Preparing dough for baking. Ingredients and utensil used for dough preparation and baking shot from above on rustic wood table. DSRL studio photo taken with Canon EOS 5D Mk II and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Are eggs for baking at room temperature necessary?

You suddenly feel the need for cake. We’ve all been there. You decide that you only have enough time to make the batter and bake it before the next Zoom. You open the recipe and realize it calls for eggs at room temperature. REALLY?

Yes, really. Either choose a non-temperature-dependent cake recipe (our Original Cake Pan Cake is a Hall of Famer) or put off your cake baking. If a King Arthur recipe or any other thoughtfully designed recipe calls for room temperature eggs, that would be between 68 and 70 degrees F. (And what if the recipe does not specify the temperature? You can use either room temperature or cold. It is usually fine.

Bad cakes can be made from cold eggs

Cream room-temperature butter with sugar until light and fluffy, gradually adding room-temperature eggs. This is how you create the foundation of your cake’s structure.

The mixture of butter and sugar crystals creates air bubbles during the beating. The addition of eggs (from the whites) creates water, which reacts with the sugar to form a syrup. This syrup traps the air bubbles in suspension and forms a sticky substance. You don’t want the suspension to be broken so that you can add your ingredients carefully. You’ll get high-rising cakes with a fine crumb.

What happens when you add cold eggs to the creamed butter, sugar, and vanilla? It’s a bowl of syrupy eggs and butter chunks that have become stiffened. It’s not good.

What happens if you add cold eggs? When the eggs are cold, the delicate butter-sugar-air combination you just beat together becomes hardened into sharp pieces. The hardened butter breaks down the suspension, and suddenly those air bubbles disappear. This is a bad thing. Your cake will not rise as high and will have a coarse texture.

While some cakes are made with eggs and butter instead, others use sugar to beat the eggs. However, the result is the same: trapped air bubbles. It’s easier to get air into the mixture if you start with cold eggs (read: hard). Because they are more flexible, room-temperature eggs capture air faster and more easily.

Are there any other places where room-temperature eggs are made?

When it comes to best results, cream-method cakes should not be the only ones that use room-temperature eggs. These are just a few examples of where eggs should be at room temperature before using them.

  • Cheesecake: After gently beating cream cheese with sugar (you don’t want air bubbles), the cheese slowly warms up and smooths. The cheese will stiffen again when you add cold eggs. This can cause the cheese to become more rigid and prolong the beating process. While some cheesecakes, especially those made with a food processor, can be made with cold ingredients, you will get better results if you start with room-temperature ingredients.
  • Some muffins and cookies: Some rely on creaming, just like cakes. Cream-type muffins that are not influenced by the temperature of the ingredients may show similar signs to cakes: a lower rise and a coarse texture. Cookies can be more dense and hard than they are light and crisp. Follow the instructions for baking cookies or muffins that call for room temperature eggs.
  • Yeast bread uses more than one large egg per cup of flour: Too few eggs can slow down yeast activity and extend rising times. Brioche is an exception to this rule. This dough relies on cold eggs for stiffening: A lot of butter makes it super soft, while cold eggs hold it together.
  • Egg whites for buttercream and meringue (s): Separate eggs as soon as they are cold to reduce the chance of the yolk breaking. Then, warm the whites to room temp before beating. Why? Why?

Are cold eggs good for you?

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how cold or cool your eggs are. Here are some examples:

  • Baked goods that don’t involve creaming butter, sugar, or eggs: These include paste-type cookies, where butter and flour are combined before sugar and eggs are added, and any recipe that requires you to mix all the ingredients (one bowl), such as cakes, muffins and bars, or cookies. The eggs are used for their fat and protein’s ability to create a strong structure without capturing air.
  • Baked goods with eggs as a garnish: Khachapuri requires you to crack a whole egg into a half-baked bread “boat” and bake the egg until it is set. Some breakfast pizzas have whole eggs baked on a partially baked crust. It’s better to bake eggs from the fridge in these cases. Cold eggs will not hold their shape well when they bake.

Is it safe for eggs to be kept at room temperature?

The FDA recommends keeping eggs at room temperature (68°F to 70°F) for two hours. Eggs should not be left at higher temperatures longer than an hour.

How do you quickly bring eggs to room temp?

If you are ready to bake, but your recipe calls for room temperature eggs, but you only have fridge-cold eggs, don’t lose heart. Here are some tips to quickly warm eggs:

Warm water is best used in a large bowl. The cold eggs should be submerged in hot water. In about 10 minutes, they should be at 70°F.

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