I’m looking over a recipe for angel food cake that calls for twelve egg whites at room temperature and it got me wondering about what’s the best way to do it. Is it best to bring the dozen of eggs to room temperature on the counter, crack them, separate them, and then put the yolks back in the fridge for another recipe? Or is it best to crack and separate the eggs while cold, throw the yolks back in the fridge, and let the egg whites warm up in a sealed container on the counter?

Just curious and figured I’d ask in case there’s a good reason for either of these or something else.

  • 2
    Where do you live? In the EU eggs don't need to be refrigerated at all. In the US, they do, because they are washed during production which removes their natural protection.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 7, 2020 at 5:47
  • 1
    In the US. Forgot temporarily that it was different in the EU. Thanks
    – Kyra
    Jul 10, 2020 at 0:58

2 Answers 2


It doesn't make much difference to the end product whether you separate them cold or warm as long as the egg whites are room temperature when you whip them. Cold whites won't get as fluffy and therefore you'll get a denser cake. Oxygen will cause chemical changes in the white as it warms up to temperature, but that's minor.

It is easier to separate eggs that are at room temperature as the whites run much more easily, so if my eggs are refrigerated I would bring them up to room temperature first, then separate and put the yolks in the fridge. You can do this quickly by putting the eggs in a bowl of tepid water.


Once you crack an egg the contact with air will start drying it, also it's safer to keep them for the least amount of time after cracked. Then you'll also use an extra container for the whites while you wait for it to come to room temperature.

I suspect you'd get better results and less work by just leaving the eggs out of the fridge an hour or so before breaking them. The yolks will be fine back in the fridge quickly after cracked in the container.

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