Read This Before Using Eggs For Baked Goods Again

If you've ever baked anything at home in your life, this is for you. Chemistry in the kitchen, especially with baking, can be a little bit of a mystery. You could have made something ten times before and still get inconsistent results. Why did those cookies from your favorite recipe turn out perfect and domed the first time, and then flat and spread out the next? Why did that batter end up making a tough banana bread? We might have a clue that will point you in the right direction.

Most recipes, from chocolate chip cookies to a simple yellow cake, call for creaming together a blend of butter and sugar and then adding eggs one at a time. Turns out, this step is crucial. While we might know that flour should go in last, or that butter should be soft before it's added, you might be overlooking how you're incorporating your eggs. They're just eggs, right? But adding eggs one at a time — and making sure they're room temperature — is very important to creating a mixture that will make that chemical magic happen in your oven.

The most important thing to know about eggs and baking

According to Cook's Illustrated, adding eggs one at a time to a mixture, and blending the mixture thoroughly in between, makes a big difference in the finished product. Apparently, when eggs are added in one at a time, it takes less time to incorporate them. If you add them in all at once, it could yield cakes that come out dense and rubbery. And according to Fox News, when we add eggs into fatty ingredients like butter, "We're trying to suspend the water in the egg into the fat, scientifically known as making an emulsion." And that emulsion, much like mixing up a salad dressing with oil and vinegar, happens best when it's done gradually.

You'll also want to work with eggs that have been brought to room temperature. According to Taste of Home, the yolks of eggs from room temperature break more quickly than cold ones, which makes them much easier to mix with other ingredients. Cold eggs can also make other components, like the butter, cool down and harden again, which could separate and ruin the batter. To bring eggs to room temperature, you can leave them out on the counter for a while, or even put them in a bath of warm water for ten to 15 minutes (via Taste of Home).