Expert Baker Explains How The Paste Method Will Change The Texture Of Cake

If you bake the occasional cake, you likely know how it typically goes. The first step is to cream together your butter and sugar, then add in your other wet ingredients like eggs or vanilla, and then finally incorporate the dry ingredients like flour or baking powder. However, this method, called the creaming method, isn't always the best. Turns out, there are multiple ways to mix a cake and not all of them are equal. Instead of always defaulting to the creaming method, you might want to use the paste method for your next cake.

According to Chef Lillian Lu, pastry chef and owner of Noisette Bakery in Denver, Colorado, "The paste method, or reverse creaming method, is when butter is mixed with the dry ingredients and then the liquid is introduced. She adds that this is "unlike the traditional creaming method where butter and sugar are thoroughly mixed first, then liquids are emulsified into the butter mixture and the rest of the dry ingredients are added."

What does the paste method do for cakes?

Chef Lillian Lu told us that the paste method, or reverse creaming method, is typically only used for cakes, but if it feels familiar, it might be because you've used a similar method when making a pie crust or biscuits. Such recipes usually require your butter to be grated into your flour before any liquid is added to the dough.

So what's the point of using the paste method and how will it change your cake's texture? "The paste method creates a finer and more tender crumb. By adding the butter to the flour first, the flour will be coated with fat, which will help to prevent gluten formation," she explains. "The paste method is also a more foolproof way of mixing cake because it is difficult to over-mix the batter." Additionally, the paste method can also help prevent cake doming, and is overall faster and easier than the creaming method. So, the next time you make a cake, mix things up a little by changing the way you mix your ingredients; you may just never go back to the creaming method again.