How To Cream Butter And Sugar By Hand

Sometimes, the idea of creaming butter and sugar by hand is more appealing than using a stand mixer or a hand mixer.

Yes, it’s easier and quicker to use a mixer, but where’s the hard work, and the fun?

Due to the popularity of mixers, not a lot of people know exactly how to cream butter and sugar together successfully.

Well, worry not; in this article, we are going to be showing you some of the best tips and methods to successfully make a butter and sugar mixture.

Why Cream Butter And Sugar?

Creaming butter and sugar is one of the first steps for a good bake, as well as exceptional cakes. But, why do we need to do it?

Quite simply, if we do not cream butter and sugar together, the finished product will not be light, and there will be no texture to your bakes.

When we beat butter and sugar together, the sharp and defined edges of the sugar crystals begins to cut through the fat of the butter, creating air pockets.

These air pockets are necessary for a tender crumb, and a fluffy texture.

How To Cream Butter And Sugar By Hand

So, let’s find out how to actually cream butter and sugar together by hand.

Firstly, you will need softened butter for this. Cold butter is no good for creaming.

Creaming butter should be done with softened butter, otherwise it will be difficult to cream, and it will not properly cream.

Make sure to take your butter out of the fridge, and let it sit on the side for two hours before you use it. Once the butter begins to feel soft, it is ready to use.

You do not want to use warm butter.

Next, grab a large mixing bowl. The bowl should be big enough to hold all of your butter and sugar mixture.

Now, grab a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, and begin poking your butter around, letting it soften.

Next, grab your sugar. Ideally, you’ll be using white sugar or granulated sugar, but brown sugar works too, depending on what the recipe calls for.

Combine your butter and sugar with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

Mix it like you would mix anything else, and make sure to always scrape down the sides.

When you scrape the sides, you are making sure everything is well combined, without wasting any of that softened butter.

Gently mash and stir your butter and sugar mixture, until there it is fluffy, well combined and sufficiently creamed.

The more air bubbles in your butter, the better.

This is because the sugar crystals will break down the milk fats in the softened butter, allowing it to be of a fluffy texture.

Mix at a medium speed, making sure to continue stirring and continue beating all of that butter.

Beat until it is fluffy, and stop mixing once there are no solid bits of butter and sugar.

If your butter is not creaming well enough, don’t be afraid to use your hands. When creaming butter, you want the butter to reach soft peaks, where it can stand slightly on its own.

You do not want it to be runny, or have the texture of wet sand. If this is the case, you do not have enough butter.

It should only be wet once you have added eggs, because eggs will make the whole mixture wet.

Use the same motion for mixing with your hands as you did with the wooden spoon or spatula.

Can I Use Melted Butter?

No, you should not be using melted butter for creaming butter.

The creaming process relies on soft butter, and other articles may tell you to use melted butter for ease of use, but melted butter will not achieve that pale yellow color that you need.

What utensils do I need for creaming butter?

To cream butter and sugar together by hand, you will only need a wooden spoon or a spatula.

You can use your hands, but it will be more difficult.

How To Cream Butter And Sugar By Hand (1)

Can I Use A Mixer?

You can use an electric mixer or a hand mixer to cream butter, but it will be a lot more messy, and not as fun!

To use a mixer, keep it on a low speed, whipping the butter and sugar together. For baking, creaming butter is essential.

Use a paddle attachment if you have one, as this is the key to all baked goods.

Creaming properly is the only way to achieve perfect baked goods, and it should be something you master.

Creaming butter and sugar should achieve fluffy results, and you can achieve these with a mixer in the same way as by hand, but it takes more skill.

Yes, it may hurt your hand, but you can completely control the speed, and a hand mixer or stand mixer does not have as many speed options as your own hands!

When Do I Add Other Ingredients?

Creaming butter and sugar together should be the first thing on your list. as we know, you can use light brown sugar, powdered sugar, white sugar, or granulated sugar, but it should always achieve that pale yellow color.

If you are using chocolate chips and a leavening agent, you will need to add these in after the creaming process.

Baking powder and baking soda will interfere with the consistency of your butter, meaning your creamed butter will be bitty.

What Color Should The Mix Be?

The mix should always be a pale yellow color, and a creamy color.

It should be soft and airy, with lots of air bubbles. In this case, the more air bubbles, the better!

Final Thoughts

Butter and sugar is one of the best combinations ever!

Butter and sugar should be creamed properly to allow your cakes, bakes, and everything in between to be light and airy.

By creaming butter and sugar, you can make the best cakes! There’s nothing better than doing things by hand!

Picture of Kathryn Sewell

Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

About the Author