The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

'creaming' together suger and butter for cake

mikeofaustin's picture

'creaming' together suger and butter for cake

In 'baking across america', most of the cakes recipes start out with 'cream together 2 cups suger and 1 stick of butter. Am I crazy or is this a little difficult considering the massive amount of dry ingredients to butter. I mean, when I do it, I only get 'moistened' suger, that's still in granuals, only the granuals are now translusent because of the butter. Any 'creaming' effect would probably come from the mechanical heat generated that 'melts' the suger, from any further attempt at creaming....


Are the recipes bad or am I bad in the understanding???



PaddyL's picture

Before mixers, my mother used her Foley fork to cream the butter and sugar and it was quite a task.  You're supposed to cream until light and fluffy, and I find my KitchenAid does it remarkably well.  On the other hand, AmericasTestKitchen mixes the butter with the flour and then adds the sugar and they claim to have come up with the 'perfect' cake.  Mixing the butter and sugar may be a chore, but the sugar does dissolve into the butter eventually, and thousands upon thousands of household cooks in the past can't be all wrong.  Besides, sugar per se, is not considered a dry ingredient.

mikeofaustin's picture

Thanks.   Perhaps I'll just let it stand and let it eventually 'melt'.   (I forgot about the 'eventually' part.



MaryinHammondsport's picture

Mike, you will find everything you ever wanted to know about creaming together butter and sugar right here:

Plus all the other baking questions you were afraid to ask!

Not that we are not happy to help, but the Baking911 site is one every new baker should know about.  


mikeofaustin's picture

Thanks very much.   Per that site "Little do we know that it is one of the most important baking steps in the entire recipe"...

 Mine came out like a very dense pound cake...   good, but dense.


GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture

sit at room temp for an hour or two before you begin the process of putting the cake together.  A room temp butter will cream nicely with sugar whether you are using a mixer or doing the creaming by hand. 

For years, I dreaded baking a homemade cake, doing so would only guarantee a heavy, less than moist crumb.  After I received my KA mixer I learned the real secret to baking.  Whipping butter for five minutes before adding my sugar, followed by an additional two minute beating with the sugar, would prove the key to a successful start.  Adding my eggs and flavorings next, and incorporating the flour, milk or water within my final processes, has allowed me to trust that I can now build and bake a decent cake. 

And I so agree...the Baking911 site in invaluable; a great resource to bookmark! 

mikeofaustin's picture

I'm actually suprised that youtube has a lot of videos on this.

thanks everyone. Turns out, something I thought was a simple step, is actually quite important.

Yeast breads are much easier! !!


edit:   It's funny, but I keep seeing these videos with people with very 'large' sticks of butter, much bigger than the ones I get... then I realize that it's an illusion...  these peoples hands are much smaller than mine.  I'm a pretty big guy with big hands and a stick of butter is just a little bit larger than the width of my thumb.

  I kept asking myself, "where can I get butter that big".  lol.