This relatively unorthodox technique has quickly become a favorite of our test kitchen editors.
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You're probably familiar with the traditional creaming method. Most cake and muffin recipes use it; they instruct bakers to incorporate fat (most often butter) into the batter by creaming it first with sugar before adding other ingredients like eggs, flour, and leaveners. Reverse creaming takes a different approach. Our editors were introduced to this technique by master baker and cookbook author Rose Levy Berenbaum. With the reverse creaming technique, you start by blending the fat into the dry ingredients before adding sugar and other wet ingredients. These days, many chefs and home bakers are turning to this technique. Here, we explain why you might want to give reverse creaming a try the next time you bake.

Crumb Structure

Either technique, when done properly, will produce a pleasantly tender cake, cupcake, or muffin. Editorial Food Director Sarah Carey says reverse creaming makes a cake taste like the nostalgic store-bought version we all know and love. We used the technique in our Confetti Cake with Vanilla Frosting. Reverse creaming also produces a slightly finer and more delicate crumb that Senior Food Editor Lauryn Tyrell goes crazy for. "The dry ingredients get more evenly coated in fat, which helps minimize the gluten development," she says. The result is a cake that is not too dense, and not too fluffy. When using the regular creaming method, you are essentially beating lots of air into the butter-sugar mixture, which in turn gives the cake a significant amount of volume and a more open crumb structure.

Appearance

Only a keen eye will be able to spot much of a difference between a cake made with reverse creaming and one with the traditional creaming method. Overall, reverse creaming produces a flatter cake. Remember, you're not beating in a bunch of extra air, so your cakes are less likely to dome. Once sliced into, you'll see that the texture is slightly more compact with fewer air bubbles speckled throughout.

So, if you want perfectly flat cakes, cupcakes (or even cookies) that are ideal for frosting to perfection, opt for a recipe featuring the reverse creaming technique. Our Small-Batch Celebration Cupcakes recipe is a great place to start.

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