Basic techniques: How to cream butter and sugar

Updated on 10 November 2016 | 0 Comments

Creaming butter and sugar together correctly is crucial if you want a light and fluffy cake. We've trawled the internet for you to find out the best way to do it.

To begin

butterFirst off, you’re not going to get anywhere unless you use softened butter, which has been sitting at room temperature. If you’re in a rush, and your butter is still solid, try zapping it in the microwave for 10 second intervals (make sure it doesn’t start to melt though).

What not to do

Don’t use hard butter (it should feel like a ripe peach), and don’t whizz the two ingredients together at a high speed from the offset, or everything could shoot out of the bowl.

The electric mixer method

The method most preferred by the experts on the internet is to use an electric whisk, or electric mixer. That way you’ll ensure a thoroughly well-combined result.

BBC Good Food has a great video on creaming butter and sugar, which gives the following tips:

  • Cut the softened butter into cubes in advance
  • Start whisking on the lowest setting to break the butter up into the sugar
  • Increase the whisk’s speed and mix for about one minute until you have a light and creamy mixture.

If the butter breaks down during softening or creaming (usually because it’s too warm), place the butter, or the butter and sugar mixture, into the fridge for five to 15 minutes, then start creaming again.

Remember to scrape down the bowl as you go too. There’s a beautiful slideshow showing how to cream butter and sugar here, if you can’t be bothered with a video.

The wooden spoon method

The same as above, but using a wooden spoon instead of a machine. The video below by recommends that you beat the butter first, before adding the sugar, to make the process easier.

Last-minute tip

If your butter seems a little too warm, or if the room you’re working in is warm, wrap a cold gel pack around the mixing bowl for the first minute or so of mixing. 

Tell us your tips

Which method do you prefer? Have you got any other tips to share? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Practice your creaming with these recipes

Edd Kimber's Victoria sponge

Lorraine Pascale's Mojito Genoese cake

West country cake

More baking how to guides

How to separate an egg

How to ice cupcakes using a piping bag


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