Whether you're making chocolate chip cookies or a birthday cake, chances are you might come across the directions "cream butter" at some point in the recipe. For those who are just starting off in the world of baking, this can be confusing and ambiguous. Does it mean to mix the butter until it's creamy? Here's everything to know about how to cream butter!
Although you could take a chance and just mix the butter until creamy, it's best to know exactly what a recipe means when baking. Creaming butter is an important step of many recipes, and it's typically creamed with sugar.
When a recipe says to cream butter, it's asking you to mix the butter and sugar together until fully integrated. This method also creates a fluffy texture by incorporating more air pockets into your batter, which will lead to light, fluffy cookies and cakes.
Although it's easiest to cream butter using an electric mixer or hand mixer, it's totally doable by hand if that's your only option. No matter how you cream it, it's best to use softened butter that's been sitting at room temperature for awhile, as cold butter will be much harder to mix in.
However, you don't want melted butter either, which will result in air bubbles that lead to a soggy baked good. Here are step-by-step instructions for creaming butter!
How to Cream Butter With a Mixer
Start off by gathering your ingredients- room temperature butter and sugar. Although most recipes call for white sugar, some will call for creaming butter and brown sugar.
Put your butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and use the paddle attachment of your stand mixer or hand-held mixer. Beat at medium speed to high speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
Stop at least once to use a rubber spatula to scrape off any butter stuck on the sides of the bowl, ensuring that it all gets mixed into the butter-sugar mixture.
Continue mixing until your butter is fully blended, fluffy and pale yellow, with no sugar or butter chunks. Once you have fluffy creamed butter, however, make sure to stop mixing. If you overmix, the butter will separate from the mixture. Once you have a blended, pale yellow mixture, you're good to go and ready to make a delicious baked good!
Creaming Butter By Hand
If you don't have an electric beater or mixer, creaming butter is easy to do by hand as well. First, cut the butter into small pieces, making it easier to combine with the sugar.
Place your softened butter and sugar into the bowl, and use the tines of a fork to press the butter and sugar together. Then, use a wooden spoon to beat the butter and sugar together, mixing until fully combined.
Don't forget to scrape the sides of the bowl to get all the butter! Once the mixture is fully combined, pale yellow and fluffy, you're all set. This takes about five minutes, depending on how much you're creaming and how fast you can mix.
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