Mixing batter is one of the most important procedures when making batter-based cakes. Some recipes call for the slightly beaten batter, while some demand creaming it with sugar. Beating batter incorporates little air bubbles into it. Air bubbles are released when the batter is baking, which results in the wonderfully soft and light texture of your cake. Logically, a person would expect that the cake can turn out only lighter and fluffier if you beat the batter longer. Well, that’s a misconception. Mixing ingredients, especially batter, affects the structure of your baked goods.
Every cake has ingredients that make the structure and the ones that weaken it. Structure makers are protein-based ingredients, such as flour, eggs, and milk. Ingredients that weaken structure are batter, sugar, and liquids besides milk. Every cake should have an optimum balance of those ingredients to get a perfect texture. Even the slightest unbalance will result in dense and firm cake, or contrary – cake that falls apart.
The time of mixing cake batter affects all other ingredients – for example if you overbeat cake batter with flour and sugar, protein in flour could release a lot of gluten strands, which will harden your cake and give it a chewy texture.
What happens if you overbeat cake batter?
Overbeating cake batter leads to the soft and tender texture of your cake, contrary to popular beliefs that it will harden it and make it denser.
Beating batter shortly, for only 5 minutes, will give your cake a strong and a bit dense structure. Overbeating cake batter for 15 minutes or more, will result in a soft and tendre structure. Your cake will be so fragile that it will break when you try to get it out of the pan.
How long should you beat cake batter?
The perfect time for beating cake batter would be somewhere between 3 and 6 minutes. The exact time will depend on your recipe – and you should over listen to recipe instructions – but 5 minutes should be sufficient. Mixing cake batter for more than 6-7 minutes will soften your cake more than you would like to. Beating it for 5 minutes will create a nice texture and soft crust.
If you’re not sure when to stop mixing your cake batter, stop when all ingredients incorporate together. Adding chocolate chips or dried fruit to the mixture means you can stop mixing even sooner, cause you’ll have extra mixing time when you add those ingredients.
Tip: For best results always use room temperature cake batter. If you use cold batter right out of the refrigerator you could easily end up with curdled cake batter.
How do you fix overbeat cake batter?
For beginning stop mixing when all the ingredients are combined together. If you already overbet cake butter, your cake will still be perfectly edible, only its texture could be more fragile. If you notice that you exaggerated with mixing, there is a way to fix overbeat cake batter. Add more flour. Flour should be sifted previously. Add one or two spoons and gently mix them into the cake batter mixture. That should save your cake from falling apart.