.

But there is one cake that many anime fans are familiar with, and that’s Japan’s Dorayaki. Considered Doraemon’s favorite dish, Dorayaki is actually two layers of Castella sponge cake held together with sweet anko (red bean) filling. Legend says that an elderly couple invented the dish with pancakes cooked on a gong left by an injured samurai they tended to during the Edo era.

There’s also another cake that our Singaporean and Malaysian readers are familiar with, the Pandan Cake. This green-colored and pandan-infused chiffon cake is both fluffy and aromatic. They also recommended Pine Garden’s Cake and Bengawan Solo cake shop to sell the best ones.

CNN also included Indonesia’s Lapis Legit, which is 18 layers of sponge cake layered together and then compressed. As Indonesians love spices, the cake also layers in some flavors like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Making the cake is quite an arduous task, but the finished product should be sweet, moist and firm. Basically, it’s a western-style cake with a South-east Asian twist! CNN mentions that creator Harlie Lapis Legit takes orders not only from Indonesia but Singapore and Malaysia as well.

CNN only mentioned 17 cakes, so we felt that there are a few missing in their list of best cakes in the world. Since their definition of “cake” is a bit broad, we are adding Japan’s mizu shingen mochi, or water cake, to the list. The famous water cake is soft, fluffy and melts in your mouth. The cake is actually made of nothing but water, and is a popular treat for dieters. Though you better eat it quick, because it can only retain its shape for about 30 minutes!

We’re also mentioning the Philippines’ very own Sans Rival. This Filipino cake is made from crushed cashew nuts and layered with lush buttercream. It is a marriage of the Philippines’ local ingredients and Spanish heritage. The cake also spawned a smaller version called the Sylvannas. It’s so popular in the Philippines that it even inspired a unique McDonald’s McFlurry flavour.

And speaking of the Philippines, there’s also the ube cake, which is basically purple yam cake. The cake comprises usually of purple yam-flavored sponge and an icing infused with ube halaya, a local dessert which is a jam made from mashed purple yam. Variants often add macapuno, a local sweetened coconut dish.

And then there’s the durian cake, which can be found in many parts of Southeast Asia. While it may not be for everyone, as I know a few people who hate durian, but we sure do love it!

Any other cakes which you think should make the list? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

source: CNN, images via Goldilocks Philippines and Epicure Magazine