How to soften hard brown sugar

You’re all set to bake a batch of your favorite cookies, only to discover that your brown sugar is hard…
The post How to soften hard brown sugar appeared first on Southern Food and Fun.

You’re all set to bake a batch of your favorite cookies, only to discover that your brown sugar is hard…

The post How to soften hard brown sugar appeared first on Southern Food and Fun.

Pan-Fried Okra

There’s nothing quite like the taste of crispy, golden brown pan-fried okra with cornmeal, a beloved Southern side dish that…
The post Pan-Fried Okra appeared first on Southern Food and Fun.

There’s nothing quite like the taste of crispy, golden brown pan-fried okra with cornmeal, a beloved Southern side dish that…

The post Pan-Fried Okra appeared first on Southern Food and Fun.

How to Cream Butter and Sugar

Learn how to cream butter and sugar with a mixer or by hand. Creaming is an important step in many baking recipes like cookies and cakes. It’s not complicated but knowing what to look for and the best creaming technique will make a big difference in your baked goods. What is Creaming? In a nutshell,…

The post How to Cream Butter and Sugar appeared first on Crazy for Crust.

Learn how to cream butter and sugar with a mixer or by hand. Creaming is an important step in many baking recipes like cookies and cakes. It’s not complicated but knowing what to look for and the best creaming technique will make a big difference in your baked goods.

bowl of creamed butter and sugar.

What is Creaming?

In a nutshell, creaming is combining a softened fat (like butter) with sugar until it turns creamy, light and fluffy.

Creaming is such a critical step in baking recipes – when it’s not done correctly your cookies and cakes may turn out flat, soggy or even greasy. Done properly, you’ll get fluffy cakes and puffy cookies with a wonderful tender crumb.

Creaming can be done by hand with a bowl, spoon, and fork, or with a stand mixer or handheld mixer. Doing it by hand definitely takes more effort, but it’s helpful to know in case you’re ever without a mixer and need to make an emergency batch of cookies (it could happen!)

When you cream butter and sugar together, you’re accomplishing one thing: incorporating lots of air pockets into the mixture which will help naturally leaven your baked goods and create a tender crumb.

3 spoons with different creamed butters showing stages of creaming.

How long does it take to cream butter and sugar?

How long to cream butter and sugar will vary depending on whether you’re doing it by hand or with a mixer. With a mixer it will take between two and three minutes. By hand, it will take longer. It is easier to use a mixer so that is my recommended method.

Whether you cream with a mixer or by hand, the best way to know if your butter and sugar are creamed is by looking at it.

After just a minute, you might think it’s creamed enough but if the mixture still looks grainy or you can see any sugar crystals, then you’ve not creamed it enough.

As more air is incorporated into the mixture you will notice the color will lighten and the texture will turn fluffy. You know you’ve reached the right stage when the mixture is pale yellow and soft but with enough structure to hold soft peaks.

It is possible to over-cream butter and sugar. If creamed too long the mixture will turn white and, if you use it, will give your baked goods a dense, almost gluey, texture. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to correct over-creamed butter and sugar.

finger pressing into butter stick

Softened Butter

Starting with room-temperature softened butter is an important part of the process. If the butter is too cold it will be hard to incorporate air and your mixture will be too dense. If it’s too hot the mixture will not have enough air and will be oily. In both cases, your cakes and cookies will have a dense texture instead of the light and tender crumb.

butter and sugar creamed in stand mixer showing paddle attachment.

How to cream butter and sugar with a mixer

  • Place your softened butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl if using an electric hand mixer). You’ll want to use the paddle attachment.
  • Mix on medium speed (high speed will add too many air bubbles) for approximately 3-4 minutes, or until your mixture is fluffy. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl during creaming.

How to Cream Butter and Sugar by Hand

  • First, it helps to cut the softened butter into thin pieces and mixing them with the sugar before you start creaming them together.
  • Using a fork, press the tines into the butter and sugar to fully combine them. When combined, the mixture resembles a paste.
  • Grab a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and beat the butter and sugar together using the same motion you would to scramble eggs. If it’s easier, you can also use the fork to cream them. 
  • Be sure to scrape the bowl a few times.
  • Depending on how fast you can mix, it will take three to five minutes to achieve the right color (pale yellow, remember?) and a fluffy texture. There should be no streaks of butter in the mixture – all of it should be well combined.
sugar cookie with white frosting and pink and blue sprinkles.

Recipes that call for creaming

Last Updated on June 5, 2024

The post How to Cream Butter and Sugar appeared first on Crazy for Crust.

Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe

Mac and Cheese with a creamy, cheesy sauce is a classic family favorite! No eggs, just a luscious creaminess with…
The post Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe appeared first on Southern Food and Fun.

Mac and Cheese with a creamy, cheesy sauce is a classic family favorite! No eggs, just a luscious creaminess with…

The post Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe appeared first on Southern Food and Fun.