When a baking recipe calls for room-temperature eggs, do you just skim over that part and use them straight from the fridge? While cooking with cold eggs might be fine, like in these fun dishes with an egg on top, temperature can make a difference in the delicate science of baking.
Reasons to Bake with Room-Temperature Eggs
Imagine you’re trying to mix cold butter into a batter. Tricky, right? But it’s much easier to mix in room-temperature butter. The same is true for eggs, for two main reasons.
The ingredients will mix more evenly.
At room temperature, egg yolks break more easily, allowing them to mix more evenly with the egg whites and other ingredients. Room-temperature eggs are especially important for recipes like cheesecake, where the high fat content is a factor. Cold eggs could re-harden the fat, resulting in curdled batter that might affect the final texture. And nobody wants to eat lumpy cheesecake. (Here are more foolproof tips for achieving cheesecake perfection.)
Test Kitchen tip: Eggs separate more easily when cold, so if the recipe calls for separated eggs, do that when you take them out of the fridge, then let them come to room temperature. Here are three easy ways to separate an egg.
You’ll get better volume.
Whole eggs and egg whites whip up to a much greater volume when at room temperature, so temperature is crucial for recipes that call for beaten eggs or egg whites. You’ll achieve a lighter, fluffier texture that’s essential for treats like angel food cake and meringues. See the difference room temperature eggs make when you bake my favorite from-scratch angel food cake recipes. Just be sure to use the whipped eggs immediately, because they can deflate more quickly.
Quick Ways to Get Room-Temperature Eggs
Yes, you can simply set eggs out on the counter 30 minutes before you bake. (However don’t leave them out longer than 2 hours.) But what if you’re pressed for time and every minute counts?
Place whole eggs in a bowl and cover them with warm (not hot!) water. Allow them to sit for 10 to 15 minutes until no longer chilled. If you do this before prepping the rest of the recipe, they should be ready to go when you are.
If the recipe calls for separated eggs, separate the yolks and whites into two small bowls. Set each bowl in a larger bowl or pan filled with warm water and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
Test Kitchen tip: Stainless steel heats up faster than glass, so if you have a small stainless steel bowl, use that.
Now that you know why room-temperature eggs are important for baking, use them in these amazing recipes and be delighted with the results!