How To Cream Butter

Creaming in baking refers to the technique of beating butter or shortening and caster or icing sugar together until fluffy, lemon white in colour and increased in volume due to the incorporation of tiny air bubbles. These bubbles stay in batter and enlarge the cakes with the help of a certain amount of leaving agents such as baking powder or baking soda. Poorly creamed butter can result in cakes or cookies that are disappointedly coarse and dense. The traditional fat used for creaming is real butter, but vegetable shortening is the most effective to work with. Never melt the fat to soften.

110 g Unsalted butter
220 g Caster sugar

  1. To cream butter and sugar properly, begin with the butter of right temperature. Butter that is too cold and it is difficult to work with and won’t blend with sugar. Too warm, it won’t held the air bubbles at all. To cream effectively, 18C/65F is the ideal temperature. Measure with a temperature thermometer or lightly press the block of butter with the index finger and it bents slightly, it is ready to be creamed. Make sure your mixing bowl is at room temperature too. I usually dice the butter directly out of the fridge and allow them to sit for 5 minutes to reach the right temperature. Meanwhile I go ahead with other instructions called in the recipes, such as sifting the flour or greasing the baking pan. Another important influencing point is the ratio of butter to sugar quantity. The general ratio for creaming is half as much butter as sugar.
  2. For a smooth textured cake, fine white sugar (or brown or a combination) will apply in the recipe. When creaming butter by hand, use a wooden spoon as it holds the butter best and keeps it from sliding around the bowl. While it is possible to cream butter and sugar by hand, it is much faster and easier to use an electric mixer. In this step, we add sugar gradually at the side of the bowl while mixing, beating thoroughly after each addition. When using an electric mixer, it is important to start at low speed first to combine all the ingredients, then switch to medium speed to beat sugar and butter until the mixture fluffy and pale. Stop to scrape the bowl down periodically to make sure everything is thoroughly combined, about 5 minutes. If you have patience and time, then add sugar one tablespoon at a time, the whole process should take 8-10 minutes. It is important not to beat any more than absolutely necessary as it will just diminish its strength o hold the air bubbles. Any extracts can be added in this step.
  3. The creamed mixture is suitable for making creamed cakes or cookies and it should be used immediately because you don't want the butter in the creamed mixture to soften and the beaten air pockets to disappear. After creaming, room-temperature eggs usually will be required to beat in for optimal volume and for a smooth texture because the lecithin in yolks acting as a perfect emulsifier.


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