Everyone likes a light and fluffy cake but baking one is not an that simple. If your cakes turn out heavy or dense read this post to find out what you’re doing wrong and never make the same mistake again.
Raise your hand if you’re a victim of dense, gluey, heavy cakes. Do I see lots of hands!? I’m assuming there are quite a few of you who struggle with baking light and fluffy cakes. Trust me I was one of you only a couple of years back. But a full year and a half of getting hands on experience by baking almost everyday has taught me lots of things that internet or any cookbook could never teach me. I’ve learnt some tricks and secrets that you can only learn the importance of once you screw up in the kitchen. So why are these secrets? Because although these “tricks” are common, none of the recipes really tell you how important they are and how seriously you’re supposed take them. I’ve tried recipes from all possible blogs and food websites but most of the times the recipes are designed for people who are pro at baking or at least are somewhat familiar to it so none of those recipes really stress on these steps enough, which results to us not taking them seriously enough. So here’s a list of things that you need to keep in mind the next time you bakes cakes, muffins or cupcakes.
Creaming butter and sugar to incorporate air
The best thing you can do for a cake is to incorporate enough air into by whisking butter and sugar together for atleast 4-5 minutes with an electric mixer or longer with a hand whisk. Yes, the number one secret to baking light and fluffy cakes is whisking sugar and butter together for really long, which is mostly the first step to all my original recipes. You will start off with greasy yellow butter but you should end with it looking pale yellow, almost white and fluffy because of all the air in it. This process is called creaming. I cannot stress this enough – whisk your butter and sugar and never ever skip this step, I know a lot of you guys do skip it, but seriously, don’t. I’ve really seen a massive change in my cakes since I’ve started started religiously creaming my butter and sugar for atleast 5 minutes with an electric whisk and yes I use a stop watch when I do this. You know that crumb that most good cakes have? Well, that’s because that cake was creamed properly. Like this one right here, notice how beautiful the crumb is.
Creaming is absolutely essential because when you whisk butter and sugar, you’re incorporating air into them, apart from helping it rise it also ensures that your cake is light in texture and over all feel.
Know when to ditch the mixer/whisk
A mixer or whisk is only good until you need to cream butter and sugar together but once that part is done, you can safely ditch it and grab your spatula or a wooden spoon. Why is that? Because if you don’t ditch your mixer at this point you may incorporate too much air in the batter which will in the end make your cake rise too much in the oven and sink as soon as you take it out, making the cake dense, gluey and really unappealing. Exact opposite of light and fluffy.
Don’t mix the batter, cut and fold it.
Using your spatula or wooden spoon is also tricky because what you need to do is not vigorously mix the batter but cut and fold it. If you don’t know the cut and fold method of mixing batter, watch this video. Why I insist on this method is because cutting and folding ensures that your ingredients mix together without you losing out on any of that air your created in the creaming method.
None of the recipes really talk about these steps because well, we don’t want to make the recipe look painfully long and scare you! But if you want to up your baking game, follow these steps and really notice the difference.