Mixing technique can make a big difference when making Vanilla Butter Cake. Find out the best way to get a light and tender cake.
Note: Since this post was written I’ve created a very detailed and specific series of classes about the science of cake batter, click on the Baking School link in the top menu to see the entire series.
When I was developing the base recipe for my wedding cake business I wanted a tender and melt-in-your mouth cake that could be stacked into wedding cakes or carved into 3-d creations. This vanilla cake recipe was the basis for most of the wedding cakes I sold at Cake Art Studio.
I always make my butter cakes using the “reverse creaming” method of mixing. While I was writing up this post, I knew I wanted to explain the reverse creaming method and why I use it.
A short explanation – The traditional “creaming method” starts by whipping together the butter and sugar to incorporate air into the batter. Reverse creaming starts with the butter mixed into the dry ingredients to prevent gluten formation.
(I have edited this post and deleted the long explanation about the mixing methods because I cover those extensively in the Cake Batter series. To learn all about cake batter mixing methods visit the Cake Batter Mixing Methods Post.)
One Recipe, three very different cakes!
Since showing is always better than telling, I mixed the vanilla recipe three different ways; Traditional creaming, reverse creaming and reverse creaming with the eggs separated and the whites whipped and folded in.
Some differences were immediately noticeable. The batter made by the traditional creaming method was a darker yellow and felt a little more dense than the other two batters. The traditional cake baked up shorter than the cakes made with the reverse method.
The Proof is in the tasting!
But the true test would be the tasting, and there were distinct differences between the three cakes. Cake 1 (traditional creaming method) had an open and regular crumb, but was not as tender as I would like and it had a slightly oily mouth-feel. Cake 2 (reverse creaming) was very tender, velvety and soft. Cake 3 (reverse method with whipped whites) had a slightly irregular but very tender crumb. It was not quite as velvety as cake 2, but it was lighter and quite tender.
For Vanilla Butter Cake I still like my method of reverse creaming and whipped eggs whites to get the best of both worlds; a tender cake with a light and airy crumb. This is a really great all purpose cake that is tender yet strong enough for stacking or carving. For more information about cake batter, click on the Baking School link in the main menu.
Watch this video to see how to do the “reverse creaming” method for a light and tender cake:
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