How Creaming The Butter Will Impact Your Cake

It's easy to stereotype baking as the work of grandparents in their cozy kitchens, mixing, sifting, and folding recipes for their families that have been passed down through the generations. Though that reality is true for many of us, the processes that occur during baking are more scientific and clinical in nature than the settings in which they occur.

According to "The Great British Bakeoff" competitor Rahul Mandal, who spoke to Physics World, each baking recipe is essentially a well-designed science experiment with reasons behind every step based on the chemical process each aims to create. When baking a cake, in particular, there are many different variables that can affect the final texture and taste of your cake. If you focus specifically on the spectrum of possible textures, there's one ingredient in particular that, depending on how it's tinkered with, can affect the density of your cake. 

Butter is a key detail to focus on when considering the texture of your cake experiment, and creaming it is a really good idea if you want to produce an airy sponge, per Good Housekeeping.

Creaming the butter longer will make your cake fluffier

Good Housekeeping explains that creaming the butter means mixing it thoroughly with the sugar. It might sounds like a no-brainer, but the length of time you spend on this step will directly affect how dense or light your cake will turn out. 

The longer you mix the butter and sugar, the more air will be added to it, per Taste of Home, and more trapped air equals more resulting fluffiness in your baked cake. You may be tempted to shorten the creaming time if your recipe calls for five minutes of beating or longer, but don't. Remember, baking is a science and everything in your recipe is exact for a reason.

Good Housekeeping suggests using an electric mixer to cream your butter because of its effectiveness in trapping the most air. Taste of Home recommends using room temperature butter and setting your electric mixer to its highest speed so the butter is easier to mix.

If you're aiming to concoct magically light cakes, don't forget to cream your butter thoroughly.