A few of the chocolate cake recipes I read always start with the step - mix butter and sugar until creamy. I've tried a couple of times but failed to create anything near to creamy. But a few recipes completely eliminate the creaming process, wherein the wet ingredients are added directly to the dry mix. I'm looking for a cake which has a light and moist texture. What should I do? All my previous cakes were either too airy or grainy! On a side note, no matter how much time I mix, I'm not getting the sugar to completely dissolve in the butter. Should I be adding more butter?

  • 2
    You shouldn't need to add more butter than what your recipe calls for. However, make sure that the butter is room temperature (not frozen, and not straight out of the fridge) before you try to cream it with the sugar; if the butter is too cold, it'll just get lumpy rather than creamy.
    – Laura
    Jan 29, 2012 at 4:50
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    One technique used for butter-creaming is to chop the butter into small pieces, place over a pan of softly simmering/hot water, and whisk until the butter is in a creamed state (with care taken not to melt the butter; usually the butter has to be taken off the double-boiler a few times to whisk the melted butter back into the rest); the end result should be an opaque but "liquid" (about as liquid as custard) bowl of butter. The sugar can then be folded in.
    – acidnbass
    Dec 14, 2016 at 20:35
  • @acidnbass this is a great trick I will try next time Jan 9, 2019 at 8:09

1 Answer 1


The purpose mixing the butter and sugar until creamy is to distribute air through the batter that will help leaven the cake in the oven. Skipping this step can create a denser cake. You want to add the air into the batter before adding the flour in order to prevent over mixing, which creates gluten; causing a tougher texture.

Beating the eggs until foamy and folding them into the batter or adding the eggs to the butter/sugar and beating until fluffy will also create a lighter texture.

The sugar does not need to dissolve in the butter, but it should be evenly distributed. This site gives a good visual on how creamed butter & sugar should look.

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    Personally, I never understood this concept until the first time I creamed butter and sugar in a KitchenAid stand mixer. I suspect that hand mixers are not the right tool for the job. Jan 28, 2012 at 0:10
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    Hand mixers do the job just fine, you just need to make sure you mix for a sufficient length of time. Jan 28, 2012 at 10:28
  • Maybe the better way to say it is that hand mixers are not the "best" tool. The KitchenAid mixes more efficiently and I probably never mixed long enough with the hand mixer. Jan 28, 2012 at 14:26
  • The best tool is the one you have to hand :) Jan 28, 2012 at 16:06
  • @LauraKane-Punyon Thanks I understand it now too. Creamed butter makes all the difference. The cake I made last night came out exactly as I wanted it. however I made a mistake of baking it at 250 degrees centigrade and my cake has burnt edges.
    – Uday Kanth
    Jan 30, 2012 at 1:47

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