Do you still buy cakes from the store now? Do you want to experience the fun of making cakes yourself? Making your own cake is completely feasible for the family baker. If you have just started, we will provide you with some good tips and proper recipes! The classic butter cake comes directly from your own oven,What better than this?
Creaming Butter and Sugar
Want light, fluffy cakes with a tender crumb? This first step is an important one that should not be overlooked. When mixing together softened butter and sugar, air is forced into the mixture to help aerate the batter and, when baked, assists in leavening the cake. The paddle or blades of your mixer help incorporate air to lighten the butter. At the same time, the edges of the sugar granules cut into butter. This also makes for a more evenly mixed cake batter.
Creaming takes about three to five minutes at medium to medium-high speed. In the end, the mixture will be light, fluffy, and pale in color. Be sure to take your time here, because once you start adding in more ingredients, you cannot go back.
Although important, creaming butter and sugar really is not all that difficult or scary. If you are using a stand mixer, let it do the work for you. If using a hand mixer, watch as the butter and sugar cream together to make beautiful ribbons of batter. It really can be quite pretty and fun. Just be sure to start with softened butter! Omega Profile
The Role of Eggs in a Cake
After the butter and sugar are creamed together, it is time to add the eggs. Add the eggs in one at a time to give them a chance to emulsify into the batter.
You may add the eggs while the mixer is running on low to further incorporate them. The eggs should be room temperature to create smoother, more homogenous batter — if the eggs are cold, the batter may appear curdled.
Alternating the Flour and Milk
Alternate adding the remaining dry ingredients with the wet. This way, the batter better absorbs all of the liquids without having to overmix the dry ingredients (more on this in a bit!).
To start, make sure your flour, baking powder, and salt are sifted together. With the mixer on low (you don’t want flour flying everywhere), add in half the flour mixture. Continue to mix until the last streaks of flour begin to disappear. With the mixer still running, stream in the milk. Now is a good time to add the vanilla extract, too. Once the milk is mostly absorbed, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Turn the mixer back on to low speed, and add in the remaining dry ingredients. Once they begin to incorporate, bump up the mixer to medium. Only mix the batter together until it is smooth and the last visible bits of flour disappear. It is important not to overmix your batter or the cake may turn out dense, dry, and with “tunnels” running through the crumb. If you want some extra insurance, stop the mixer while there are still a few streaks of flour remaining and mix the rest of the way by hand with a rubber spatula. This way also makes sure that no dry pockets are left at the bottom of the bowl.
Is It Done Baking?
It’s important to remind you that putting cake batter together is not a simple matter, so it’s a good idea to know what to look for when making sure your cake is properly baked. In addition to the time you need to pay attention to, here are some other indicators to get your cake done:
- A cake is fully baked when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, or with a few dry crumbs. If the toothpick appears wet with batter, then the cake is not done baking. Try baking for another few minutes before checking again.
- When done, the surface of the cake should spring back after being gently pressed with a fingertip.
- In some cases, the sides of the cake will start to pull away from the pan when done. Be careful, though — if the cake shrinks too much, then it might be on it’s way to being overbaked.
Do the above, you still have to wait 15 minutes or so, until the cake and pan are cool enough to handle, then remove the cake from the pan. If the cake is hot, if you try to move it, it may break into pieces.
Let the cakes completely cool before trimming, cutting, or frosting. A chilled cake is much easier to cut and leaves less crumbs behind.