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Thread: Becca: Beating cake batter

  1. #1
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    Question Becca: Beating cake batter

    Molli posted this on the "Lemonade Layer Cake" thread and I think it got lost on page 3:

    Originally posted by Molli526
    Ok- now I am confused. In another thread about this cake, someone posted that you can beat the heck out of a cake batter. I thought once you added the flour, you were supposed to mix until everything is blended, being careful not to overbeat.

    Is there a baker in the house?
    This is something I've always wondered about too, although I'd heard it was muffins that you didn't want to overmix (I remember something about stirring them eleven times by hand???). Anybody know the right answer? Lisa

  2. #2
    I'm not Becca -- but I can offer some guidance on this issue.

    Muffins are like little cakes, ergo the same rule applies. Do not overbeat. Also, do not underbeat. It's a delicate situation.


    OVERBEATING - will result in soggy, compact or heavy cake; may also cause cake to fall or sag

    UNDERBEATING - cake may not rise properly


    I'm thinking we might be zeroing in on some of the problems with the lemonade cake recipe... doncha think?

  3. #3
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    Lorilei, thank you for your response. Do you have any guidlines for how long to beat batter?

  4. #4
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    This is what I learned in Home Ec: When making a recipe that calls for creaming butter and sugar together, the longer you cream it, the better (more sugar and air gets absorbed that way). However, once you add the flour, you should never overmix (unless you're making a yeast bread), because overbeating develops the gluten that's present in the flour, resulting in a tough, chewy finished product. Hopefully that makes it clear as mud .

  5. #5
    My impression was: beat just until incorporated.

    This is what Betty Crocker says:

    The beating time and mixer speed used when beating cake batter make a big difference in the baked cake. Beat the batter for the time specified, using low or medium speed on a portable or stand mixer. If mixing by hand, beat at the rate of 150 strokes per minute, resting if necessary.

    A little extra beating is not the thing to do. Mixing too long at too high a speed can result in a low-volume cake that shrinks while it cools.

    (bettycrocker.com)

  6. #6
    Thanks!

    I think that answers a question that I was going to poste:

    "why do all my home-made cakes end up dense, and not light & fluffy?"

    I think I was beating them more, to make sure I was incorporating enough air, and I was probably just adding to the problem...

    But, how long is too long?
    Susan

  7. #7
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    It's my understanding, too, that if you use egg in your batter, over-beating will cause the finished cake to create a hump and crack in the center.
    Connie

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by lorilei
    If mixing by hand, beat at the rate of 150 strokes per minute, resting if necessary. (bettycrocker.com)
    Getting the idea that we're all becoming very lazy with the usage of electric mixers, and that Miss Betty had arms like Popeye!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by ClaraB
    This is what I learned in Home Ec: When making a recipe that calls for creaming butter and sugar together, the longer you cream it, the better (more sugar and air gets absorbed that way). However, once you add the flour, you should never overmix (unless you're making a yeast bread), because overbeating develops the gluten that's present in the flour, resulting in a tough, chewy finished product. Hopefully that makes it clear as mud .
    I think this is the problem that many are overlooking. You have to beat the heck out of the butter and sugar, and only mix in the flour until incorporated. It's the FLOUR that has the ability to make a cake dense and flat, because of the gluten. And underbeaten butter/sugar/eggs (read: not enough air has been incorporated) can do the same thing. So it's a combination thing. You can't think of a cake as a one process thing, where you either beat a lot, or beat a little. It's BOTH.

  10. #10
    Lisa-

    Thanks for starting this thread!

    I am so excited to try this cake again this weekend. I think I know where my problem was- I didn't the eggs/butter/sugar for the full 5 minutes.

    My Lemonade Cake will be perfect!!

  11. #11
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    Molli - I actually set me timer when beating the eggs, butter and sugar, because I knew that I would not beat it long enough if I didn't. It's amazing how long five minutes seems when you're standing there beating the stuff! I would have probably stopped after 2 mins if I didn't have the timer there to keep me honest!

    And FWIW, my cake came out great after all that beating of the eggs/sugar/butter (and I just barely beat in the flour.)

    Laurie

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