How to Cream Butter and Sugar (by Hand or With a Mixer)

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About: I run a little company that rebuilds old homes. When we aren't up to our elbows in demolition dust, I'm obsessed with recycling, crafting and cooking.

Many delicious dessert recipes ask us to cream together butter and sugar, without actually describing the steps. Some people describe it as a "fine art", which I think is over stating things just a bit. Creaming simply means mixing your butter and sugar(s) together until well blended, leaving you with a fluffy light yellow mix. Just do not over mix! Butter and sugars are over-mixed when the butter begins to separate. The reason we 'cream' butter and sugar(s) together is to create little air pockets in our dough.The air will mix with the leavening agent, and expand ~ making our cookies rise! Science + food = delicious!

This instructable will walk you through how to cream butter and sugar together by hand, as well as by mixer. Steps for using a mixer are in bold.

1. Place the butter out on the counter for at least an hour, or until it becomes room temperature. (This gives you time to measure out the rest of the ingredients in your recipe and preheat your oven.) The butter should feel soft, but not warm or melty. How do you know when it’s at room temperature? Give it a poke! If your finger leaves a little indent, your butter is ready, and so are you.


2. Slice the butter into cubes or grate using the largest side of a grater, and put the cubes/shreds in a large mixing bowl. Beat the butter with a wooden spoon until it is soft.


3. Add your sugar(s)to the butter and gently mash it into the butter with the tines of a fork. With your wooden spoon,stir the butter and sugar(s) until they are light and fluffy. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture off the sides of the bowl periodically. The butter is "creamed" when it has almost doubled in mass and it has lightened to a yellowish-white color.



You can also use a hand or stand mixer, but beating by hand is old skool and burns calories!

1. Place the butter out on the counter for at least an hour, or until it becomes room temperature.

2.Use your mixer on low to break up the cubes of butter. Then turn the speed up to medium and mix for 1 -1 1/2 minutes. Stop the mixer every so often and scrape the butter out of the beaters with a rubber spatula.

3. Set your mixer to medium speed,and begin adding the sugar a little bit at a time.I like to use a small prep bowl or measuring cup to add the sugar(s). Use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture off the sides of the bowl periodically. The butter is "creamed" when it has almost doubled in mass and it has lightened to a yellowish-white color. Keep mixing on medium speed until the mix starts forming little peak-like ridges. This takes 6–7 minutes.



Now you have creamed your butter and sugar(s). If you want more practice,(or now you need something to do with your creamed mixture!) feel free to try my Lemon-Ginger White Chocolate Cookies .

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    10 Discussions

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    BrandonM283

    Question 5 months ago

    when creaming the butter and the sugar, can i blend the surgar in the blender first then add it to the butter and cream them together?

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    HughE5

    7 months ago

    I think, when it says “double the mass”, it means “double the volume”. Otherwise it might violate the laws of physics.

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    RobH166

    1 year ago

    Followed your instructions (both by hand for about 3 minutes and then be hand mixer) but the mixture of butter and sugar still has some granularity remaining. Should it be completely smooth or not?

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    JoecakeG

    2 years ago

    Thanks so much. I am also supprisingly skinny for this being my snack for today. Oh dear.

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    habd1

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you so much for this!! Very helpful :)

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    stems

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very helpful to a buttering virgin-thanks! And I hope your relationship with Betty is still going strong

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    cjbdelaney

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent description and really helpful. I am following your plan now. Thank you!!!