A blender is an appliance that is a staple in most kitchens. It offers a quick way to make purees, smoothies, soups, pancakes, and other recipes that just basically requires you to mix up the ingredients and cook.
It can be tempting then to just straight up use our blender every time we have to mix something, just because It’s so quick to do.
When we want to make a cake, for example, it can be easy to conclude that, just like our pancake batters and soups, we can also successfully use our trusty blender since cake basically requires just mixing ingredients and then baking.
The question is, can we successfully do that without compromising the quality of our cakes? Can I Mix Cake Batter in A Blender?
Can I Mix Cake Batter in A Blender?
You can mix cake batter in a blender, but the resulting cake might be denser and chewier than what your recipe intends. It might work for cakes using the “all-ingredient mixing method” or “muffin mixing method” or for cakes that are intended to be denser and sturdier. It will not be a good idea to use your blender for mixing light and delicate cake batters that require a lot of aerating, such as sponges or angel food cakes.
What is Cake?
Cake is a sweet dessert usually made with flour, fat, sugar, eggs, leavening agents, and other flavoring ingredients that is usually baked, cooled, and decorated.
There are different variations and endless combinations of flavors, but the end result is always a sweet treat that’s dressed up, decorated, and served to many. It has become synonymous with celebration and is always present on many special occasions.
Of course, cake is not just good for special occasions. Eating cake on regular days is great, too. I’m a firm believer that there’s never a bad day to eat cake.
Cake Mixing Methods: Why Are They Important?
As varied as cake flavors and ingredients are, so are the ways to mix cake batter, and the mixing method of choice plays a big part in the resulting texture and flavor of the cake.
In other words, it’s not just the ingredients that determine what your cake will taste like, it is also the way you mix those ingredients.
Also, even if it may seem painfully obvious, it is worth noting that cake recipes are tailored for specific mixing methods. It isn’t like you come across a recipe, gather the ingredients, and then decide which cake mixing method to use and then expect great results.
The exact proportions, temperature, and procedures in a recipe all matter and play a role together in their specific combination in achieving the perfect end result.
Baking is physics and chemistry, an exact science. Sure, you might get away with missing a teaspoon or so of whatever ingredient it is in your baking recipes, and no one would be the wiser.
More often than not though, they make a discernible difference in the end result, that’s why it’s best to stick to the right proportions and procedures.
So anyway, with that said, let’s explore the different ways of mixing cake batter below.
Ways to Mix Cake Batter
Depending on the kind of cake you wish to make, from the light, airy texture of a sponge cake or angel food cake to the denser, sturdier structure of a pound cake or butter cake, it is important to understand that there are different methods to mixing cake batter.
Not only will we be able to make the cake that we really want to eat, but we will also get an understanding of why recipes are written the way they are written, and the importance of following the right procedures.
1. Creaming Method
This is perhaps the most well-known and the most classic way of mixing cake batter, and what we usually think of when we imagine someone baking a cake.
Softened butter is “creamed” with sugar, which just means that it is mixed in such a way that the sugar incorporates into the butter and forms little air pockets that later on allow whatever leavening agents you use in your cake to go through those air pockets and expand as your cake bakes, resulting in an airy texture.
Recipes would usually say to keep doing this until butter is “light and fluffy”, meaning that the color of the butter has lightened, and it has expanded in volume.
Once light and fluffy, eggs are added one at a time, and the dry and wet ingredients are added alternately, to maintain the balance of the batter. Cakes are then poured onto a baking pan and can be baked straight away.
Creaming results in lighter, fluffier cakes. Not doing this or not doing this enough will lead to denser, flatter cakes that won’t be enjoyable to eat.
2. Muffin Method
As the name suggests, this is the procedure that’s normally used for making muffins. Also called Two-bowl or Two-Stage Mixing, this method is very easy and straightforward and might be one of the best methods for a beginner baker to master before going into the other mixing methods.
Aside from muffins and cakes, this method is also what’s used for pancakes, waffles, and quick breads.
You basically mix your dry ingredients with leavening agents in one bowl and then mix all your wet ingredients separately in another bowl.
And then, tip the bowl of wet ingredients over to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix. It is important not to go overboard with mixing at this point because overmixing will lead to the overdevelopment of gluten which then leads to a denser, chewier cake.
Once no dry spots of flour are present on the batter, you can safely transfer it to your baking pan and bake.
One of my favorite vegan chocolate cupcake recipes is made with this method, and it works perfectly in cake form, too. I usually make it when I want a quick chocolate cake fix because it doesn’t take very long and doesn’t take a lot of equipment to make.
3. Foaming or Egg Foam Method
As the name suggests, this method involves eggs. Cakes that use this method rely only on the leavening power of eggs and the air pockets they create, that’s why it is important to get the consistency and texture just right. Otherwise, the recipe will not work, and your cake will fall flat.
This is a method where technique is key, and it might take some practice before you’re able to perfectly achieve the desired results.
It basically involves beating eggs – whole, yolks only or whites only—with some part of the sugar until they have expanded in volume and have incorporated enough air. All the other ingredients are then gently folded in.
Precautions are taken in all steps of the baking process to ensure that the eggs do not deflate or that the cake does not collapse unto itself. In the case of angel food cake especially, it is especially important to invert it post-baking so that it holds its structure. What Does It Mean To Invert A Cake? explores the proper way to do this.
Examples of cakes made in this way are angel food cakes, genoise, sponge, and chiffon cakes. They usually contain very little to no fat and are light, airy, and tender.
4. All-in-One, All-Ingredient or One Bowl Method
This one takes the cake for the easiest and quickest mixing method. All dry and wet ingredients are just mixed together. No aerating or special equipment is needed. Just literally mix and then bake. Most boxes of cake mix make use of this method.
While it sounds like a dream, it would, of course, have its drawbacks in terms of texture.
5. High Ratio Mixing Method
Also known as the Two-Step or Quick-Mix method, this is used when the recipe has proportionally higher amounts of sugar than flour (at least a ratio of 1:1 for it to work) and can be used for most American-style butter cakes. It happens in two stages:
Step 1: Dry ingredients are mixed first and then combined with softened butter to coat them in fat, allowing them to develop some structure before adding all the other liquids.
Step 2: The liquid ingredients are then added slowly to this mix. After that, it can be prepared for baking.
Mixing it in this way helps with inhibiting the formation of gluten.
By mixing the sugar and the flour first (with the other dry ingredients), we provide some sort of barrier for the flour. Sugar will essentially absorb some of the liquid and protect the flour from absorbing too much, thus limiting gluten formation.
From this, we can see that sugar not only adds sweetness to baked goods, but it also adds moisture and plays a part in the texture and structure of your cake.
This is also the reason why making successfully good sugar-free cakes is so challenging because you’re not only substituting for the sweetness, but you’re also making up for all the other functions of sugar.
Next, since we are coating the flour in butter prior to adding liquids, it forms another protective barrier around them, further inhibiting gluten formation. This results in a light cake with a tender crumb.
6. Reverse Creaming or Paste Method
And lastly, we have the Reverse Creaming or Paste Method. Similar to High-Ratio mixing, we combine our flour with softened butter and some room temperature liquids until it has the consistency of wet sand, before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Coating the flour in fat stops gluten from forming, allowing you to have a sturdy cake that still has a moist and tender bite.
Cakes made in this way are perfect for tiering or for stacking, as they hold their structure very well.
Having a stable cake texture also allows it for easy designing and carving, if you’re into cake decorating. “How to Make a Box Cake Dense for Carving” explores how you can achieve this effect using a boxed cake mix.
So, there you have it, all the different ways to mix cake, the reasons behind it, and their advantages and disadvantages. Given all that we have seen, can anyone argue then that baking is not science?
Can I Mix Cake Batter in A Blender?
So now we go back to our original question of, can I mix cake batter in a blender? Given what we know about the different ways that cake is mixed and the reasons behind it, we can say then that yes you can use your blender to mix cake batter, but the resulting cake may not be as good.
Given how careful most methods are with inhibiting gluten formation (the stuff in flour that makes your cake dense and chewy), a blender won’t exactly be helpful in this regard.
Mixing at high intensity and at high speed will promote the formation of gluten instead of inhibiting it and will probably compromise any precautions you take with ensuring that light and tender crumb.
Aside from that, a blender will just violently pulverize all of those delicate air pockets you have managed to create. It doesn’t care how good you are at creating air pockets from eggs, it just won’t be forgiving.
You can probably be successful with recipes using the All-Ingredient or One Bowl Method, or maybe even the Muffin Mixing Method if you mix in short bursts. Or if you find a recipe specifically made for blending, it will be fine. But for foam cakes like sponges, angel food cakes, or chiffon cakes, a blender is not the best thing to use.
Conclusion to Can I Mix Cake Batter In A Blender
A blender might make things easier and more convenient for a lot of recipes, but it isn’t the best kitchen appliance to use for mixing cake batter. High-speed and high-intensity mixing is generally not good for cakes, especially those with delicate structures.
You can if you find a recipe specifically tailored to blenders, but if you can help it, I would suggest just doing it by hand (you’ll get a good workout in before eating cake), or if you plan on baking a lot, investing in a hand mixer or stand mixer.
Baking a good cake is such an exact science, and so dependent on the proper proportions of ingredients, procedure, and temperature, that altering any of those things will result in a cake you won’t want to eat.
I know I said earlier that there’s never a bad day to eat cake, but let me qualify that more by saying, there’s never a bad day to eat cake, but there’s really no point in eating cake that’s not made well.
Besides, a blender is irreplaceable for so many other things. Why not just save it for those wonderful breakfast smoothies?
Frequently Asked Questions On Can I Mix Cake Batter In A Blender?
Can I Mix Cake Batter in a Blender?
You can but the resulting cake might not be good. High speed mixing and blending will promote the formation of gluten, which can result in cakes that are denser and chewier, and not enjoyable to eat.
Can I Mix Cake Batter by Hand?
You can mix cake batter by hand, just like what the bakers of old used to do prior to the invention of the mixer. For some types of recipes though, this might mean getting a good arm workout. But hey, that only means that you deserve more than one slice of cake.
Can I Use a Blender to Make Frosting?
You can make some types of frosting in a blender but not others. If your icing is of the pourable kind, like chocolate sauce or any type of fruit syrup, you can probably use a blender. But buttercreams that require aerating butter or eggs are best done with a mixer.