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!
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I always make this bread pudding recipe for my dad on his birthday and on holidays. He says it tastes exactly like the bread pudding with nutmeg he enjoyed as a child. —Donna Powell, Montgomery City, Missouri
As someone who grew up in the country, I love getting out into nature whenever I can. I also love home-style recipes, including these yummy brownies. —Carol Prewett, Cheyenne, Wyoming
When you tuck into this warm and comforting fresh peach cobbler, you won't miss the extra fat and calories a bit! —Mary E. Relyea, Canastota, New York
Chocolate lovers will go crazy over these cookies that feature loads of chocolate! When friends ask me to make "those cookies," I know exactly what recipe they mean.-Rebecca Jendry, Spring Branch, Texas
A friend gave me this recipe several years ago, and it's my favorite. I love to serve the melt-in-your mouth corn bread hot from the oven with butter and syrup. It gets rave reviews on holidays and at potluck dinners. —Nicole Callen, Auburn, California
These easy-to-make cookies simply melt in your mouth! I've passed the recipe around to many friends. After I gave the recipe to my sister, she entered the cookies in a local fair and won the "best of show" prize! —Sylvia Ford, Kennett, Missouri
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Here’s a simple cake that’s rich, elegant and over-the-top chocolaty. For finishing touches, add powdered sugar, cocoa or liqueur-flavored whipped cream. —Marie Parker, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
My family's holiday meal consists of different soups and breads. This is one of the favorite breads during that meal. —Bonnie Myers, Callaway, Nebraska
On a sizzling day, we crave something light, airy and cool. Nothing says summer like cream puffs stuffed with peaches and whipped cream. —Angela Benedict, Dunbar, West Virginia
When I make these slightly sweet biscuits, sometimes I cut them and fold over one side about a third of the way for a more traditional look. —Carol Holladay, Danville, Alabama
Here's a basic yeast-risen white bread that bakes up deliciously golden brown. I enjoy the aroma of freshly baked homemade bread in my kitchen. —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York
I always prepare this roll recipe from my husband's family for our church conferences. Serve them with scrambled eggs, and you have a filling breakfast. As a variation, you can replace the cinnamon filling with a mixture of raisins and pecans. —Shenai Fisher, Topeka, Kansas
There is a standing joke between friends that whenever I'm asked to bring a dish to a party, it always contains bacon. My partner loves bacon-wrapped dates and my grandmother got me hooked on date-nut bread, so I made a sweet and salty combination of these recipes. —Terrie Gammon, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
My kids love to help me make this delicious bread recipe. It's quite easy, and they enjoy the fact that they can be eating fresh bread in less than two hours! —Denise Boutin, Grand Isle, Vermont
I love this recipe because it combines three of my favorite flavors: coffee, hazelnuts and cherries. —Joan Pecsek, Chesapeake, Virginia
Creme brulee is our favorite dessert and we love Irish cream liqueur, so I decided to put them together for a dinner finale we truly love. With a last name like Moynihan and a husband named Patrick, you can tell St. Patrick's Day is a very big holiday in our house! -Joyce Moynihan, Lakeville, Minnesota
To showcase abundant fall cranberries, make this beautiful lattice-topped pie. A dollop of orange cream complements the slightly tart flavor. &mash;Taste of Home Test Kitchen
For a change of pace, you can substitute fresh or frozen peach slices for the pineapple in this old-fashioned recipe. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, Kansas
Years ago, I drove 4-1/2 hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you'll see why this velvety beauty won first prize. —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania
I created this creamy cheesecake using two favorites—caramel and pecans. It's a stunning cake and rivals any I've tasted. —Deidre Sizer, Cedarville, Ohio
To surprise my banana-loving family, I made this dessert for a reunion, where it stood out among the usual fare. These special treats are something to look at and mouthwatering delicious. —Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana
Why limit a great dessert to just one kind of citrus fruit? Thanks to orange and lemon, this lovely pie packs a bold sweet-tart flavor! -Barbara Carlucci, Orange Park, Florida
This golden bread has a soft, tender texture and the perfect amount of cardamom flavor in every bite. Slices are especially good with a cream cheese spread or fresh honey butter. Carla Miller, Pasco, Washington
I love serving impressive desserts that look like you spent hours in the kitchen when, in reality, they're really easy to make. This is one of those recipes. —Cheryl Lundquist, Wake Forest, North Carolina
This gorgeous strudel has just what you crave this time of year: thin layers of flaky crust and lots of juicy apples. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon