Are room temperature eggs better for baking?
Depending on what you bake, the answer to that question might be yes or no. But there are a few reasons why it’s worth taking the time to get the egg to room temperature before adding it to your recipe.
The first reason is that cold eggs can cause your batter to be more lumpy and harder to mix, according to the Food Network. That’s because the proteins in an egg coagulate (change their structure) when it’s cooled from an egg’s refrigerated state to room temperature. The same is true of cold butter or cream.
This also means that you won’t get the smooth, risen texture that you want in your baked goods. Instead, you’ll end up with a cake that has some visible streaks of egg throughout the batter.
Second, cold eggs will stiffen the butter in your recipe, making it clumpy and hard to work with. This can make the batter look “curdled” with small flecks of stiff butter throughout the mixture, according to Taste of Home.
It’s also important to note that cold eggs can break easily when separating whites from yolks, which is why it’s best to separate them before you use them in a recipe.
When you’re a new baker, it might seem like a minor detail to worry about, but skipping the step can actually ruin your final result! Even simple cakes that call for just one or two eggs can take on a completely different texture when a room temperature egg is substituted.
The most common and safest way to bring eggs to room temperature is to simply put them in a bowl of warm water, which should have an average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This will typically get the eggs to room temperature in about 10 minutes.
If you’re pressed for time, however, you can skip this step. You can leave your eggs out for a few hours on the counter to bring them to room temperature, but you will risk the eggs spoiling by the time you’re ready to bake with them.
You can also take a shortcut and try to warm your eggs in the microwave, but that will only do so much. The FDA recommends that eggs should not be left in the microwave for longer than two hours, or they will start to deteriorate.
Alternatively, you can place your eggs in a bowl of hot water for about 10 to 15 minutes before using them. The water will help to warm them up and speed up the process, though this won’t give them the fluffiness or lift of fully room temperature eggs.
It’s also helpful to use room temperature butter and egg whites in most recipes, because they’ll cream together more smoothly and evenly, which will help the batter to rise better during baking. You can also add the eggs and egg whites into the butter and sugar in your recipe, which will help to hydrate them before they’re mixed in the batter.