The creaming method is one of the most widely used methods of mixing cookie and
cake batter. The method allows for a nice balance between tender and tough--yielding
an end product that can hold up to carving, stacking and knocking about while still having a nice melt-in-your-mouth quality and tender crumb. The creaming method is not hard to learn, and once you get it down, you'll be able to make any number of cakes and cookies from an ingredient list alone.
The most important thing to remember about The Creaming Method:
- Make sure that all of your ingredients are at cool room temperature--about 68F. Yes, even the milk and the eggs. Get your ingredients out early and let them sit out for a half hour to an hour to come up to temperature.
Creaming Method for Cookies
Grab the recipe for these black bottom triple peanut butter cookies
- On low speed, cream the butter and/or shortening until smooth.
- Add the sugar(s) and continue mixing until smooth and well-blended.
- Still on low speed, add the eggs (if there are eggs), one at a time, mixing well between each additon.
- Mix in the dry ingredients until uniformly incorporated. You might need to finish by hand.
- Stir in any mix-ins, such as chocolate chips, toasted nuts, raisins, etc.
Creaming Method for Cakes
Grab the recipe for this whipped cream pound cake
- On medium speed, cream the butter until light and smooth.
- Add the sugar(s) and continue mixing on medium to medium-high until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping the bowl between each addition. (UPDATE: I have modified this step further to help keep a stable emulsion. I beat the eggs together and then drizzle them in just a bit at a time over the course of about 5 minutes.)
- Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients (please whisk them together well so they are uniformly mixed and the leavening is evenly distributed), mixing just until incorporated. Scrape the bowl.
- Add 1/2 the liquid, mixing just until incorporated. Scrape the bow.
- Add 1/2 of the remaining dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Scrape the bowl.
- Add the other half of the liquid, mixing just until incorporated. Scrape the bowl.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
So, what's so great about this method, and what is really happening? Well, read on to help you internalize The Creaming Method.
If you will be making lots of cookies and cakes, and you don't have a stand mixer, do yourself a favor and get one. I own and recommend this 6-quart professional series stand mixer by Kitchenaid. If you purchase one through this link, you will be helping us feed our kittens, so thank you.