Why Duff Goldman Leaves His Eggs Out Overnight

If you've ever wondered whether using room-temperature ingredients will impact the quality of your baked goods, wonder no more — because the simple answer is yes. Epicurious explains that baking cookies, cakes, breads, and pies is similar to constructing a building in that every ingredient plays a specific role, but the temperature of those ingredients can also play a crucial part in building better baked goods. No one knows this better than the Ace of Cakes, Duff Goldman.

Duff Goldman loves to spread the joy of baking and is known for his incredibly elaborate cakes. In fact, the lifelike R2-D2 cake he created with the Charm City Cakes crew (via Facebook) and the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"-inspired cake Goldman constructed for the movie premiere still inspire awe from fans (via Today). But whether Goldman is making a fantastic cake, his grandmother's strudel, or his favorite apple pie, he always leaves his eggs out overnight (via People) — and it's not hard to see why once you learn how temperature affects eggs in a bake.

Room-temperature eggs combat curdling

Most bakers know that room-temperature butter is easier to cream than a solid stick you pull out of the fridge, but eggs also need to be at room temperature when you are making a baked good. Duff Goldman told People, "If you know you'll be baking, place your eggs on the counter the night before. At room temperature, they won't seize up when mixed with the butter, and egg whites whip up fluffier."

On the flip side, adding cold eggs to other room-temperature ingredients can ruin the batter by causing the ingredients to separate or creating lumps. Cookbook author Stella Parks explained to Epicurious how a lumpy batter can impact your end product, saying, "Curdled cake batters tend to rise poorly, so the finished cake will be rather dense." Furthermore, Parks pointed out that when this happens, bakers often wind up with a domed top to their cake, along with "tunnels and holes." Using room-temperature eggs is an easy way to avoid these issues.

That said, there is some risk to leaving out eggs overnight as Goldman does. According to the Food and Drug Administration, eggs should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours due to bacteria growth. But if you want to get room-temperature eggs before you begin baking, King Arthur Baking suggests placing them in hot (but not burning hot!) water for about 10 minutes. This will warm your eggs to an appropriate temperature and help you make lump-free batter like the Ace of Cakes himself.